**Projects

How to make $100,000 as a Video Game Artist or Art, Life and Games Lessons from a Former Star Wars Artist – Part 1 – my book is coming out at the end of May ! by Mirena Rhee

The computer is like a bicycle for the mind.., ( Thanks, Steve !). It was a lot more for me because the computer gave me a life. Without the computer I would have been stuck in a kitchen somewhere, just kidding.

Just saying and telling girls everywhere – learn how to use it and learn how to use your mind because when you learn to use the computer and well you get to be around smart people and will get smarter yourself.

And because I was able to use the computer and well and I was all around smart people I was able to go and make a living in the Silicon Valley and make hundred thousand dollars and travel the world and expand my mind and learn and grow. I had a wonderful time and a total ball although at first glance you would think I was just sitting in front of a computer all the time but no, the computer was the gate to the magic kingdom.

I remember going into one of the lead engineers at Lucas’ office and I saw him sitting behind a Mac and I was like what is this, I didn’t know Macs were any good at 3D, and he’s like oh I bootcamped it, so this friend of mine taught me how to use the mac basically having both OS X and Windows installed on it. Then and there I was hooked and I’ve used a Mac ever since, of course I’ve always had a bootcamped Mac and that saved the day many times.

Being a video game artist became a part of my DNA as a fine artist and as a thinker and as a philosopher because I do have a stance and I do think a lot when it comes to life and video games and computers and how to do things and how to do things well, and I’m really into old Masters but I’m also crazy about all the new technology.

When I was growing up I grew up with the worlds of Isaac Asimov and I was constantly on some sort of a voyage in outer space on ships and fantastical planets but I see that a lot of what was in these absolutely imaginary spaceships is becoming a reality today with the computer and really fast chips being able to process incredible amounts of data and having incredible magic available at our fingertips.

So I was really excited to finally make a push and put this book together because it was a totally worth the adventure and I learned a whole lot.

I did my first computer rendering  when 3ds Max was called 3d studio and I think it was version 1.23 or something like that and it was running on DOS. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

So it really has been one miracle after another ever since and although I decided at some point to go into Fine Art full time and just remain in computer graphics as a teacher and freelancer I still really am crazy every time about everything 3D.

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Roadside Attraction by Mirena Rhee

Roadside Attraction is an installation I thought of several years ago as an all American, amusement park type of work, a show on the side of the road or a trailer that could be part of a country art fair. Could be even setup on a remote country road, away from traffic or even in a field. Without and far removed from formal art experiences but using the materials and methods that belong in an artist's studio, and, of course, the provocation. Roadside Attraction was conceived as a spectacle at a truck stop. I have always been fascinated by American truckers, hauling large trailers on American highways. Last year I drove solo 3000 miles from Florida's Space Coast to the Silicon Valley in California where I spent a large portion of my life in a not so distant past. While on the road I had plenty of time to think, especially driving through West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. I am convinced that at that moment I had the tiniest car in all of Texas, In one small dusty town I  suddenly feared that cowboys, who were prowling the nearby hills hunting boar, may actually decide to shoot my tires for fun.

So Roadside Attraction has probably lingered on the back of my head ever since I started moving across the Untied States - I once crossed the States along highway 80 ( Kansas, Colorado, etc) and once along 10 ( Mississippi, Texas, etc ), of course not counting flying. Mississippi had absolutely the worst roads I had ever come across as far as Federal Highways go. I thought I had broken an axel - my little Hyundai was shaking so bad and I was in the middle of nowhere in the deep south with a tiny car full of stuff.

Remember the Giant Hands in Beacon project - one of my favorite projects to do and with great and gentle results by mirena

Month-long, site-specific installation in Beacon, NY, created illegally inside Dennings Point Ruins. Due to the fact that it was created in a State Park - I had to setup from scratch every morning and fold everything every evening, leaving no trace. Hence its ephemeral, and inherently mobile and shifting nature. I apologize to the state of New York for not applying for the permit they would have never given me anyway. That's why I didn't ask. ..................

While hiking in the area I found the most beautiful space - abandoned brick factory which has been taken over by nature.

While passing by I only saw a brick wall, partially collapsed and had no idea the area just around the corner held this amazing environment.

I walked by, the place called me and I answered. It's my magical forest sans the mushrooms. I was in love and spent much time here.

They call the place Dennings Point ruins, I found them much improved though, and much more beautiful. imagine the sheer mundanity of a brick factory building with all the brick making stuff in it. Now it has been beautifully rearranged by nature and you have the most lively soundscape too.

It was made so much more beautiful. …

Art is about a punch to the stomach. I figured what the difference is between art and art, art gives you a punch so when the art is absent and the artist is absent you still hold the image in your head. You say ah!

If there’s no ah it is just making stuff, or being creative which is of course absolutely valid too it just isn’t all that interesting.

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I loved being in this place, in the company of bushes, crickets, birds, wind, greenery, ruins, graffiti, and random humans.

To create a brand new visual experience, and fleeting.

I loved the sounds of the space as well, it's like nature was pushing its way into the building but couldn't take over and get all in.

Plus I had the local bullies come in and complain about the yuppies coming to their town, and to be honest I was scared but not terrified but my friend freaked out so i had to start folding. I will make sure to come alone next time because I do not care to "burn with my art" - this was the only time I have been threatened to be burned with something I created so I feel it was quite special.

And then the cops showed up, they were really nice.

On the other hand the local shuttle driver for the college took us to the bar up the hill completely free and out of the goodness of their heart which was great, and the bar was great too - I loved the food and the ambiance because there was nothing pretentious about it, and with great tasting beer.

Not affiliated by any stretch - but would love to be - Meyer's Olde Dutch Food & Such.