The Collector

- or -

What Once Lost


This illustration started with the idea of this hermit, a woman who hid away from the world; from civilization, company and safety. While I wanted her to be beautiful, it was also really important to me that she was scarred as well. I wanted to create a sense of history, that her experiences had led her to where she was now and that in some ways, she was a broken and forgotten thing, like the treasures she collected from the ocean floor; these often coming from her sole companion, a sea monster that brought her trinkets found in the ocean. 

I really wanted the juxtaposition between the rough, dangerous and hard elements of the image to emphasize even further the delicate, vulnerable or beautiful elements of the image; the rough stones against bare skin, the broken skulls against the iridescent shells, the woman against the scars, the woman and the beast.

In this image, I tried to create a sense of a haven, a shelter from her past but also a sort of purgatory - where instead of moving on and healing, she has instead stagnated and collected the broken pieces of history around her like an offering to the dead; a shrine to the past.