Imaginary Awakenings Part I

So I have always wanted to create a series of connected artworks for a while. I usually start on the first illustration in whatever series I'm thinking of creating or get to the second one and lose interest after that. Back in early December I decided to take another stab at it and this time I wanted to focus less on characters like Disney villains, or Greek Gods and more on a specific idea or set of themes. Until recently most of my artwork focused on things that I thought looked cool. That was always the main idea, just to make something that was awesome looking, or beautiful or bad ass. Perhaps that's why these ideas of making a series never panned out for me, I didn't have enough conceptual scenery to chew on to keep myself interested.

Something that has fascinated me for a while is the concept of the singularity, the convergence of human consciousness and technology. I find the idea that one day we could be so inextricably linked to our technology so interesting. What does that world look like and what are the implications of such an occurrence? I decided that this idea was the one I really wanted to explore artistically. And that's what Kaku no Sekai no Sakura was born out of. That roughly translates to Cherry Blossoms of the Imaginary World in Japanese.

I had nightmares about flower petals for weeks while working on this!

I had nightmares about flower petals for weeks while working on this!

I had never attempted this in Photoshop. It's very simple but very annoying to make look decent.

I had never attempted this in Photoshop. It's very simple but very annoying to make look decent.

The concept for this illustration was pretty simple since it's the first entry of this series. A Japanese girl dressed in a traditional kimono, who is not quite human, existing in an imaginary world. The idea was to mix elements true to life with obvious digital elements like the circuitry on her face, her eyes, the symbol on her forehead, and the breaks in the image showing the sterile reality underneath the highly details work. Thematically I didn't want to be overly ambitious, but technically this was at the time my most labored illustration with the most detail I have ever attempted. I got to try out a lot of different techniques, many that wont be noticed at first glance like the designs in her eyes or my attempt at replicating a traditional Japanese ink painting in the background. But overall I think it's a good first step for this series. It's a simple concept that I enjoyed exploring. The other entries in the series get a bit more elaborate as I delve further down this rabbit hole, but I'll save that for another day.