By Cynthia Mendez
“Catching Stars” is the product of two combined interests coming to life in an interactive installation. Users interact with the space by moving their hands in order to collect stars projected onto a wall. After a certain amount of points, the installation’s interface changes colors similar to that of a light show. As life in NYC can be stressful, this installation seeks to be a means for the user to relax, have fun and enjoy themselves.
Art for me is, above all else, a form of stress relief. If I don’t have fun with my art or take pride in the process behind what I produce, then I have no hopes in expecting anyone to enjoy my work as a whole. Having a passion for illustration, game and character design as a hobby since childhood, I often wondered if pursuing art – specifically digital illustration and design – as a career would eventually be the right path for me to take. To this day, however, I’ve remained adamant that my art should be a means to keep me content and going down any sort of professional route would most definitely take what I love and turn it into a chore.
My work is not a political statement. It is not a means to criticize others. As I’ve gone through many hardships in life, living in one of the most stressful cities in the country, my work reflects upon the basic human desire for escapism and the need to unwind and relax for a change. I’ve touched upon a number of mediums to achieve this, from film, to photography to even traditional painting. But no matter what, I always gravitate back toward playing games and creating art on a computer.
As an avid gamer, my love for video games in particular also serves as a main inspiration for my work. As I approach interactive installation, a field of art completely new to me, I seek to continue and expand upon my methods of stress relief, with the goal of one day being able to successfully combine my passion for illustration and my love for gaming.