Yay for my first dev contest entry!
Anyway, here's the scoop on this image:
I picked up "Myst: The Book of Atrus" off the shelf in Barnes and Noble just because of its curious-looking cover. That was in seventh grade. Now eight years later, there isn't a facet of my life that hasn't been inspired by this book. What I love about this book are the characters - characters that either reflect who I am or who I want to be. So, I've drawn out several key scenes and added quotes from the book that represent the traits of the characters that I find most attractive: curiosity, creativity, intelligence, strength, humility and a bit of mysteriousness.
To Atrus, the main character, the world is out there to be solved and understood. His attention to nature and science was so impressive to me that I wanted to see if I could be the same way, and now I'm a junior majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The physiological diagram at the top is that of a lark, which I've adopted as sortof my signature animal (my last name is Larkin). There's another little lark at the bottom right looking into the Myst book.
At the top, under the bird is Atrus writing in D'ni, the language of the people about which the book is about. Once I got into learning this language, with it's different alphabet and strange grammer, I realized how much fun language study is, and now I'm taking fourth year Japanese (the text under the D'ni).
My university's logo sits inside the gates to the city of D'ni, in the drawing all the way to the right of the orange fissure. Going to my school for the first time was just as exciting as Atrus' first venture into the city.
As a last personal reference, I added small portraits of two other role models of mine, Darwin and Leonardo DaVinci, whose interest in nature, science and art remind me of the Myst characters.
The drawings were done in pencil and merged in Photoshop.