Ruskin Profile: Callym Cooke

Tell us a bit about yourself?

IMG_1865_edited_mid_2My name is Callym, and I’m a 2nd year Fine Artist at St Hugh’s. My artistic interests cover a wide range of topics, spanning from my explorations of time as a social construct last year to my current obsession with the heat death of the universe, but one thing that ties them together is my use of 3D modelling and digital rendering. I use these technologies to create stills and animations that have a physical plausibility – under the surface they use physical models of light to create images with photorealistic potential. This allows me to explore how I can use light and shadow to create interesting digital spaces that (hopefully!) immerse the viewer.

How do you go about creating a piece of art?

digital1After I have found something that I am interested in, be it an idea that I want to explore (like the heat death, or the social constructs of the passage of time, or just a general aesthetic that I am interested in exploring), I try to develop a mental mood-board of how I want the piece to end up, which involves some key choices which have to be made very early on in thedigital2 process, such as the medium I am going to use, whether it will be a series or not, to what colours or I am aiming for.

Because of the wide range of interests I have, I find it very useful to have a few rules to guide my artistic practice (and life!) One of the key ones is to not take myself too seriously. I think this is key in my work, as my interests involve some quite dense topics, sometimes I find it a constant struggle to balance them out with less serious aspects. Another one is my obsession with my “aesthetic” – the look and feel of my work. This is something that spans across all the work I make, with them all playing off a very similar set of aesthetic influences in different ways. 

How does your artistic practice influence your everyday life?

I think one of the big differences between a Fine Art course and the other courses that you can study at the digital3Ruskin is how personal your artistic practice is compared to the academic practices of other subjects. Because of this extremely personal aspect, your art becomes your life, and I think for most people, their artistic practice is so intrinsically tied up to their everyday life that they directly inform each other.

My use of digital technology and my interest in the internet as a platform for my art means that I am extremely interested in how culture develops in this new realm. We are spending more and more of our time on the internet, connected to a global network in which culture and fashion and ideas can spread faster than they have ever been able to spread before, and it is only natural that this would lead to a rise of subcultures that only exist on the internet. Seapunk is probably the most famous one, and probably the one that influences me the most, having been described as a “web-joke with music”, which fits in with my not-too-serious outlook on life, and it gives me a great excuse to wear loads of blues and holographics!

Where can we find your work?v1

I try to keep my website up to date (, and sometimes I post “teasers” on my Twitter account (@callymcallym).