The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells, has long been one of my favorite stories. On the one hand, it is a troubling allegory reflecting on the degrading and dehumanizing effects of severe social stratification, and on the other hand, it is an awe-inspiring adventure that simultaneously embraces horror while leaving room for hope and the salvation of love.
This image attempts to capture a glimpse of the dystopian future described in the book.
The Time Traveler in H.G. Well’s book “The Time Machine” is defined by his intelligence, cleverness, insight, and charisma. I decided to focus on these qualities.
I also took some artistic liberties. This story is a critique of social divisions, so I decided to explore and accentuate this further by depicting the hero as a man of African lineage… a man who would have been well acquainted with the terrible evils of imperialism as it existed in H. G. Wells’s day - evils that persist in our world, even now.
In the story, he travels through time and discovers a future in which humanity’s tendency toward deeper social divides has driven it to evolve into two equally loathsome species.
First, there exist the frail, child-like, vapid Eloi who live a carefree existence in the sun. After observing their behavior, the Time Traveler concludes they are the descendants of a privileged class that eventually abandoned intelligence and compassion in favor of mindless leisure, forgetting the system that made their lives possible, until they lacked even a basic awareness of it.
Second, there are the industrious, clever Morlocks, who, in form and movement, appear monstrous to the Time Traveler. They live in the darkness, waiting for the night to come, to tend their livestock. The Time Traveler concludes these creatures are the descendants of the lower classes, who have turned the system that originally enslaved them, and eventually become the true masters of the earth.
In this image, I have chosen to represent them imaginatively through the presence of a giant, looming mechanical visage - a construction they might have built (but not mentioned in the book).
The sphinx statue stands atop a structure with heavy doors, and it is here that the Morlocks steal away with the Time Traveler’s machine, his only means of escape. The sphinx symbolizes the riddle of the tale - is this future inevitable, or can it be avoided?
In the story, the time traveler fatefully rescues one of the Eloi from drowning. Although the Eloi in general do not have a capacity for love, this one proves to be an exception. They become friends, of a sort, and the white flowers she gives him become a symbol of hope even after the story’s darkest hours have passed.
Taking a hike through Muir Woods is a magical experience. The great redwood forests of Northern California are full of mystery, exploration adventures, and the promise of fairytale magic. Its almost impossible to wander the paths and follow…
I’ve been going through my blog archives and found this. Thought I would share it again!
I just supported Obduction on @ThunderclapIt // @cyanworlds
After my spontaneous Journey sketch a couple days ago, I found some incredibly inspiring Journey images on deviant art and across the web, so I decided to do another, more complex image (also in ArtRage), focusing on the magical multiplayer experience.
This image has been featured as cover art by thatgamecompany’s facebook page. Thatgamecompany are the makers of Journey. I am so honored and excited. I highly recommend this game to anyone and everyone. It is beautiful and amazing.
I’m a little late posting this news on Tumblr, but…
Obduction (a new game by Cyan, the makers of Myst) was FUNDED!! The Kickstarter was a success!
Urban Shepherd, 2013 - See it on Deviant Art!
Last year, I took a SkillShare class, taught by the incredibly talented Charlie Bowater. The class was well orchestrated, and I recommend it to any digital artist interested in learning more, or brushing up on character design.
For me, the class was primarily a review, but I took the opportunity to explore a new art program - Manga Studio 5 - and to tackle a male character, which I haven’t done in a while.
For the character, I envisioned a mysterious wanderer and old wise man in an urban/cyber-punk landscape. Instead of living in a magical wood, he lives in a junkyard, where he collects discarded technologies and re-purposes them. Being a bit of a renaissance man, he also investigates botany and fungus, and finds ways of bringing new life to the urban wasteland. He also befriends strays, rats, and crows. He carries a staff of some kind.
(Also, Manga Studio 5 is pretty awesome. I had been curious about the program for some time, but since it is primarily marketed to comic and manga artists, I was unsure if the program would suit my needs as a painter. Turns out, Manga Studio 5 has some amazing digital paint tools as well, which work as expected, right out of the box, no “custom brushes” needed, but you can customize if you want. Definitely fun to play with!)
(Image from Obduction Kickstarter Site: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction)
One afternoon, when I was thirteen years old, I walked into my brother’s room, looked past his shoulder to the television set, and discovered destiny.
Before us rose towering trees, below wound wooden walkways, and all around, the deep pale mists waited. As we ventured forth, we discovered pieces of a puzzle and threads of a story, that clicked together like notches on a gear. It was a game, I realized. A game! I was spellbound… I was confounded! Certainly this was not the work of mere people, but magicians!
And yet, when I realized worlds so haunting, strange and beautiful – could be built, I wanted to build them too. I wanted to be a maker of worlds. I knew the journey was destined to be long and full of challenges, but I had to know what could be known, and understand what could be understood. This journey lead me through many disciplines, endeavors, and adventures, including studies in digital art and game development. Along the way, I’ve been inspired and re-inspired by each ensuing chapter of the Myst story, from the magical puzzles and plots of Riven to the mysteries of Uru. Each new Age (or world) fills my heart with hope. Perhaps somewhere in this strange universe, there is a place for me, too. Or perhaps, like Atrus, I will find a way to build a place for myself, everywhere I go.
To anyone who might stumble upon this blog post, please consider supporting the newest Cyan Kickstarter project, Obduction! (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction)
“Obduction is an all-new, real-time, first-person adventure that harkens back to the spirit of Cyan’s earlier games Myst and Riven. Obduction resurrects that incredible feeling of suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a new world to explore, discover, solve, and become part of.” (from website)
The Kickstarter has one week left - lets get this incredible endeavor funded!
The Last Unicorn
See it on Deviant Art. (Created in Photoshop, 2013)
The story has long been one of my favorites. Peter S. Beagle has a way of transforming characters into poetry.
“Where have you been?” she cried. “Damn you, where have you been?” She took a few steps toward Schmendrick, but she was looking beyond him, at the unicorn.
When she tried to get by, the magician stood in her way. “You don’t talk like that,” he told her, still uncertain that Molly had recognized the unicorn. “Don’t you know how to behave, woman? You don’t curtsy, either.”
But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. “Where have you been?” Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn’s old dark eyes that looked down.
"I am here now," she said at last.
Molly laughed with her lips flat. “And what good is it to me that you’re here now? Where where you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?” With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. “I wish you had never come. Why did you come now?” The tears began to slide down the sides of her nose.
The unicorn made no reply, and Schmendrick said, “She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world.”
"She would be." Molly sniffed. "It would be the last unicorn in the world to come to Molly Grue." She reached up then to lay her hand on the unicorn’s cheek; but both of them flinched a little, and the touch came to rest on on the swift, shivering place under the jaw. Molly said, "It’s all right. I forgive you.”
(My apologies if the above is in any way misquoted!)
I updated the link:
Unity Web Player | WebPlayer
You can now play the game, in its current state, by following the link above.
(Be patient - it takes a while to load through the Unity webplayer)
Paradise is a (very) short, first person “escape-the-room” puzzle game built in Unity 3D. You must solve the riddle of a long lost garden by finding clues, interacting with mechanical creatures, and empowering mystical machines. Everything in the game is my work. (Poetry by Edgar Allen Poe.)
Like any work of art, I suppose, this effort will never be “finished”, but I’m intending to take a long rest from this venture now, and move on to other projects. I’ve learned alot, and intend to share a postmortem soon.
Thanks for your support and encouragement!