Gutless Wonder creates eye-popping CG illustrations and 3D sculptures. With intricate patterns and vivid colours, her work brings to mind psychedelia, religious iconography and tribal art.
The mixed media artist graduated from Bournemouth University in 2013 with a Master’s degree in computer animation. Her fascination with virtual worlds and characters was born out of researching the porn industry while studying an art degree and discovering online role-playing game World of Warcraft.
“My fine art degree was spent creating work in response to research on pornography – particularly the influence of the internet on the porn industry and its distribution,” she says. “This research led me to become interested in exploring interaction online and the impact it has had on human experiences and relationships.”
“At the same time I was introduced to – and spent a lot of time playing – World of Warcraft. This game blew my mind! I became fascinated by the concept of virtual worlds where people could connect from across the globe. I also looked into platforms like Second Life and read books such as Second Lives: a Journey through the Virtual World by Tim Guest. The potential to reinvent yourself online and not be defined by the skin you are in delights and inspires me.”
Gutless Wonder’s work spans animation, CG illustration and 3D objects. Her project Happiness Figures (see lead image) explores how to project “optimum happiness” in a sculpture.
“Happy Figures are designed to make people smile so that they can feel good to be alive. I have 3D printed them and am currently exploring a number of materials for final execution. It occurred to me that it might be good if they were like jelly so that you could poke them and they would wobble,” she says.
She recently undertook a residency at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy where she created 3D printed ‘Happy Hearts’ (shown above) and created a poster for Pride’s Love Happens Here campaign by agency WCRS.
“I spend as much time as possible working on my own projects, which may be for exhibitions, publishing online or most recently, I’ve been creating an app in collaboration with The Crafty Robot,” she says. “I am also a freelance 3D artist and have done commercial work for agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy and Droga5.”
Her work explores some deep themes – humanity, spirituality and optimism – but Gutless Wonder tries not to take herself (or her art) too seriously. Her latest project Selfie Sticks is a light-hearted critique of our obsession with selfies and self curation.
“I take a 3D scan of my face on my phone and use this to create a sculpture in the style of a religious artefact. It is inspired by the abundance of selfies and self curation online and asks if we are in an age of self-worship rather than worshipping gods or celebrities. I would like to make loads of these and scatter them across the globe,” she explains.
Gutless Wonder often posts new projects and creative experiments on Instagram. Her profile recently caught the eye of Diesel creative director Nicola Formichetti and she created an animation for his fashion brand Nicopanda.
The range of art – and artists – that have inspired Gutless Wonder is diverse: “I have a library of second-hand books behind my desk which range from titles such as Palaeolithic Cave Art [to] Michael Whelan’s Works of Wonder, A History of Jewels, Art of the Byzantine Era and Graffiti World. I draw my inspiration from the creations of other humans from all ages and all over the world,” she adds.
New Talent is part of Inspire, a year-long partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. More advice and inspiration for creatives using Facebook and Instagram is available at www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub. You can see more of Gutless Wonder’s work at gutlesswonder.me or follow her on Instagram (@gutlesswonder).