Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, not least for the decorations that make the season feel so present and all-encompassing. Around Christmas time years ago, I decided to make this papercut of the Nativity scene as a fun seasonal decoration.
My goal with the design of this artwork was to create a contrast between the tranquility of the manger scene within, and the lively bustle just outside. A boisterous herd of goats tumbles down the hillside on the right, girded by watchful shepherds; from the left, the magi and their camels peer curiously around the cave wall. Inside, though, humans and animals both rest peacefully.
Needless to say, I didn't overly concern myself with realism in this piece. The perspective and spatial logic of the scene in particular make little sense; instead, viewing the central manger scene almost has the feeling of spying through someone's window.
This juxtaposition aids in the contrast between the inner and outer scenes. More importantly, in a portrayal of something as iconic and symbol-laden as the nativity, my main priorities were to convey the right mood, and to include all the various representatives of the story.