28 to 38 Days_2019

Flying Through Life

I wanted to create an artwork reflecting on life and death, by contrasting and comparing the short life cycle of butterflies and the long life cycle of people. Mainly bringing to light how the quality of life is effected by the quantity, amount of years we have to live.

If we all lived short lives like butterflies how different would life be?

What is the quantity of life? We should instead ask, how many years do we get to live? People live on average 79 years, some have been recorded to live to 108 or even longer. Life cycles through pregnancy, infancy, the toddler years, childhood, puberty, older adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and the senior years. We are always thinking we have more time, we are working toward something. Going through the motions, the every day routines… Many look at life at the the biological quantity of life rather than the quality of life.

What would you do if you only had 28-38 days to live? Marcy Kennedy, science fiction and fantasy author and writing instructor gives a response that many of us would agree with:

I love my job. I love to write. But it’s my career. If I had only a little time left to live, it’s not going to matter if I make enough money to pay the bills for next month. It’s not going to matter if I hit my word count on my novel or finish that next round of edits. If I’m gone, no one is likely to read it anyway. I’m not famous enough that someone else would take over the work involved in publishing my writing.What’s going to matter to me is getting in as much time with my husband, and family, and friends as possible. Walking my dog and cuddling my cats. I’d eat what I wanted and I wouldn’t exercise.

Butterflies and moths have four stages of life: egg, larva (the caterpillar stage), pupa (the chrysalis phase in a butterfly’s development), and adult. Compared to the human’s 79-108 years, their lifespan seems to go in the blink of an eye.

Medium: Autodesk Maya and Unity

I wanted to impact and capture my audience’s attention. Autodesk Maya and Unity as a media, allowed me to create two distinct abstract realities and then piece them together in a narrative.

In Maya I created a scene with butterflies flying through an incandescent environment, on their way to another world. A world I rendered using the Gia environment package.

I relied on cinematic principles such as negative space, layering, framing, dynamic composition, and color contrast to aid me in communicating this concept.

Looking back on this project, I would like to take it a step further. I want to build a VR space, allowing people to enter this world. Adding more to the affect of the overall video. I want to add biographies of people, building a world with real situations mixed with this animated space.

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