99/365 :: The End of The World is Surprisingly Quiet
April 17, 2010 § 2 Comments
In the movies we see this end of the world scenario in an urban setting; cars thrown around, buildings destroyed and crumbling, people fleeing and screaming…
It occurred to me, what if you were somewhere completely remote, how would you really know it’s the end of the world?
I liked the movie 2012 because of two scenes that I really identified with. The first was the crazy radio guy who went towards the impending doom for the sheer rush of seeing that kind of destruction until finally being killed by it. The second was the Tibetan monk, who saw the massive wave come over the mountain and sat there with his tea, knowing he was powerless to stop it. In both cases they didn’t run away, they didn’t try and save their lives. I think that’s how I would go. I’m a survivalist to the end, but at a certain point you have to accept it and enjoy watching the carnage.
I don’t like to explain art because I feel it ruins the mental exploration of the piece, the questions the viewer is supposed to ask him/herself are to be found, not given.
On the other hand, in the spirit of teaching others I do find it useful to know how things are made and why, so.
My goals were simple and broad, initially:
- Non-typical end of the world scenario
- warm and peaceful
- calm, despite the impending.
I wanted a forest, since it’s the opposite of the urban. The mountains just kind of came as a way of blocking in the horizon and adding depth. Initially, I didn’t even have a sun and the shadows were very noon-day directly underneath.
The result, I feel, wasn’t nearly apocalyptic enough; it could very easily be a normal sunset. I liked the story, the question I posed to myself “what would this look like?” but the end result was somewhat generic. I do like that the massive sun has an intense solar radiation feel to it, like it’s just burning everything in it’s way. Perhaps I could have added something to the tower without being cliche (everything in movies starts on fire for no apparent reason.) but since nothing in the forest would have knocked it over (meteorite? ) I couldn’t really do that.
I didn’t purposefully try to emulate the Matthew Lyons vibe, but it kind of turned out that way. I like it, I’d definitely like to get better at illustration in that style. Also related: Samurai Jack.