Nicole Ruggiero is a 3D visual artist influenced by 90s to modern-day internet culture. We talked about her new Instagram collective
Post Vision and how hashtag trends have influenced her work.
How did post vision come about? what inspired you to do it on Instagram?
Well, I talk to a lot of artists just in general and I was thinking it would be a cool idea to start an artists’ collective on Instagram of all the people who are creating art inspired by the internet. I think that’s how a lot of us met in the first place, and I felt like there wasn’t really a home where artists could be heard alongside their art.
“my heart’s in your hand please understand please understand please understand?”
“hey i’ve been thinking about you…yeah…mhm…can i call you later? wanna cyber ??”
You’ve only been doing 3D art for four or five months? That’s incredible. How did you build up to doing this type of work?
So, I’ve been working with the Adobe Suite for a very long time, since I was about 12. I taught Photoshop to myself around then. I went to school for graphic design and I recently became very interested in 3D art and the communities that surround it. All of my 3D knowledge is self-taught.
How have online communities played a role in your digital experience?
Online communities have played a major importance. I’m a moderator of a pretty popular group on Facebook called New Aesthetic, and a few other accounts on Instagram and Tumblr helped me out a lot when I first started.
When did you first get on the internet and when did you start using it as a creative medium?
I had a really rough childhood that was very emotionally difficult for me because my parents weren’t really around that much due to some serious drug addictions. The internet was a place I felt comfortable being myself. Now, I feel a really strong connection to it because of that. I started frequenting art forums when I was about 12.
How has the internet influenced your everyday experience?
I think that we’re really enabled to be connected since we have an internet connection almost anywhere because of our phones. There’s a negative stigma attached to this, but it’s more about choice. Just because you’re not interacting with a situation occurring directly in front of you doesn’t mean you’re not affecting someone or something elsewhere. That’s the beauty of the internet.
How have hashtags influenced your work? What themes have they inspired you to explore?
Hashtags are pretty important because they define what we create. Most of the hashtags I use fall under the umbrella term “postinternet,” which means existence after or because of the internet. It’s a very dynamic and expandable term. Hashtags that I sometimes use that fall under the term “postinternet” are #vaporwave, #seapunk and #witchhouse.
Vaporwave specifically has influenced me because of its inherent themes. Although it lacks self-awareness, I think a lot can be learned by noticing trends that frequent the culture…mainly consumerism (meme culture) and historical internet references (Windows 98). As technology develops and artists continue to create using these newer technologies, vaporwave will die and be replaced by a newer hashtag.
Although these hashtags will be replaced, the umbrella term “postinternet” will remain until something is developed that has an even greater affect on society than the internet currently has. I don’t know what that will be.
“2 cutegirls” Collaboration with Abi Laurel.
Is there anything you wish people knew about your work?
I guess this isn’t so much about my work but more of advice for aspiring artists. One of my good friends once told me, “you just gotta be yourself.” It was probably one of the most important things anyone has ever said to me. Even though it’s scary sometimes, it’s true. If you like something, then post it. If you don’t, wait until you make something you do. Find yourself, find what inspires you. Don’t stop until you do; don’t stop until you’re happy.