I first made the sketch that eventually became this illustration in my journal early in 2020, amidst the pandemonium of the coronavirus pandemic and the first wave of quarantine lockdowns sweeping the globe. Common things were suddenly precious, the familiar abruptly dangerous, and nothing at all could be taken for granted. I don’t think I’d ever truly held still in my life before in quite the way I did then, and for a little while, the whole world shared that reflective pause. I developed a new empathy for my human ancestors who were separated from families and communities by distance and the necessities of individual survival, the constant questing for improved circumstances for ourselves and those who rely on us. Although this wasn’t the first piece I completed, it launched the series in my imagination, setting the tone and establishing some of the common elements - most notably, the paper boats.