The Fantasy Life
I am a HUGE fan of fantasy type stories and I am always drawn to tales of swords and magic. If you follow my work on Instagram (@aperture.kc), you may have noticed that there has been a shift in my artwork. One such piece I did was a self portrait involving one of my swords and some twisting moon light. How did I come up with this idea? In the last year I've also jumped into playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching Critical Role to sate my craving for fantasy stories. In a recent new campaign I developed a story for a human that had been taken in my Dark Elves that worshiped a moon Goddess and my character sought to serve the moon goddess as a sort of thanks for saving his life and to work towards doing the same. The concept deeply resonated with me. I have a growing love for the mon aesthetic and have slowly be increasing in my implementation of moon themed art for years and my room is decorated with several moon-themed décor. Apart from my love for moon art, I find myself questioning what it means to be a part of the universe and to be connected both a psychical and spiritual being. So naturally, I need to express this in art!
To start, I needed a solid subject. After picking my props and out fit, I grabbed my tripod and set up my camera for timed shots. The biggest challenge was setting up the lighting to ensure that there was was plenty of light hitting form all the right directions. In the end, I'm still dissatisfied with the lighting I had but, thankfully, shooting RAW allowed me to recover a lot of the photos smaller details.
50 photos later, I sorted through my options until I narrowed down to my favorite pose. Apart from the lighting, this photo stood out to me because it felt so poetic and dance-like.
After making the selection and doing some light
correction, it was time to begin the next steps. I imported the picture into Adobe Photoshop (not sponsored) and began "cutting out" myself for the rest of the photo. I had to remove the shadows below, but that was fine as I was able to paint them back in later.
After getting the subject established, I needed a environment for him to live in. I went to Pexels.com (also not sponsored) and searched for space, landscapes, and moon photos. Once I found all the pieces that I need I dove into the process of piecing them together into a single image. after hours of tinkering and color correction we eventually had...
The Final Product
I wanted it to really feel like there was a engagement between the subject and the environment and I believe that the greatest contributor to that feeling is the swirling light which also served as leading lives between myself and the moon. Art is an incredible way to engage in the world and to express ideas, desires, emotions, and I hope that seeing this work impacts you just as much as the process of making it did for me.