All digital artwork I create begins with a photograph I have personally taken - or has been taken by a family member (all of whom are gifted photographers).
In the case of my grandchildren, I occasionally give them assignments. The foundation photo for this composite "Elf In the Attic" was taken by my grandson, Grant.
I asked him to go take a photo of something "mysterious". He texted me a door - that was open by just a crack . . . with solid black in the crack's void.
So, as a collaborator, I asked him, "Do you want to go full-on Alfred Hitchcock . . . or would you like something a little more cheerful for the holidays?"
He opted for Holiday mystery.
Therefore, I searched through my digital files and found a photo of him in a leprechaun costume. After creating 31 versions of a little elf peeking through the door's open crack - and, 5 color correction filters for the green leprechaun to change into a red color for the elf . . . we had a holiday mystery.
Holidays can be happier when people create something together.