Sometimes you find what you are not looking for. Usually my process of creating images is that I see the complete image already in my head and I will try to make it real with the tools and techniques I have. But sometimes it takes a full U-turn and completely different routes to end up with an amazing meaningful image.


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My wife asked me to create some new images of our kids to hang our newly renovated living room so this was a perfect opportunity for me to explore one idea I have been wanting to try: to take well known M.C. Escher –style optical illusions such as the “impossible” penrose triangle or steps and make them look more “real”.

My initial ideas and sketches were about legendary penrose triangle, but the idea of the endless penrose steps or stairs as seen also in the movie Inception won me over after doing some simple outlines in photoshop.

As I was doing the steps I thought it might be a good idea to add water flowing from one step to another and add some small paper boats too to show how the river actually never goes anywhere. It just goes around and around endlessly. I took pictures of my son with a paper boat in his hands and fitted him in the picture, sitting on the edge of the river.

Then the image needed the background and as I was adding elements of clouds into the picture, the mood of the image changed into somehow more sad than what I intended. At that time I just knew what was also missing: little angel wings for the lonely boy playing with paper boats in an endless river. I just stared at the image…that’s how it is supposed to be, just like that.

Of course my wife loved the image but we both agreed that this image will not be on our living room wall, to avoid the heart-wrenching feeling of seeing our son as a little angel boy every time we walk into the room.

Powerful images make you see the different stories in it, depending on your own mindset and frame of reference. Maybe this is the boy from my previous work, an orphan boy who didn’t make it and sits now at an endless river, waiting for his friends to join him.

I hope this image moves you like it moved me. I hope seeing this makes people hug their own kids a little tighter and be thankful for still having them with us. For those who have lost their children, I can only hope this shows one version of a beautiful place where they could be waiting for the rest of us.

More info: anttikarppinen.com

When my wife asked me to create some new images of our kids to hang our newly renovated living room I already knew what I wanted to do

I created an image of my son sitting near a never ending river, playing with paper boats. And then I added angel wings

My wife loved the image but we both agreed that this image will not be on our living room wall, to avoid the heart-wrenching feeling of seeing our son as a little angel boy every time we walk into the room

Picture of my son as a orphan boy that could be the same boy as in the picture Endless

Phases of the image “Endless”