Eternal USA (@eternalusa) is an artist who, living up to his name, is inspired by the sense of eternity he perceives from reality to create his own world beyond it. Art in any of its forms is a way of personal expression in a present time and place — and in this sense, the attitude and freshness of Eternal USA’s creations could not be more current — but it has also been one of the most human ways of aspiring to permanence.
In his animations and 3D works, there are cartoon characters, organic creatures, and environments from another dimension. All of them seem to have emerged in a primordial universe prior to our own. Or maybe parallel. Or maybe later. Or maybe none and all of the above. The concept of time as we know it just loses meaning when we talk about lasting forever.
Chorareii: First, introduce yourself!
Eternal USA: I’m Valley, I direct videos under the name Eternal USA, I’m 22. I grew up outside of a small countryside town in Latvia. The town has a population of around 600 people, so I’ve always been very close to nature.
I lived in London for a few years and recently moved back to Latvia and I’m currently living in the capital, Riga. The visual things I make are connected to the eternal feeling I have. I want to be like Lil B, bring new swag and love to the world.
I want to know about your creative journey. How did you start making art? How have you reached your current style?
I grew up in an artistic environment so I have been doing art for a long time. I created my first animation film when I was 11 and my first 3D simulated animations when I was 12.
I really got into synthesizing physics in the 3D world and that’s what I have been doing until now. I learned all I know on my own through experimentation and information I found on the internet.
I guess I really enjoyed making my own worlds, so it kept pushing me to learn more. I can’t really explain why the things I make end up looking as they are, they take form naturally.
In some of your creations you mention the “Eternal USA World.” What would someone experience or feel if visiting that world?
Eternal USA World is my own world suspended in hyperreality. It’s an amalgamation of hyperreal concepts fueled by occasional but vital injections of reality. It’s a simulation of a simulation. It’s like a dream where you know that you’re dreaming.
In your last projects, you have worked with Tohji. How did this connection happen? What vision unites you?
I met Tohji in London when he invited me to his show hosted by Eastern Margins. It was a fun show and it was nice to hear his music live. I had already liked his work for some time.
When I found his music back in 2018 I thought it’s super fresh and it got me interested in the underground Japanese rap scene. We hung out, got tattoos and he liked my approach to visual art. He said he wanted to collaborate with me on future projects and that’s how it started.
Our vision is connected by the feeling, I think. We want to make something eternal, something with big swag, something for our community.
Working with Tohji is always very organic. It’s easy to work with someone who has a clear visual sense. I think I’m lucky working with someone whose work I respect because we can push each other’s art where it wouldn’t go otherwise.
Your name includes the word “eternal,” and you have used this concept repeatedly in this interview. Is eternity a positive thing? Is there something eternal in the reality that we know?
I think the concept of eternity is unbiased. I try to take influence from good eternal things, like love. I think our reality is influenced by many eternal things, outside of time. It might be hard to visibly see them here, but I’m sure you can feel it.
Besides Tohji, you have also worked with other musicians. What does music mean to you as an artist? How is it reflected in your work?
Music is something I always loved to geek about, it has always been important to me. Music made by my friends is also very important for me — Thrilliam Angels, VACACA, Zhuriss OG.
When I’m working on a video or a visual with a musician the first thing I think about is how the visuals will flow together with the music. What visual symbolism the song calls for, the vibe of the track, what visual style would work best for it. After that, it’s just about mediating.
What things, artists, places … inspire you?
I gain most of my inspiration from my friends, nature, and God. Recently some of my ideation has come from Latvian tribal pagan mythology and its nature-based Gods as well as Christianity and Muslim faith.
I also like reading about metaphysics and Hermeticism. I’m inspired by the paleolithic culture and its symbolism and slightly less by modern industry.
In your work there are amphibian creatures, angels … they make me think about the evolution of species and humanity. In what direction do you think the human being is evolving? How important is art on this path?
I’d rather not answer this question. I feel like we will all definitely become angels one day.
Tell me about your future projects, please!
I am going to build a big gothic castle from stone. Also, I’m working on a couple of sick projects right now that are gonna drop soon.