Wednesday, January 20, 2016

:ashes to ashes:

As stated last week, David Bowie's passing both stunned and inspired me. I had the ripples of some artwork idea at the end last week's blog entry, but it suddenly came to me while in traffic on Friday morning, of all time and places. Another reason why I always have something with me to write or scribble on.

It's not too difficult to see that outer space was often an inspiration or subject matter for a lot of Bowie's work. I had that on my mind, plus the not uncommon quip from some people that he didn't die, he just returned to his home planet. So it wasn't far from there to see him as evolving like Dave Bowman (whoa - is that name a coincidence??) at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey (of which the title of his breakthrough song "Space Oddity" played on).

By far the easiest way would've been to just make a digital photo collage of the elements, but I wanted to actually create it from scratch. I drew the Earth directly in Photoshop, using my underutilized Wacom tablet. It was hard to stop from drawing more clouds at one point.

At first the biggest obstacle in choosing a Bowie reference was which look to use, as he was inventive with his appearance to say the least. But I ended up looking for a shot that at least had a profile that fit into my concept.

I wasn't confident enough with the tablet to draw it onscreen as well, so I went back to pencils. I chose to do white on black, the opposite would've worn a black pencil (and probably my hand) down to a little nub.

I combined the elements in Photoshop and added some effects. I'm pleased with how it came out, and how quickly it was done as well. Of course I could continue to work on it indefinitely, but as ever I have to learn when to say "enough."

I didn't create it with sales in mind, but a few people so far expressed a desire for copies of it, so it is now available as such (and other ephemera) on my deviantArt page.

The sad event inspired me to create, but it also inspired me to keep on doing so. It seems apparent that Bowie was well-aware of his limited time and worked right up until his exit. We should all aspire to be so dedicated with our lives, even if we don't know when our actual expiration date is.