This first one was inspired by something my son-in-law said while we were hiking the Uintas. He asked us if we knew what the largest living organism was. Duh....well I didn't know. After several failed guesses, he exclaimed, "the quaking aspen and we are walking through it"! Well, I was impressed and that little fact stayed with me until I started drawing this assignment. What if these humanoid/plant things were all connected underground like the aspen and they sprout all at once in the moonlight? And voila, the picture took shape.
This one has a bit more of a story behind it. I wanted to portray something that showed the destruction of nature due to man's misuse of his stewardship. Out of that destruction, emerges the first plant-man hybrid, nature's attempt at compromise. At first, I wanted to have a blossom sprouting from the palm of his hand, promising hope that life will find a way. But this other idea of a bird wouldn't leave my head. What if this hybrid was the only semblance of a tree left on earth and this little surviving bird needed a place to build a nest? I felt this was in keeping with my own strongly held beliefs of the importance of home and family and so the bird stayed.
Though most of the students preferred the first idea, the teachers liked the quiet "poignancy" of the second, so that is the one I continued to work on throughout the week.