This is the first piece in the series.
It took about one month to complete it from concept to final result and with several revisions.
My initial idea for the first piece was to have it centered around something extremely basic and fundamental to the Minecraft experience and at the core of Minecraft is the block. Everything is built with blocks. So I started with one block and what would be better to work with than the most basic of all, the grass block.
So the first hour or two with coffee breaks went basically into staring at the grass block and trying to come up with a good idea how to present it, light it and make it interesting. There were lots of fruitless "uhmmm" and "Hmmm's" and then I realized that I was already missing the point with the series...how Minecraft connects with us. I needed something personal to it, not just a block in some abstract environment. I needed a person that could interact with the block in some meaningful but also unconventional way.
Everybody plays minecraft!
I had seen the light and I now knew what I wanted to do express that Minecraft appeals to everybody on this planet.
The interest for Minecraft spans all age groups, backgrounds, religions, and cultures. It is truly a uniting world of creativity and pure joy and I wante my art to reflect that.
The center of the piece would become a chair made out of 1 grass block and sitting on the chair would be a person that was either in a dream or dreaming about Minecraft.
I opted for a teen girl with colored hair and in a hood and dark trousers. This was deliberate to reflect that Minecraft is including and diverse. I also wanted her to float around on a cloud, further establishing the feeling of the dream.
"Houston we have a problem"!
At this stage, I ran into serious technical issues since I needed to work with several software and bringing it all together. I could create separate elements quite nicely in the different software but it all got messed up when I brought it together. the next days went into solving that. I also decided to drop the hood and give her a bit more colorful look. She was a bit too dark.
Now I had all the main ingredients and could start focusing on the fun bit. I wanted her smiling with closed eyes with the face slightly turned upwards towards the sun. It looks like she is enjoying the warmth from it while imagining or dreaming about Minecraft. Or is she the one in the dream? I also had started populating the scene with background, cloud, and a creeper 🥰 I also had started posting updates to my platforms and sharing the creative process while LIVE streaming.
Choose! Choose me!!!
We had quite some fun discussing on live stream what mobs should be included and also the background. Some wanted it to be darker but I was firm on that this should be a joyful and bright art. As I was trying to describe what I was aiming at, I remembered a tweet from Nova Barlow that perfectly described it. She wrote, "I'm feeling the happiness just radiating off this one!"
Happiness and joy it was so I turned the Happieness radiation" volume to 11 👍
It is complete!...or is it? 😋
At this stage, I thought I was finished with the art. On the last stream I had, we decided together that Alex needed a makeover so we made her hair super pink and had her change to something more orange. We also contemplated on several titles for it and landed on a fitting name "HappyCraft"
I posted it on many platforms and waited for the Cheers and hurrahs... and I waited... 😂
Devil begone!!! - alex sucks!!
Ahhh.. the fine balance between creating something unconventional and not provoke or put people off 😊🤔
As an artist, I always decide the final outcome but over the years I have many times made the creative process collaborative by posting updates about the progress or live stream as I am working on my art. It actually often improve the final result so I don't shy away from listening to other people's opinion and change something that I had deemed final. I like inviting people to the process from time to time and make it including. Just like Minecraft is 🥰
Anyway, people had something to say about my beautiful baby. My precious untouchable art! And they had some valid points.
Some thought I had put a satanist in the center with a t-shirt with occult symbols 👀 and that both Alex and Steve looked horrible. At first, I was tempted to educate people on the symbols and explain to them that they couldn't be farther from satanism and are very deeply rooted in Christianity and appear countless times in Christian art over the ages. But as I contemplated deeper on the critique, whether it was meant as a joke or not I realize that I was opening up for potential misunderstanding and confusion and that would be counterproductive. Steve looked indeed weird and when my daughter asked me to give Alex back her correct hair color, I decided to make one last revision.
So here it is... a teen girl happily crafting away in her thoughts or dream. Enjoy!