There is a kind of magic in providing a foundation for people’s creativity. When I was a freshman in high school, I designed a set for a local children’s theater. What I had given them was only some paint on the walls, some cut out trees, and rocks. But this enough to allow their imaginations to fully inhabit the space. Digital Environmental Design is a way of enhancing visual storytelling. The setting becomes a solid platform, guiding a viewer through a scene and enveloping them within the world presented. In this current work, The Woods, I want to bring back a bit of that child-like exploration and love for the settings of stories.
In contrast to the typical American suburb, with miles of manicured lawns and pavement that I was used to while growing up, the woods was nothing but the dark wall of trees lining the subdivision, separating the known from the unknown. This only spurred my sense of adventure. Deep in the woods there was a creek. Now being a small child, it easily could have only been several meters wide, but from my tiny perspective, it was a vast river. The deepest part of the stream had large island in the middle, with a dead tree protruding out the center. On that island, I would try to build forts and create fantastical stories around me. Through The Woods, I wish to provide a space for viewers to construct their own stories, using a place much like the one I remembered. The Woods is a space I’ve created to engage the mind into joining a cooperative story-building experience. I took some inspiration from the Surrealist movement to add a sense of intrigue. I tend to be pulled between a naturalist style and an absurdist one, so within The Woods I have combined the two by creating a believable landscape with oddities strewn about to create a dream-like experience.
In building this scene I learned and used skills that are employed in professional studios. I see this as an opportunity to create a project which exercises the knowledge I have accumulated throughout college. I am intrigued by how digital art can be interactive, giving the viewer a choice in how they wish to experience the art. With that collaborative capability, it creates endless possible interpretations for the viewer, giving them the freedom a create a story of own.
3D Digital Environment
©2020, Katie Spangler, Some Rights Reserved
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