What inspired this award-winning digital artwork?
When I made it, I was struggling with insomnia and experiencing vivid nightmares. In one dream, there was a person in a boat and there were gigantic fish swimming above. The fish made me think of a fish-eye camera lens, which provides a distorted, surreal image. In another dream, I was falling. One of scariest places I could think of falling would be off a city skyscraper. Cities are human-made, and there’s no way fish belong there. These elements played into the idea of dreams and surrealism perfectly.
What did you want the viewer to see in your work?
I wasn't focused on how people would respond. I was most focused on what made sense to me and my experiences. But anyone could look at the image and relate to it. Even if people haven’t had a falling dream, people know that falling dreams exist and anyone can relate to the feeling of falling. I really wanted to explore how dreams play with reality.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
My biggest challenge was working in five-point perspective. It’s a fish-eye camera lens effect basically, where things appear straight in the middle, but as you go out to the edge the lines become warped in a circular way. I had never worked with this perspective before, and I had to be extremely precise in how I placed my lines in order to get that effect.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists like yourself?
A lot of people talk about how someone is born with artistic talent. That isn’t true. It’s about the amount of work you are willing to put in. It is a journey, and through hard work, you get better.