I am not sure what your first reaction was to seeing the works of Cherry Manga.
For me, seeing an artist push the norms, to go beyond the limits and push it a little to create the element of “strange” thought provoking art captivated me.
Cherry’s art reminds me of Nanomi Cowdroy who creates pen and ink art works that combine her Japanese and European heritage with a modern sensibility. Nanomi is an illustrator but she captures the same “strangeness” which stimulates all those damaged neurons in my brain. https://www.creativityfuse.com/2010/11/striking-ink-illustrations-by-nanami-cowdroy/
I find Cherry Manga’s work fascinating and wanted to ask her a few questions, to highlight her work. Art that lies in the deep recesses of your mind. And when viewed, it seems to all make perfect sense.
MM - Is opensim or virtual reality a source of inspiration, a place for expression, and if both, what are you seeing or feeling that makes you want to express yourself?
CM - Drawing, painting, sculpting clay, were hobbies I used to practice a lot before THE tool arrived in my life. With my first computer, an entire new world appeared, it became immediately the media I felt in love with, I started with the default programs such as Paint and movie maker to experiment new ways to create.
Then, in 2007, I logged in Second Life and wow.....immersion in art, build in 3D, it was a blast, I knew it was the beginning of a long story.
The most inspiring was to learn to use new tools, they gave me opportunities to express ideas I wouldn't be able to visualize without the technique itself, and then creating a little world where one can immerse was a totally new feeling to apprehend art. Opensim was a very important step, I met tech guys, they pushed me to learn further, we had incredible collaborations, it's a perfect place to grow, artistically and also humanely.
Being immersed in art provides strong feelings one can compare to meditation, when I use the oculus headset and I paint in TiltBrush, seeing the drawing reacting to the music I listen, it's like being in a place that only exists in the mind, a dream, a travel, that offers me joy and peace.
MM - How do you select what to share, and what not to share?
CM - If I could, I would just share everything, creations, but also knowledge, I don't, because of the lack of time, and also (and I hate it) to pay fees on SL for example, I have to sell some.
MM - What music do you listen to express your art when you create?
CM - It's wide...When not very focused on the sounds itself, I like to listen to webradios, such as
SomaFM's Fluid, or my own playlists...But some projects were driven by the music for example,
La Collection and Childhood were created with Cocorosie's albums, Strange Garden with Sainkho Namtchylak and Heilung... and of course the collaborations with musicians such as MorlitaM for different projects, Christine Webster for the Fest'Avis and most recently with JadeYu Fhang who made the musical background of State of Mind.
MM - When mesh arrived how did that enhance your creations? Do you prefer working with Mesh vs prims?
CM - Mesh was like any new tool, a joy to discover and explore. I don't make a big difference between prims and mesh, they are both a great way to create, they don't have the same specifications and of course, mesh is useful for organic, round lines, that are
sharper with prims. I'm just waiting for the « mind tool », you think of a shape, it appears !:)
MM - Do you create the clothing seen on the characters? I love the skirts you have created. My favorite is the Swan avatar. Please explain how you create the beautiful skirts.
The legs too, like the swan or bird avatar, how were those created?
CM - Before knowing how to make sculpt and mesh, I used a lot of full perm prefab to include in the creations, the skirt and the Swan's legs were made with this kind of sculpty, the bird was one of the first self-made mesh. Now I do all myself, using opensource resources, such as MB-Lab.
MM - Please tell us about the different events where we have seen your art, what has been your favorite exhibit?
CM - It's impossible to prioritize, each had its emotion, they all are part of a space-time.
Fest'Avi was the biggest adventure, several years of existence, an intense collaboration, it was the most challenging project.
Toxic Geisha, Fest'Avi 2015
AdA, Fest'Avi 2016
MM - When you visualize the idea, how then do you proceed to create the character?
CM - I think of the emotion I want to tell about, searching the good shapes, textures, effects, and I try to be as close as possible, being quite bad with Blender, I find my way avoiding heavy technique by hijacking the tools. Sometimes it's really fast to reach the goal, sometimes it takes many tries and uploads inworld:)
MM - What have been your favorite reactions to your art?
CM - The ones that don't flatter the ego, but push me to move on, and trust myself to continue.
MM - What has been your favorite character to create?
CM - Probably Line of Light avatar, I still wear it, the moving line has something hypnotizing, I use it very often in current works.
MM - Please describe a RL event that inspired you.
CM - Every event is part of the story, life is the inspiration in its whole, every joy, pain, everything.
MM - What themes do you pursue?
CM - Human kind, the human condition and Nature are the base of my work. It's mostly my own stories I am building, sometimes it's hard to find out for the viewer, hidden in surreal or abstract, but sometimes it's very obvious and raw. Creating is an outlet, an antidote to neurosis.
MM - If you could have any super power what would that be and why?
CM - Teleportation ! You all know why :)
MM - Please describe what you would love to see in the art world and why?
CM - The furthest from real constraints. We have the chance to experiment the 3rd dimension, I'd like to see more works freed from gravity, less 2D buildings, the more it's strange, better it is. Some creators are shy to show their depth, and they tend to show only their inner light, but it's the perfect place to push limitations and explore our own complexity.
MM - Favorite or most inspirational place?
CM - There are many, but if I have to choose, any installation by Claudia222 Jewell.
MM - Who is your favorite artist?
CM - I don't have one, the interest in one artist or another varies over time, the works resonate at the right time. The artistic current that never ceases to move me is surrealism .
Please visit the works of Cherry Manga located at Franco Grid https://opensimworld.com/hop/78650
Mari entered OpenSim in 2015 as a resident of a grid in Canada, called to manage their magazine as an Editor, thereby meeting her future partner Reyn Softly.