Spooky Sim!

I was trying to explain to some lovely friends yesterday about my Collaboration with self—that is, my interest in watching an artist avatar I have created in Sims 3, working to achieve acclaim in a simi-professional world. I have been watching what the Sim paints when I control her image-making, and what she paints when she makes the choices herself. My intention is to document influences on her, and how she then influences my own work in the real world.

Deidhre Artist, my current Sim avatar, has reached the top of her professional painter career – here’s a screenshot explaining what she has achieved:


So Deidhre Artist is at the top of her game and commanding excellent prices on the sale of her work!

And surprisingly (maybe even a bit spookily) she is painting rabbits at the moment. Below, screenshots of 4 rabbit paintings. Only one has been controlled by me—the last one, which is a portrait of Deidhre’s plumbot, Jasmine, with a rabbit painting on the wall behind Jasmine’s head. The other three Deidhre has painted of her own ‘free will’.

socialbunny1_web    socialbunny2_squares_websocialbunny3_evil_web    socialbunny_plumbot_web

The order of the shots above are the order in which she has painted the rabbits. The first image is less defined. In the second image she has tried a different technique—an overlaid square pattern, which is a technique she uses for other paintings, both abstract and representational. In the third image the modelling of the head and body are better defined, as is one eye, the nose and the mouth.

The reason why this is a bit spooky is that Chris has a small thing about rabbits, especially evil rabbits—he loved the film Harvey as a kid and we both loved Donnie Darko. My current Facebook profile image is the head of an ‘evil-looking’ rabbit mannequin snapped in Takeshita Dori in Harajuku in Tokyo. We have a growing installation of rabbits in our living room. Another blog post Freaky Friday shows one rogue white rabbit trying to escape. Oh, and I have collected a whole lot of rabbit paraphernalia which is likely to show up in future work, as in one of my first assemblages: Kawaii charm: lucky rabbits.

I know that the image of the rabbit exists in Sims 3. It is the Social Bunny which first appeared in Sims 2 as a character that Sims could interact with if their social need was great (psychiatric therapy for lonely Sims).

I’m just thrilled that that’s what Deidhre is choosing to paint and the fact that she is exploring the image multiple times. And I’m kind of hoping that there are more programmed into her DNA!

Collaboration with self


Deidhre Artist’s Self portrait with graffiti Oil on canvas 100cm x 120cm. NFS

You may know about my obsession with gaming—in particular, creating stuff in Sims 3. I’ve been having fun developing some Sim artists and my intention is to ‘virtually’ collaborate with them.

Deidhre Artist in Isla Paradiso

Deidhre Artist (that’s her name) is one of the artists I have been working with. She lives in the neighbourhood of Isla Paradiso, on a houseboat. After some reading about the way Sims paint, I wanted to see what a Sim would paint if she was given some traits that made her similar to me. She’s a bit of a swat, but she also pretends to be a rebel. She likes the same colours, music and food that I like, and her life aspirations are to become a renowned artist and/or musician (dancing in Sims 3 is relegated to social activity). She has been to university and has completed a degree in Fine Arts.

The screenshot above shows one of her self portraits, completed when she was living on campus at university. She’s also done a couple of interesting beetle and clock paintings and several abstracts featuring coloured squares. You can see she’s been tagging and painting murals on the floor (during her rebellious phase).

Cogito ergo sum

There are times when she seems to think. I’m waiting until she reaches top levels in painting skill and painting career, and then I might let her have some freedom to do what she wants, then watch to see if she develops further without my help. I’ve also given her a trait of ‘photographer’s eye’ but she still needs to develop photographic experience—best if I send her travelling for a while to do that.

I tried to make her look a bit like me. There’s not a lot of scope for physical detailing in Sims 3. I’m looking forward to Sims 4 where you ‘have the freedom to sculpt Sims with tactile precision’.

Here’s a few more screenshots. I’m (She’s) still trying to master the self portrait and will post some more shots when I (she) get(s) it right.


Deidhre Artist’s Still life: Flor de imagination Oil on canvas 75cm x 90cm. $360


Deidhre Artist with Self portrait at night (WIP) Oil on canvas 100cm x 120cm.


Deidhre Artist with Bright beetle (WIP) Oil on canvas 30cm x 45cm.