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March 26, 2022

Acer's eco-friendly Aspire Vero laptop releases a collaboration with artist Andy Thomas

Kathryn Shanks
Acer's eco-friendly Aspire Vero laptop releases a collaboration with artist Andy Thomas
Digital artist Andy Thomas has partnered with Acer for the launch of the Acer Aspire Vero, a laptop partially made with post-consumer recyclable plastic (PCR).

With increasing consumer demand for sustainable tech products, we’ve seen several companies stepping up to the plate to deliver eco-friendly products in the tech world. The latest is Acer with their new Aspire Vero laptop, the first-to-market PC with fully post-consumer recyclable plastic integration.

The laptop’s chassis uses 30% PCR plastic, saving around 21% in carbon emissions, while the use of standardised screws enables easy repairs, upgrades, and recycling. With mirrored and highlighted R and E keys, the Aspire Vero emphasises the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ mantra across the board – even in the packaging, which is 100% recyclable!

Excitingly, Acer collaborated with digital artist Andy Thomas for the launch of the Aspire Vero, with Thomas creating four incredible works exploring the effect of pollution on iconic Australian landscapes. The Blue Mountains, The Three Apostles, Uluru National Part, and the Daintree Forest all feature in Thomas’ art as he speculates how they will look in the future without effective climate action.

We spoke with Andy Thomas to get a better idea about his background, his process, and his partnership with Acer – read on to learn more!

1) How did you first get into digital art? How did it become your career?

I created flyers for dance parties and raves in the 90s in Melbourne, Australia, which led to extensive use of Adobe Photoshop. After that, I started teaching myself 3D software. I then combined my Photoshop skills and photography with my 3D skills to create detailed organic pictures. I then taught myself animation and used the same approach by combining it with After Effects to create video art.

2) How did you fuse digital tech with watercolours? What inspired you to bring these together?

Sometimes I create textures using paint and photography or scan them and use them as textures in my digital work. I often print digital work on canvas and paint back onto it.

3) You’ve worked all over the world. What has been your favourite project and why?

Doing stage concert visuals for Bjork was a highlight. I actually travelled to the Amazon in Brazil to record bird sounds for a personal art project in 2016. All the hard work and effort from that project led to the work being licensed by Bjork for her 2018 concert tour. It was very satisfying, especially seeing the work myself at the concerts in London and Denmark.

4) Regarding your Bird Sounds series, how difficult is it firstly to capture the sounds, and then to match those sounds to animations. Can you run us through that process?

It's very complicated. I capture the sounds with very basic equipment, which means I need to get close to the birds to get good recordings. I will need to invest in a radar gun soon to get better recordings. Once I have the recordings, I use the wave sound signature to activate certain aspects of my favourite 3D software called Houdini. For it to work properly, I need to cut the bird sounds up into lots of little snippets and sometimes even slow them down and speed the animation back up again in post-production. I also add other elements in post-production using Adobe After Effects, such as flashes of fractal light to make it pop.

5) How did the collaboration with Acer come about? What do you hope to add to the campaign with your art, e.g., raising awareness?

Acer reached out to me as a lot of my work focuses on nature and technology and they were getting ready to launch their new eco-friendly device, the Aspire Vero, made using post-consumer recycled plastics. This natural alignment is something that attracted me to the project for sure. By showcasing the detrimental impacts that plastic waste has on the planet, we hope to educate our audience and urge them to take plastic waste pollution seriously. All in all, the campaign seeks to encourage consumers and other leading brands to adopt an eco-conscious approach and look towards further adopting sustainable practices.

6) What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a 3D underwater coral world NFT project to help raise awareness and provide fundraising to save the Great Barrier Reef.

 

If you liked this article, you might like our feature on Maxim Zhestkov’s digital art.

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