11 June 2008

Consumed in a Single Desire

Consumed in a single desire - Copyright 2008 Totem Media, L.C. All Rights Reserved.
I created this image from two photos, taken in September 2007. The background flames were from the first Air Canada Centre RUSH concert for the Snakes & Arrows tour. The photo of the woman (me) was taken at YYZ (Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto) after twelve days of travel, fun, three concerts, many late nights, beer, friendship, laryngitis, and a bad cold.

The title is from the RUSH song Mission. The entire stanza is

"Spirits fly on dangerous missions
Imaginations on fire
Focused high on soaring ambitions
Consumed in a single desire"

It's one of my favorite RUSH songs and describes my dedication and focus on RushCon, the annual fan convention I have helped organize for eight years.

Sometimes when we work for a long time on important projects, we feel "consumed," as if we are giving everything we have, everything we are. As long as the price isn't too high (health, wealth, family, friendship, happiness), it is OK to feed an obsession to create something good and beautiful. For a creation to have quality and value, one has to put time, effort, often money, and a part of oneself into it.

The quality and value for this creation may not always be evident to others. Everyone has different "lenses," experiences that color how they view things. For some, a beautiful object created by someone else is an affront to their own (low) personal sense of value. They can't create and they hate themselves, so they try to destroy the beauty around them. For others, they set their standards so high no one can meet them. Their way of bolstering their flagging self-esteem is to judge everyone else "not quite good enough." Finally, there is just plain, ol' personal opinion. We all like different colors, flavors, textures, etc.

I hope others will like this piece, but if they don't, that's OK. I like it and feel good about what I created.

Using Adobe Photoshop CS3, I applied a watercolor/Art Nouveau treatment to my photo, removing fine detail and lightening the colors. I removed most of the original background (a staircase), but left enough to use for the "burned" areas. The burned areas were desaturated (removed color), added a stroke, then applied an artbrush to create a singed look. I placed a watercolor filter on the concert (flames) photo to abstract the image, but kept the saturation (color) almost full. Then I applied a canvas texture only to the concert portions.

Promark is a nationwide drumstick manufacturer based in Houston. The staff are great people and have generously donated to RushCon for several years.

The end of Mission is one of my mantras:
"We each pay a fabulous price, for our visions of paradise
But a spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission"