BEGINNER's LUCK by Nicole Ruggiero and Sam Clover Planttdadii
We recently caught up with Nicole Ruggiero and PLANTTDADDII, the Season II Selectees behind BEGINNER'S LUCK - an innovative pilot for an upcoming animation series. Set in the unusual world of Wish N Wash, a quirky laundromat and casino, the show offers a satirical take on the current state of late-stage capitalism. In this world, soap is a rare commodity, forcing the working class to rely on gambling in order to win soap for washing their clothes. With a comedic lens, BEGINNER'S LUCK is just a small take on a longer series that will shine a light on the lives of Wish N Wash regulars, offering a witty commentary on society's daily struggles.
What has it been like to collaborate together on this piece?
The development of the characters, environmental aesthetics, and going over little details we would like to play out in this world have been a fun part of our daily conversations over the last year or so. Living in Brooklyn and doing laundry is no small feat, so I think this is actually just a way for us to cope. It's also interesting how a laundromat is a communal place where locals gather to do a routine task, so we thought it would be interesting to combine such a mundane task with influences from the crypto community, which sometimes feels like the opposite vibe with lots of highs and lows and excitement.
How has your creative practice evolved in this collaboration?
Our collaborative process in 3D involves a lot of push and pull, to be honest. We are both hardheaded and have extremely different styles. In this project, Nicole brings Sam's work into reality, and Sam tones down the more grotesque themes when working with Nicole. Sam also loves to see Nicole explore non-human subjects and random little things. Haha.
BEGINNERS LUCK has a gaming element was that part of the root of the creative exploration or did you start more from a political intention?
There was never really a political intention, nor does politics drive either of our works. While our work inherently reflects our lives as queer women navigating through life, we don't intend to direct any political statements with this piece.
How does gaming play into your work and why is it an important element to you?
The gaming element is something Nicole is really passionate about and has been exploring a lot in her work. So, we thought it would be really fun and interesting to create a world where people are basically just gaming and having fun while doing a mundane task in a world that may sometimes be less than ideal to live in.
Do you see this work being carried out in multiple mediums?
Absolutely! It's a world we want to continue working on. Some of the characters will live both inside this world and independently as well. For instance, Sam's Helpful Sprites collection contains characters that will appear in the show, and Nicole's 3DINTERNET character also exists in some animation independent of the Wish N Wash. We are in the process of creating physical work that represents some of these characters both in and outside of the Wish n Wash. Nicole is also interested in eventually making a game that involves the Wish n Wash.
About the Artists
Nicole Ruggiero is a 3D visual artist based in Queens, NY. Her work revolves around the intersection of technology and culture, with a focus on a diverse range of topics. Lately, Nicole has found herself deeply inspired by retro gaming, character creation, storytelling, the psychology of gambling, and the constantly shifting dynamics of the cryptosphere. When she's not immersed in her art, you might find her playing video games, collecting trading cards, enjoying nature, or spending time with her cats.
Sam Clover aka Planttdaddii is a prolific digital sculptor, her work involves an energetic blend of flora, fauna, and whimsical characters. She uses sculpture to transform hardships and emotions, creating works that allow the viewer to have their own emotional experience. She encourages the viewer to sit with her work and let their own emotions surface.