Ah, middle school.... Not always the most enjoyable period in a kid's life. Honestly, I would have to say that most kids in middle school find that the experience ranges from "confusing" to "cruel." Plus, that's when your body typically starts to rebel. Zits, deodorant, weird vocal intonations, braces.... It's as if in order to make the transition from "cute kid" to "sophisticated adult," we must first sped a few years in an awkward stage. What single scene can embody all of the insecurities of this life stage more than the locker room? Frankly, being the artsy-non-athletic type myself, the locker room was an especially unfriendly place. So for all of you nerds, fear not! I am living proof that middle school DOES end; math WILL come in handy, and you CAN get contact lenses. And for you few who are at the top of your game in 7th grade, be careful. Someday someone might paint an illustration about you.
So there is the inspiration for this piece. Otherwise, I had fun playing with the camera angles. Originally, I had placed the camera in a more typical position, showing the locker room scene as one would see it in real life. However, by adjusting the composition so that the camera is inside the locker, the illustration tells more of a story. We get to see the personal items that give us more insight to the main character's personality. Plus, this arrangement allows for the gossiping girls to be placed directly behind the main character, really giving that "talking behind someone's back" feeling. With all of these elements, we can begin to infer "story." They are in gym class, and the main character obviously feels awkward. What are those two girls planning? There is a note with a heart on it in the locker. Could those girls be spreading a rumor about our main character's love life? I found that as I worked on this piece, I started feeling a sense of "story" develop, and chose to add or take away details to allow that emerging scenario space to breathe.