Spanish artist Gala Mirissa is a quintessential digital polyglot whose work spans mediums and software but whose subject matter often remains focused on the balance of feminine strength and fragility. Working across still and animation, digital and physical, Gala continues to expand her practice into newer mediums like projection mapping. Most recently, she has contributed original artwork to actor Jennifer Esposito’s web3 film project, Fresh Kills.
We sat down over a nice, warm Google Doc to discuss the balance between her singular focus on femininity amid her otherwise restless artistic practice. Gala is based in Barcelona and Reus (Tarragona).
Brady Walker: Your recent work draws inspiration from some of the Western world’s most renowned artworks. What was the inspiration behind this series of reinterpretations?
Gala Mirissa: I was interested in exploring how iconic artists like Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, and Vincent van Gogh would intersect with the realm of artificial intelligence and its impact on their work. Merging traditional art with AI revitalizes both mediums. AI amplifies creativity, offering new tools for artists to delve into unexplored areas while preserving our cultural legacy. This blend encourages innovation, pushes the envelope, and maintains the enduring significance of art in our fast-changing society.
BW: Most of your pieces center on female subjects, which makes your PAINFUL series a distinct departure. Can you shed some light on this series?
GM: PAINFUL is perhaps my most introspective series. While I’ll continue to craft more pieces centered on women, I might also introduce some male subjects to probe deeper into a range of emotions and sentiments. Yet, as an artist, I’m constantly drawn to novel perspectives and I’m especially captivated by emerging technologies. Our contemporary world necessitates constant evolution. It’s imperative that we keep adapting and harnessing new trends to articulate our artistic visions.
BW: Over the past year, you’ve significantly incorporated AI into your work. Can you share the tools you rely on?
GM: Currently, I’m pursuing a master’s degree in AI, which I hope to complete soon. I realized the importance of embracing and adapting to the current era, particularly given the exhilaration of experimentation. My primary focus might be applying AI in innovative animation techniques. I leverage a myriad of tools, but Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and Runway are my go-tos. I frequently pair them with After Effects or Photoshop.
BW: What has AI enabled you to craft that you hadn’t envisioned prior to its introduction into your work?
GM: I haven’t yet crafted that one definitive piece that I could never have conceived without AI. However, what truly astounds me is the breadth of corrective options I have if I’m unsatisfied with an animation effect. Beyond that, I believe there’s much room for progress in animation techniques. Although AI is capable of generating 3D animations, many of them bear striking resemblances to one another.
BW: Over the past year, has your perspective on using AI for art evolved?
GM: Absolutely. My feelings about AI have fluctuated, sometimes positive and sometimes negative. However, I believe we must accept that AI is here to stay. Ignoring its presence is like swimming against the tide. As a digital artist, I initially preferred Adobe Photoshop over AI, only to realize that AI elements are integrated within such software. How can we deny that AI is becoming omnipresent? If you don’t adapt, you risk becoming obsolete. Ultimately, artists should harness AI as just another tool in their toolkit.
BW: Lately, I’ve seen a cartoonish style emerge in works like STRAWBERRIES, AVA, ELEGANCE AND POWER, and GOLDEN MUSE. Are you planning to expand on this style?
GM: That style originated from commissions I received from a record label. They wanted animated videos with that aesthetic, and I found it captivating, prompting me to explore it further on MakersPlace. However, I’ve always prided myself on versatility and my passion for experimenting with new styles. For me, every new style is a fresh professional challenge that I find invigorating. While I run an animation services company and cater to diverse client demands, as an artist, I personally resonate more with the dark and emotional undertones of Painful. Balancing artistic passion with professional demands is vital in this competitive market.
BW: Given the breadth of your portfolio, do you feel there’s a unifying theme across your works?
GM: Definitely. It’s my drive to constantly push my boundaries and to continually create.
BW: Last time we talked, you discussed projection mapping and your interest in more immersive art. How’s that coming along?
GM: 2023 has proven challenging in many ways, particularly financially, making it tough to invest as much as I’d like in that project. While I need to maintain my commitments to record labels, projection mapping remains a dream I’m keenly pursuing.
BW: Building on that, can you tell us about your most ambitious current project?
BW: Over the past year, what’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
GM: A bit tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve learned to trust technology more than people. It’s been a year of personal letdowns, and these experiences have shaped my growth and will soon manifest in my art.
BW: Why do you think humans are driven to create art?
GM: At its core, it’s about ego. We have an innate drive to create, and artists seek to evoke emotions in audiences through their work. We thrive on it. Fundamentally, we are beings with a touch of vanity. That’s why I believe artists shouldn’t fear AI. Genuine creativity can’t be usurped by technology. Instead, artists will master these tools to further their craft.