Genesis Creation Book

/ / Drawn scenes with images of real people

As my final project in Computer Art 1, a course I took during Fall Semester 2010 at the College of Saint Benedict, I illustrated the Genesis Creation Story that I’d written earlier for my THEO111 class. As the final product for the project I created a book that combined the 5 final images in with the original short story text. The book is accessible by clicking on the cover image below.

Artist Statement

The idea for my final project in Computer Art 1 came about a month before the project was assigned when I was assigned the final section paper assignment for the Old Testament: Torah section of my THEO111 class. That paper assignment had two parts to it. The first part was to analyze a passage from the Old Testament, but the second part was to write a new Genesis Creation myth. From the moment I dived into writing my creation myth I said to myself “I’m going to illustrate this story someday, whether I can get away with it in my computer art class or not”. So, that gave birth to what my final project in Computer Art 1 is.

But just having the idea still leaves many questions to answer. What segments of the story will the illustrations be based on? What artistic style(s) and methods will be utilized? What will the content of the images be? I needed to answer all these before starting to even sketch image ideas.

I first tackled the question about illustrated segments by simply reading through my story and highlighting segments that were both far enough apart to allow sensible page lengths and seemed like they’d produce great images.

I chose to use primarily drawn styles in these images because it felt like using that style was most appropriate for images that illustrate a story. Along with that I chose to use purely digital drawing methods, so the tablet with Photoshop, my MacBook Pro’s trackpad with Pixelmator, and my iPad. In the end I only utilized my own Mac for the drawing.

The content was perhaps the hardest question to form an answer to. My story mainly focuses on a new version of the Adam and Eve story, but has a foreshadowing of the Cain and Abel story. Therefore it contains 4 human characters. In past projects I’ve essentially created self-portraits of my immediate family, so in the images of this project I ended up continuing that theme. I challenged myself to only using pre-existing digital photos of my family members and made all the digital image components of this project look like drawings using filters. Another hard content decision was how to represent God, but in the end I chose to represent God as what I’d call a reptile-like human giant. This way God is like the humans he forms, but also very clearly something different.

As with any illustrations these images are closely tied to the text of the creation myth, which is why I display them like a book. This may make it hard to interpret the images for yourself, but I challenge you to do that. As with any images, these images have an endless array of potential meanings, many of them unique to the viewer.