Despite their different looks, most of Stern's Lava Babies, all considered self-portraits, have one thing in common: they are hot – by choice. A deliberate decision that allows the artist and her babies to reclaim ‘hotness’ as a concept of self-expression rather than solely a reaction to a male point of view. Through her work Stern tells stories about her life: her experiences, her fears and fantasies. To do so, the artist allows herself to take on a variety of guises: from a high heel to a sharp dog to an erotic warrior. By combining her visual language of the digital age with oil-on-canvas techniques, the artist skillfully blends the past and the present, the traditional and the new. We had the chance to talk to the New York City-based artist and ask her some questions about her practice and her interest in gaming culture.