My wife started a monthly magazine for our church (Temple of Deliverance Christian Church in Akron, OH) and this is the cover that I created for it. This was my first full digital illustration. I started with a couple reference pictures and some sketches on paper. By the time I completed I had about 20 reference pictures and more layers than I could keep track of. I decided to flatten the entire image and just paint freely until I felt it was finished.
The cover is really about asking ourselves what the true meaning of Christmas is. "America" has led most young, and old, folk to believe it's all about gifts and santa clause. While I believe that's just a distraction to keep the focus off of the true and only meaning, which is Jesus. Without his birth there is no Christmas. The funny thing is that its become so much of a tradition that even people who don't believe in the Christ will exchange gifts out of habit. So this cover is pretty much depicting the fact that Santa Claus (or tradition) doesn't want the real reason of Christmas to be celebrated. Thus, he shushes the birth of the Christ so that people won't take the focus off of him and his wonderful gifts. This is just an illustration of what most people do every year for themselves and their loved ones has they go hunting like crazy people to find all the gifts to make everyone happy. But yet studies have shown that the Christmas season is the most stressful season of all. I wonder why?
So this year take some time out between opening gifts and give thanks to the one and only true reason for the season. Lets focus on the true source of happiness and joy. He died so that we can live, and live an abundant life.