Those of you who know me know I’m inspired a lot by music and lyrics. Many of my works are visualized with specific lyrics or song feelings in mind. For instance, I recently made “It’s Only” with relation to ODESZA’s song “It’s Only”, “184, Let’s Burn it Down” with relation to Coheed & Cambria’s “Vic the Butcher”, “Our Names in Lights” with relation to Two Friends’ “Our Names in Lights”, “Parting” with relation to Mitis’ “Parting”, just to name a few.
This particular work was inspired by Crywolf’s “Windswept”, which it is named after.
But in my head
I am still there
I can still feel you
I’ve known this dream for a long time
In the air
With thousands of words we’ve spoken
Can I soar?
Up through the clouds?
Leave all of this behind?
I did a bunch of sketching on this one but ultimately wasn’t happy with a lot of my thumbnails. I did a bunch of other pictures in the meantime, like my two works for the month of pride, as I tried to churn over the mechanics of what I wanted to say in my head and how I wanted it to convey on… digital paper. I did a bunch of research in relation to poses I might have wanted to use.
I also did some research “out in the wild”, you could say, as when I was driving I came across miles of grassy areas flanking some of the roads near my house close to the highway. The thing that made these areas special was that they were absolutely covered with white daisies, and when I drove through, they looked suspiciously a lot like the chamomile fields I depict in some of my drawings. I went out one day when it was downpouring and got soaked through running into the forest to get some photos of the foggy atmospheric perspective of these areas, but I forgot my shutter was set to be open for 2 seconds and didn’t review them before leaving, so I ended up with some crappy blurry photos.
But I went back the next day when I was tortured with not having these potentially perfect reference photos. While I didn’t get the cool blue-green atmospheric perspective from the day before produced by the fog, I did still get a slew of beautiful reference photos to work from. And they inspired me to keep going and lay out the composition and everything to get the work going.
Around this area I couldn’t generate any great reference photos for this weirdly dynamic pose I had chosen. After looking at it for a long time, I decided there were other poses that would work better for what I was trying to convey and the sort of mood I was going to capture. I ultimately whittled down to two poses that both said two very different things — one was a very “hmph, well that’s a thing” feeling, looking like listening to something that may not be there, fondly looking back on a memory, as some of this might convey. But ultimately I chose the darker, more somber, lonely pose that showed there was pain in these memories, for one reason or another.
There’s a big jump here from those work in progress pictures above to the final work. If you watch the timelapse video, I actually stopped before I finalized a lot of things such as Falco’s sword (which I redrew), and the addition of some lines and effects.
One thing I struggle with when doing timelapse videos is with works like this one where trying to capture the whole process is close to impossible — starting and stopping the screencapture recording is often a thing I forget. I do a lot of “pecking” at my more complete artworks. I’ll work on it for hours at a time, or work at it for a couple of minutes when I pass by or have time before work. Since this piece took roughly 12 hours to create, I did a lot of making, letting it sit, and coming back to it. I ended up with 8 separate timelapse screencapture recordings, which still weren’t enough. I’d say in total I sat for maybe 20-25 sessions pecking at this piece here and there. Most of my timelapse videos which go from beginning to end are single session works, but I challenged myself with this one by groaning every time I started the screen recording process; things feel different and you feel a bit more under pressure when it’s recording, whether or not the actual process is invasive.
Hopefully I did OK and the timelapse video doesn’t jump around too much, although I am aware of areas where I did jump around and you don’t get to see the entire process from beginning to end. Either way, hopefully you enjoy the video — especially the cool track by LASERS I found to go with it.