Upon being given the task of designing a wallpaper that could potentially be used for a calendar, I knew I wanted to do something fantastical. By this point, I had already done a number of projects involving my favorite game, League of Legends, and a considerable number of other projects that were of a darker nature, so I decided to try something new. And for a while, I struggled to come up with a concept that neither involved my favorite game or was of a macabre nature.
That is, until I watched Disney’s Fantasia 2000. For those unaware, it is a collection of animation done in time and tune to classical music, and one of these pieces was the four-movement symphonic poem Pines of Rome by composer Ottorino Respighi. During this piece, the audience is treated to the story of a baby humpback whale and his parents as they and their pod join thousands of other whales in the sky, swimming amongst the stars as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
I had my inspiration.
When creating this piece, the difficult part was finding photos that were of free use and that fit the kind of story I wanted to tell. Buildings and a night sky were of little issue, but finding suitable images of the whales themselves was another matter. Luckily, I was able to work around the problem by using Photoshop’s Puppet tool in order to give some level of variance among the whales. The silhouette of the little boy pressed up against the glass is actually my one of my younger cousins, who was kind enough to pose for this piece.
The story I often like to tell with this piece is that leaving the ocean and swimming through the air with the greatness of ease os something that humpbacks do all the time. They swim through the towering skyscrapers of our cities and swim among flocks of birds as they might through schools of fish in the sea. The only reason we aren’t aware of this phenomenon is because they do it at night, when everyone else is asleep – except for one little boy who happened to stay up past his bed time and undoubtedly will have quite the tale to tell.
That is, if anyone believes him, of course!