Science-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson mashed together insects into some of the most notable Star Wars characters. Writes Wilkinson on his website:
This project was born out of a fascination with collecting, cataloguing and classifying. It draws inspiration from classic Natural History illustration but explores the subjects that we love to collect and classify from the modern world: Films, TV, Video Games, Comics, Vehicles, Sneakers, Brands etc.
The first book of the series, working title: “Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I: Insects From A Far Away Galaxy”, is a collection of insects that bear a subtle yet uncanny resemblance to characters and vehicles from the worlds favourite space opera.
Read more about the project in the artist’s interview with Fast Company.
It is hard to resist the temptation of comparison, as it is a means of benchmarking ourselves against our peers’ health, careers, and relationships. It is also easier than ever to gauge how someone else is leading their life by looking at their Instagram feed or Facebook page. Seeing anything from wedding photos to workout pictures can make us jealous.
But the chief role of comparison is to drag us down. Competition is the quickest way to demotivate ourselves.
As social animals, it is natural to identify with a group. The way we deal with such pressure is to emulate each other like lemmings. The way we cope with envy is to copy–to get what everyone else has. And then we wonder why everyone appears to be leading similar lives?
We eat at crowded restaurants. We listen to popular music. We all photograph the Mona Lisa, which meant nothing until it was stolen and benefited from the “cumulative advantage” of buzz. We all click the first result on a Google results page. Our mimetic desire always drives us to emulate others.
Humans practice a herd mentality because we fear being left out. We seek validation, and conformity seems to be the quickest path to achieving it.
So the question becomes one of authentic desire–do we need to do it because others are doing it too? Don’t wait until the day you die to wake up and say; ‘maybe I should have done that a little differently.’
New York Times culture editor Adam Sternbergh explains the conundrum of popularity in today’s high speed, viral world.
If something is popular, it can’t also be good.
What’s to say something is actually popular, something that sells or streams, or both? Just because something is popular today, doesn’t mean it’ll still be popular tomorrow. Our digital appetites are transitory and therefore misleading.
Paradoxically, popularity is now both infinitely quantifiable and infinitely elusive.