We’re not talking about Eric “Big Daddy” Nord*, but rather Eric “Dirt Castle” Nord – a UCLA MILS graduate and an exceptionally talented creative mind. Unlike his California-based namesake, a blast from the past, his talents lean more towards the visual arts. The Dirt Castle likes to call himself

“Interdisciplinary creative utilizing abstract and experimental approaches”

and there would not be anything extraordinary in it if it wasn’t for that truly experimental nature of his approach, besides his ass-kicking visual endeavours. Follow the link in Eric’s bio on Instagram and you will soon find yourself lost for hours rummaging through his, don’t know even how to call it, creative process walkthroughs, archives, music productions and what-not. It almost feels like you out-of-a-sudden got an invitation to someone’s back office and a studio all-in-one. But let’s keep it organized here, shall we? Eric’s art first, the visual!

At a glance, you can tell there’s one thing all of Eric’s creations share: a glitchy, fragmented, and scrappy feel that stands out. In some artworks, it’s the leading motif, while in others, it’s subtly woven in. It’s always there, like a hidden matrix or a signature. The art looks like the result of corrupting digital data, manipulation, or deliberate malfunctions to create unexpected visual effects. These resulting images highlight the beauty of imperfections, often characterized by distorted, fragmented, and abstract visuals. Eric seems to be a true devotee to such aesthetics, like an observer of the nature of failure and the enthusiast of the unexpected, pushing the boundaries of traditional digital art by embracing errors and randomness as creative tools. How do we know, you may have wondered? Well, we’re coming to the second interesting thing about the artist’s approach – the process.

Eric is completely transparent about his creative process. On Threads, he discusses his routine, poses challenging questions, shares prompts, and even provides image references for his work. His enthusiasm and passion shine through his posts. Eric openly discusses all aspects of his art, how he achieves certain aesthetics, his views on generative AI, and how he utilizes it. There’s no doubt about it—Eric Nord deserves high praise for this. A big up!

“Damn right I steal images to make prompts. And good ones too! Usually, you’ll have no idea who I’m stealing from. But sometimes I just let the influence shine through. Why not? We’re just having fun with some non-commercial work here.

In this case, it’s the brilliant Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo (@alvarotapiahidalgo), who does amazing photo-based illustration. Big fan his more abstract work.

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Thirdly, Eric is a collector. An exceptional one. Just check out his Pinterest to find out the immense amounts of great stuff to draw inspiration from. Not just collected, incredibly well organized and ready to be impressed by. No jokes about it. You looking for some cool posters, quirky borgs, or maybe a tactical Balenciaga cyborg samurai, no problem. You can find some of these at the Eric’s. What a collection!

Once you’re there or on Eric’s instagram, don’t forget to put your headphones on and play some of his music. Yes, mr Nord is a producer…or was. Anyways, his Soundcloud is here. Enjoy the glitch <3