To Infinity and Beyound

I remember the first time I really got into creating digital images that were not photographs. It was during one of my insomniac moments while at Uni and I couldn’t sleep. I ventured into the dark realms of Photoshop and created my first digital image.
The image was a simple nebula scene with a planet I made several different types of composites since then as my skill Photoshop skills grew. I actually found that these creative sessions were good to help me think outside the box and find new ways to do things in Photoshop. Of course I didn’t always create scenes from scratch. I started collecting stock images, textures and brushes to help with my images, slowly growing a collection that I can now scan through before creating an image.

My inspiration can come form many things but usually from books and music. I spend a lot of time commuting and during this time I am either listening to music, reading a book or watching the world around me and finding inspiration.  I used to carry note book but now with my phone and tablet I can just jot these down and during a peaceful moment go through them and see which ones I will keep and which still need some thought. Some times these are not just photographic or image based ideas but ideas for books and films, if I was ever given money ( and some training  to create a film or write a book.

Today I really wanted to create a space scene again, and remembered a article by Chris Spooner (Graphic Designer) and quickly went to it read it again and sat thinking listening to random tracks on my playlist. I stepped away from the computer played with Kryton (the cat, named after the Robot from Red Dwarf) and saw an Iain M Banks book I  bought a year ago but never read. This helped inspire the image below with the background of the image being an idea for a setting of a book.

I created a time lapse video of the image being created with music that I was listening to at the time, all of which helped with the inspiration.


The planet is named Solaris. The planets orbit is longer than most planets and takes Solaris so close to the sun during the dry season the whole planet becomes a desert, yet half a cycle later Solaris is at the edge of its solar system becoming a cold and frozen planet. Life on the planet has evolved to survive these two extremes, while visitors normally stay for half a cycle respectively.
Solaris is the capital of the Solaris Republic, a break away society from Shadow Imperium due to its continual Civil War. 
The Civil War was caused by the Emperor Regent refusing to give up power when the Young Emperor came of age to take his father’s seat. Solaris being the centre of trade and commerce has thrived throughout the war due to Magnates selling ships and arms to both sides. Wealth brought an influx of refugees to the Solaris System as they tried to set up homes and find work while escaping the massacres.
The Solaris System Governor, Toler Lanan made the decision, with the Magnets Councils backing, that the Solaris system would become an independent society and free from the old empire. As an independent system it would no longer play a part in the never ending war but be a neutral safe haven for those affected by the bloody war.
Of course the decision was quite profitable as the price of food, weapons, ships and goods could now be forced higher. Although this may sound grand and noble it is not such a place. Run by the leaders of commerce, corruption is ripe and the black market thrives. Many of those who are pure and white at the top of society have hands that are tainted red.

Although not near the writing pruaus of Iain M Banks or Issac Asimov, I would be happy to write about this reality if someone wished to know more. Until then I think I will keep it in my head.

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