I used to see every new building added to my neighborhood and every new trendy restaurant and boba shop that popped up as a force that disrupted the way of life of the area and something that in itself would bring change to displace those already here. But I noticed this isn’t just a thing that’s happening only here, it seemed to be happening in virtually every other city in the state, if not the country. These new developments seem to just be accommodations for a process that’s already been unfolding. As this city fills up with higher paying tech, medical, defense, etc. jobs, and edge cities form to accommodate these booming industries, areas that once housed the white/wealthy, then transitioned into lower income areas populated by more people of color, are once again transitioning back to being areas for the wealthy, while those who cannot afford to stay are pushed to suburbs, exurbs, and beyond. My neighborhood has never been just one image. It and its demographics have always been changing since its founding, and it is not going to stop changing just because I want it to remain as the image I have for it in my head. So imma just go with the flow and document what I can of what this place means to me before it becomes unrecognizable. And if I gotta end up leaving one day, then it is what it is. At least I’ll have my memories.
For this piece, I used a lot of new techniques to get a new look and feel compared to past digital illustrations of mine. I wanted it to look a bit more worn and have a bit more urgency or tension, so I layered on a bunch of textures over everything, along with the blocks of texture within the person's clothing and in the house. I then used gradient maps on the texture blocks as well as the background image to get a nice way to add color while also adding visual interest, and to also add a bit more feeling of anxiousness to the background image. I also wanted to play more with the figure ground relation of the composition, so instead of having a solidly drawn and colored house, I decided to just have it be an outline, with a few filled spots. Having the house partially as an outline also adds to the feeling of not wanting to deal with this rapid change and its consequences. I also overlayed a bit of text, basically just a condensed version of the previous paragraph, over the piece to add more texture and movement, but also to kinda explain more of my thought if anyone looks close enough to read it.
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