After graduating from college, "Under the Tree" was the first large scale personal project I took on. It originated from a series of miniature ink doodles (seen below), which I never intended on combining. They were just fun ways to pass the time.
One night I was looking through all of them and wondered if I could incorporate them into a larger piece. I played around until I came up with the rough layout seen in the picture below. Also around this time, I was informed of a juried alumni show for my high school (which specialized in the arts). Even though most of my college studies centered around computer animation and 3d works of art, I was really excited about this drawing and wanted to submit it before the deadline.
Because I started with tiny drawings, I had to scan and print them at a larger scale and work in sections. Maintaining the same level of detail that I started with in the smaller doodles proved difficult and time consuming. Once each of the nine sections were complete, they were re-scanned and composited together. Due to all the cleanup work, I am still amazed that I completed it all before the show.
It was interesting to hear people discuss what they imagined to be symbolism and the meaning behind the animal placement, particularly the bird balancing on the outside of an egg (whose crack was too small for him to have fit out of in the first place). My favorite creatures are the tiny snails. I find them simple yet appealing. Also, I tend to draw a lot of animals in top hats.
After the gallery showing was over, I started selling prints of "Under the Tree" both small and large. I gave the final display piece to one of my best friends for her bday... and it hangs in her room today:)