This is probably one of the most popular pieces I’ve done and I get asked about it a lot which really doesn’t bother me because it’s what started it all and brought me full-circle.
It was finished in 2010 (I think) but the initial concept materialized in my sketchbook in 1995.  For my thesis, I had grandiose ideas of doing an involved character animation.  At the time, I didn’t have a whole concept fleshed out and I was more interested in modeling, texturing and lighting so I went in a different direction.  Needless to say, she haunted me for many years.  When I moved into Studio 18 and finding my direction, I still found myself drawn to these sketches.  This was actually when I developed my current style and technique of fusing traditional art with technology by combining hand-drawn and painted elements with my own photography, digital painting and layers of animation.  After completing this piece I realized that the reason she never initially clicked for me is that I didn’t understand she was a self-portrait.  I felt she was who I wanted to be but turned out to be who I am.  She is symbolic of being grounded and rooted in tradition, both in theme and media and reaching for the sky and experimentation.