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Artist’s Life – Starting New Media Art

This week, I share my latest new media art and thoughts about my career as an artist. This is a sequel to the blog post called Beginner’s Video Art that was published last month.

Unstill Still Life – Video Art

The video above is my latest artwork “Unstill Still Life.” I have done this largely by programming. I have developed generative algorithms that create and alter shapes. I have designed the individual shapes with a 3D modeling program called Blender. The models and the code are put together with the Unity Engine which is a software environment for developing games.

Inspiration from an Old Painting

With the artwork, I participated in the Finnish National Gallery’s Web3 community Alusta challenge called “Nature and Nourishment.” The Finnish National Gallery has many copyright-free images and the organization encourages artists to use them for creating new media art.

I have taken inspiration for the colors and surfaces, as well as the concept itself, from Fanny Churberg’s 1876 painting “Still Life with Vegetables and Fish.”

Fanny Churberg, still life, 1876.

I love old paintings, so this challenge was made for me. It’s so interesting to examine the brush strokes and think about the 3-dimensional shapes that they are related to. And I have so much to learn in making generative art, that I need small challenges to keep heading forward.

I Will Continue Painting, But …

I am still going to continue painting traditionally but I also want to start a career in new media art. I want to bring back my skills in programming from the years when I was a software engineer and use those for creating art. I also have a degree in Industrial Design that helps a lot with 3D modeling. The grant that I received from The Finnish Cultural Foundation has enabled me to develop my style in new media.

But all this is not only exciting but hard too. Do you know that feeling that comes when you have to start life over again? There is enthusiasm in the air, but also some “oh no”.

Building a CV

For a full-time artist, most opportunities are based on a CV.

That was not a problem when I graduated in software design in 1996. I thought: “I have plenty of time to grow my CV.” Then, when I graduated as an industrial designer in 2009, life seemed to be halfway over, but I was able to get quite a decent CV by combining some old and new projects.

When I started working as a full-time visual artist in 2014, I didn’t think about CVs at all at first.

Paivi Eerola from 2015 with her art journal.

The picture above is from 2015 when most of my art was in art journal pages.

But when I moved forward in painting, the reality hit me – it was very hard to get accepted to exhibitions and organizations without a CV. Mine was practically blank at first, and it has taken a lot of time and effort to add rows to it.

Paivi Eerola and her oil paintings. Art exhibition.

The picture above is from last summer at the exhibition organized by The Albert Edelefelt Foundation. See more pics in this blog post!

New Media Art – New Career?

And just when I thought that life was almost over at the age of 55, this new media digital art came into my life and it hit me – I’m a beginner again with an empty CV. So, I need and want to participate in challenges, competitions, and exhibitions, to get accepted again. And I want to believe that I still have time to create this new kind of art, not only paintings.

Back side view of Paivi Eerola's video artwork "Unstill Still Life." New media art.
Screen capture of my video artwork. View from the back of the scene.
Some leaves of the big plant are connected to an invisible virtual camera that moves around and sends a mirror image to them.

I learn new things about generative art every day and I am amazed that I have been given this long life to experience it. Gratitude is the overriding emotion that emerges from this new beginning. I am lucky in what I have seen in the development of information technology and what I have been able to develop and be involved in developing in the past. I want my future CV to tell the story of a girl who wanted to become an artist as a child, who fell in love with computers as a teenager, and who finally has the artistic vision and the technical tools to combine the two.

Looking Back Enables Seeing Forward

If you have been following my blog for a while, you must have noticed that my blog posts are often self-reflective like this one. Visual art-making needs self-reflection too. It’s useful to go back and see how things have changed to make future changes and take steps forward.

With the newest course Liberated Artist Revisited, I invite you to paint with me – to follow directions from Paivi many years ago, and then create more with the current Paivi. At the same time, you can ponder, how your art-making has changed and will change.

Liberated Artist Revisited - online art course by Paivi Eerola.

Liberated Artist Revisited is a limited edition – only available for purchase until the end of March 2024! >> Buy Now!

8 thoughts on “Artist’s Life – Starting New Media Art

  1. How exciting for you. Making use of the many things you have learned. Looking forward to following your progress.

  2. This is a fantastic and creative entry for you. We all, especially artists, have to keep learning regarding all the new technologies out there that so effect our world. I love your 3D work.
    I’m a bit older than you so I know how it was for me to stay relevant in the art world and with my adult children.

  3. So uniquely and exquisitely you, dearest Päivi. How exciting this new venture will be! Can’t wait to see what you come up with…. ….❣️

  4. This is an exciting new beginning for you and your art, Päivi! I look forward to seeing it, but please tell me how you will display it.

    1. Thank you, Cathy! This kind of art needs a screen, so it’s not for home decor like paintings, but more like a performance that you get to watch.

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