I wanted to do something for Christmas. Something grand, something that gets people thinking, or better, offer some opinion. That was what came to mind in early December 2020 when I was creating this particular piece. Come to think of it, Jean-Jacques Sempe may have been the catalyst. Every time I go through his books, I end up wanting to do a ‘big’ piece with considerable scale and detail.
Sadly, this is one of those cases where I failed miserably and end up in an awkward midway zone. Sure, the idea seems reasonably creative, there’s immediate contrast when you see the trees in the buildings versus the lone tree standing on a heavily harvested mountain, and it’s relatable given the use of pine trees during Christmas. All the boxes seems checked, yay…
Nope, this is pretty far from being a success. I totally missed the ‘grand’ factor. The art failed the idea. For such an idea, the delivery needs to be much ‘bigger’. It’s like getting the ‘ohhh..’ instead of the ‘woah…’. The way to approach this would be to scale it up massively. Use a huge A3 format if you need to. Double or triple the amount of buildings. The bare mountains should be around 30% of the whole picture so that it gives readers a perspective that whatever left of nature is taken away for the insignificant viewing pleasure of mankind.
It’s a tough defeat to swallow. A big waste of an idea with great potential. But then again, we will learn from this moving forward.