"Retropolis" is the name I’ve given to my Future That Never Was, and now it’s also the name of this wild, movie poster-style montage of the places and people that fill that world. It pulls together a lot of elements I had been working with over the past year - in fact, I think I started the city itself about three and a half years before I created this image - into one big joyful conglomeration of retro-futuristic enthusiasm. I’m pretty crazy about it, as maybe you can tell.
This is a city so big it has weather. Like in weather patterns. Don’t mistake the fog and clouds for pollution, since that’s not a problem here; the City Of The Future used to always be about transportation of a sleek, modern and desirable kind. This is no exception, with its thundering monorail and its high-flying, lighter-than-air airships - but it’s not all public transportation either, since we were promised flying cars. Here we finally have them in the form of open cockpit roadster rockets that burst right out of the heart of the picture.
Arranged around the central image of the city are several of the folks you might meet there. For no reason I can explain, I’ve named the male characters after British band leaders of the 20’s and 30’s. We’ve got Nat Gonella, Henry Hall, and Lew Stone, and in her own vein there’s their friend Aelectro Monica, along with Rusty, the original Faithful Robot Companion.
For those of us on my side of the water there’s a nod to the Gershwins, too, and there’s at least one subtle reference to someone who - to the best of my knowledge - never was a musician. You’ll have to find him for yourselves.
As always in these images I’ve combined elements of 3D rendering with 2D painted work, done afterwards in Photoshop. I sort of pulled out all the stops on this one - due to the demands of my Day Job I don’t get nearly enough time during the year to do these, and I think I had a lot of something or other bottled up that just plain had to get out. It looks to me like most of it managed to.
The print is an on-demand reproduction of my digital painting. Its resolution is 318 DPI at a full size of 20 by 30 inches. If you ask me, I think you probably ought to have one.