Not that robot model bullshit! ❤︎ OPALSLUTUNIVERSE

Janice Prempeh is the digital artist behind Opal Slut Universe.

All images created by Janice Prempeh

interview by Emma

 
 

What are people’s reactions to Opal?

People's reactions to Opal range from surprisingly pleasant to, for me, egregiously inconceivable. I think my followers generally understand my work with Opal as some sort of expression of the crossroads of blackness, sexuality, and the-life-of-a-person-who's-perceived-as-a-woman. Although I will say I never meant for Opal to be an expression of any kind of sensuality/sexuality, but I guess it's cute that people would be happy to interpret that and with a positive connotation, especially when it inspires them to take more of an active role in processing their own sexual autonomy/expression.

But there's also the negative and very wack connotation where people without, in my opinion, any critical thinking skills, literally reduce her to a sex doll, which I don't understand at all. Like... the first thing you see when you see a depiction of a woman who isn't ashamed of her body is that she must have been created for the sole purpose of fulfilling someone else's (assumedly cishet-male) sexual desires? Again: INCONCEIVABLE.

Honorary mentions are people who are disgusted because they think she's supposed to be a "sexy' 15 year old or something, people who think my portrayal of a black girl is weird compared to just using/paying an actual black girl (even though I'm an actual black girl + they wouldn't complain about painters' depictions of people hanging in museums...), and people who tell me I personally am not a real person because they think I'm literally trying to trick them into believing I'm Opal. Juicy!!

 

Something you are self conscious about:

I'm self-conscious about speaking Swedish out loud, having sex, where I am in life vs. where I'd like to be.....

 

What other forms of art are you interested in, what artists are you inspired by?

I was such a huge high fashion kid in my particularly formative years that I think that that's always gonna be a huge part of my subconscious inspiration. Other than that, the most inspiring artists to me are the collective of girls/femmes/etc existing who use their own or other people's bodies as valid forms of expression.

 
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I always love the music you pair with your 3d videos! Daniel Caesar, Infinite Bisous ! So dreamy. What are a few of your current favorite songs?

At some point I realized a large part of why I was doing animations was to include my favorite music and spread it to what masses I can, so thank you for validating that!! Lmao here's a Top 10 (absolutely painful to whittle it down to 10 btw)

1. Broken Hours- Iceage

2. One Rizla - Shame

3. Judge - (Sandy) Alex G

4. Lies - Sorry

5. Like Mariah - Homeshake

6. Christian Brothers - Elliot Smith

7. Nausea - Diät

8. My Wild Love - The Doors

9. Kidding Around - Kurt Vile

10. Florida Breeze- Marching Church

 
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Favorite movies?

I barely watch movies honestly. Black Panther was dead valid though.

 

What do you usually have for breakfast?

In a perfect world it's open-faced veggie sandwiches made by my best friend everyday, but in this realm of existence it's usually nothing [ :( ] or cereal.

 

Do you prefer to hang out with someone, or with yourself?

I like hanging out with people, but not for the sake of just hanging out with anyone. I enjoy my close friends' company near as much as I do my own, but you'd be hard-pressed to see me making time for anyone who I don't at the very least see myself becoming good friends with. In that case, I'd rather stay home and hang out with myself.

 

Can you explain the part of your bio that says “and not that robot model bullshit either”?

I guess 3D art is something new to people, so the only way they can process the work is through the lens of what little they already know. That tends to be the work of a few online personalities who have a much bigger platform than I do, who also use 3D work for their purposes... and who push the narrative that their digital images are actually real life robots??? lmfaoo!! Never in my life have I ever wanted to be associated with that sort of thing, and although I'm not like wont to just outright explain to hundreds of people a day how I do what I do, I think the robot thing is gimmicky and ugly for what I'm trying to accomplish. Whatever though, they making their bread so more power to them. As for the digital model thing specifically, I just think it's a tacky thing for me to present. I just really don't find making visuals with Opal would be any  different (in terms of intent) than if my medium were paint or clay, but no one ever gives painters or sculptors that same sort of treatment as far as I know. I know the verisimilitude thing really gets people riled the fuck up or whatever, but I think it strips a lot of what I find important about my work away from it to just be like "Oh I get it she's supposed to be a digital model to replace real life models," as opposed to an extension of how I perceive myself. Especially considering that that sort of thing lends itself to people forgetting entirely that someone sat there behind a screen staring at blue light and forgetting to eat all day before they've even consumed the content that they're commenting on. At the end of the day though, there's no reason for anyone to care about how I feel about myself, so I guess that's that on that.

 

 
 

How did you get into 3D rendering? How did you learn how to do it?

Ever since my first conscious exposure to what 3D work was, I always thought it would be a cute mode of self-portraiture. A pivotal moment for me was seeing an iridescent 3D printed model of Juliana Huxtable at the New Museum a few years ago, now that I'm thinking about it. That shit was ode fire. Eventually I found Blender, which has a crazy dedicated community of people who make accessing knowledge so easy, and I slowly learned more and more from there. The learning curve is steep though, I almost quit myself until I really zeroed in on at least an idea of what I felt I wanted to do with it. Without that it just felt entirely too overwhelming. But here I am!! Yay!

If you had to sum up your current outlook on life it would be:

That there is no one true universal code of morality and selfishness is subjective... live ya life, hot babeee

 
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Thank you Janice <3 / find opal’s instagram here