Art as Personal Reflection image

Art as Personal Reflection Visual artist Josh Pierce explains how he uses Cinema 4D, After Effects and Octane to create surreal, contemplative worlds.

Visual artist Josh Pierce enjoys creating digital worlds where the fantastical and natural meet. Using color and composition to “ignite the senses and spark imagination,” he says his goal is to encourage stillness, calm and peaceful reflection.

Describing himself as a sculptural artist, Pierce prefers to work in 3D and has been using Cinema 4D since his undergraduate days at Rochester Institute of Technology. After honing his skills in the Broadcast Design & Motion Graphics course at SCAD, he moved to Los Angeles to work in the dynamic creative sector.

Mindful creativity became a lifeline for Pierce after finding help and recovery for mental health issues and addiction in his twenties. “I started creating art every day as a kind of meditation, a way to reconnect and ground myself in the present and to grow spiritually”, he says. Pierce continues to practice meditation through art daily and hopes his work will connect others with the same sense of mindfulness and serenity.

Thanks to NFT platforms, what began as personal creative explorations in his spare time has become Pierce’s full-time career. He describes the experience of releasing his work on Nifty Gateway and SuperRare as “mind-blowing,” connecting him to a global community of like-minded individuals who enjoy and value contemplative art.

And the resulting financial freedom has allowed him to shift his professional focus from commercial projects to purpose-led digital art. Recent artwork includes “Peace,” a fundraiser for Ukraine, and the “Meditations” series, which were both made using Cinema 4D, After Effects and Octane.


A symphony of blue and yellow, “Peace” was created in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a way to channel his creativity and process around what was happening. Calling it a “meditative prayer for peace,” he recalls how the still image immediately connected with his followers.

Realizing it could become a focal point for fundraising, he used it to affect real change, and has donated the proceeds to International Rescue Committee to help Ukrainian families in need. The response was overwhelming, raising $10 thousand dollars and selling out in just six hours.

Pierce’s intention with the ongoing “Meditations” series is “to bring about a sense of awareness and presence” to those who see and enjoy his work. The original work that inspired the series belonged to his father, who was recently diagnosed with some concerning health issues, giving the piece a new sense of significance.

Meditation-III | Ananda

Cinema 4D and Pierce’s vast library of natural elements were essential to creating the animated and still canvases in the series. Each landscape begins simply, with displacement deformers, noise shaders, gradients, primitives and sculpting tools laying the foundation of the scene.

C4D’s MoGraph and Octane’s scatter tools are used to layer in detail with effectors controlling placement, and often cutting pathways through the scene or varying the density of plants. Final touches and subtle animations are added in After Effects.

Looking forward, Pierce has plans to evolve his contemplative work with immersive VR and 360 experiences. A recent project with the team at The Artifex Project transformed one of his pieces, “Knowing”, into a meditative forest.

Knowing | Stillness

The immersive piece offers the experience of stillness from inside his art, which Pierce says feels like a culmination of all that he has dreamed about building for a long time.


Helena Corvin-Swahn自由作家–英国