It's kind of ridiculous, really. Creating something this pretty in Photoshop is like the proverbial "shooting fish in a barrel." You've got your gradients, your smooth blends, your sprinkling stars, your starbursts, and your energy whirls, all at your stylus-tip. Doing this with an airbrush and a paintbrush would take hours, if not days. Much of that time would be spent waiting for this or that layer to dry. Pixels don't need to dry. This took fifteen minutes. The only thing this needs to make it better is a beautiful naked female, lounging in zero-G. Space is full of them.
I am inspired to make this by the lavish volume I am currently reading and absorbing for photoshop mastery. This is "Utherworlds" by the designer and artist Philip Straub. It's a text and picture (and I believe there's also a soundtrack!) extravaganza, published by the fabulous "Ballistic" art publishing house. The artwork is wildly surrealistic (though the requisite naked women appear) and the text is inscribed in a tiny, hard-to-read handwritten font on "ancient parchment" textures. The story is about an Earthman who somehow is transported to a dreamworld similar to any number of neo-Zoroastrian fantasy worlds where the forces of Good, who live in "balance" and "harmony" with Nature, are attacked and damaged by the forces of Evil, who live in big megacities and love technology and money. He meets a beautiful, scantily clad woman who takes him on a tour of the world while the bad guys pursue them. The Good folk are color-themed in blue, white, and lavender, and the Evil guys and cities are in nasty armor of black, red, and lava orange. It's all done digitally with photographic texture and naked or lightly draped female models folded in.
I'm thinking, I can do this. Don't I have an imaginary world? There must be naked Noantri women somewhere. I've got volcanic eruptions, cool vehicles, and techno-gangsters too. I could totally do this. The good and evil, harmony and balance part, that's a bit more difficult. Let me get back to you as soon as I get my upgrade, so that my Photoshop doesn't seize and revert to default on me as it often does.