Day Fifteen: Art, Inspiration and a Desktop Background

This post is part of a series "20 Days of... WoW Blogging Challenge", a blogging challenge suggested by Saga at Spellbound. She proposes twenty questions to be answered in twenty days and I, foolishly, have decided to take up this most daunting task because clearly my schedule is not full enough.

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." - Ansel Adams

In the context of the 20 Days of WoW Challenge, I figured that Day 15 would be a bit of a cakewalk - a day off, almost - and one that was especially needed after the surprisingly gut-wrenching topic I wrote about yesterday.

Sharing my desktop background is easy enough. However, explaining its significance is going to require a larger word count, I think.

Sundown.      Click to enlarge.

This is my desktop background. It’s a piece of artwork that I created entitled Sundown. It is a digital layering of photographs from a single, staggeringly beautiful summer sunset taken a couple of years ago. In its printed form it measures approximately 60”x24” and hangs above our couch in our living room. It graces my monitors at home, at work and on my cell phone.

As I have mentioned before, I was a professional photographer for a number of years before leaving for the car industry. Running my own photography studio was immensely rewarding from an artistic and personal perspective, but ended up being financially crippling.

In leaving the business I was also giving up my main creative outlet. Once there was no professional reason to create images any longer, I lost the impetus to do it at all; and my camera and all my photography gear was shoved into the basement and left untouched for a long time. Doing so left a void in my life and made me feel artistically incomplete and creatively unfulfilled. Frankly, there is not much room for creativity in the car business – in fact it can be utterly soul-crushing at times.

I have always found that my creative muscles tend to wither when not exercised frequently, so once we moved into our new house I picked up my camera and began photographing and creating images again, this time for no other reason that the simple joy of creating art that was personally relevant. I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like – it’s hard to feel creative after slogging through corporate sludge all day. But the days that I can grab my camera, go somewhere and indulge my creative side are rare and wonderful indeed.

Sundown was the first piece that I did in this style, and I cannot describe how excited I was when it was finished. Seeing it hanging on the wall was an incredible and emotionally fulfilling experience; it made the room complete in a way that I didn’t expect. I have created other images, of course, some of which are arguably better in many ways, but none have the emotional resonance with me that this one has. I feel that the creation of this image was the moment when I found my voice creatively again after losing it for so long.



  1. That is way too cool. That's definitely not an image that you can just "get" on first glance, but is certainly stunning once you take a moment to drink in all of the elements.

    Do you have your other works listed anywhere else by chance, such as on DeviantArt or any other site? I'd love to see more of your photography : )

  2. How can your living room be that nice and neat when you have a baby? Right, not mobile yet. Just you wait...

    That's an awesome image. I really like how it turned out, and you definitely should be very proud of it!

  3. Nice pic. Your lucky to have a talent like that. I'm also surprised to see that some people have desktops that actually mean something to them. I expected day 15 to be the most boring of the challenge but it seems like some people actually have interesting desk tops.

  4. @Saz: Thank you!

    I don't have any place online that I display my artwork. I used to have a business website, but that has long since vanished. I've been meaning to put up a deviantART page for a while now, but I haven't done it yet. Aside from being displayed in my living room, this is the first time that I've ever displayed artwork in a public setting since my University days.

    I've been toying with the idea of submitting them to a gallery and trying to sell them, but to do that properly would require a lot of time investment with research, marketting and blah blah blah... and if done properly could turn into a whole new career. This idea is terrifying and electrically exciting at the same time. If I take this path, I want to do it right and not stumble around flailing.

    @Corath: There are three fundamental reasons why my living room is that clean: a) as you said, the Dwarfling is not mobile yet, b) this image was taken before the baby was born. If you come to our house now you'll see a big playpen/bassinet in there, and c) my wife is an obsessive cleaner, and cannot handle leaving a mess for long. I wonder how long that will last when the baby gets on her feet and starts wrecking the house.

    @Bangkok Bill: I agree, I thought that this article would be a snorefest. But regardless of what image is on your desktop, the What is far less interesting than the Why. I want to know why a person chooses to have an image on their desktop and why it's significant to them. If you consider that the idea of this Challenge is to let people into your personal world so they can get to know you, this Day could be the most revealing.

  5. ^_^ You should definitely put some up! As I said, I'd love to see more. If you're worried about art thieves or something of the like and don't have watermarks of your own, dA actually gives you the option to put one up identifying which account the piece came from. You could also potentially sell prints through them if you so choose, though I'm not sure how efficient their system is. While it may not be as epic as say a physical gallery, the option is there and sounds possibly a bit more simplistic than what you'd ultimately like to do. If anything it could simply help to get your name out there for that potential someday of making photography into a career.

    The gallery idea honestly sounds like both a daunting and rather fun idea to chew on. I'm not sure if I personally could ever live the life of a "true" artist like that, but while it sounds like a pain to me, it also sounds like an immense amount of fun.