Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let Nature Be Your Guide. OR What's Your Spirit Animal Like?

 Yay! It's Illustration Friday!

     This week's Topic is TOTEM.  For those who don't already know, a totem is not necessarily the large wooden pole with animal and human faces carved into it and then painted with very bright and bold colors. A totem is an animal icon or symbol that represents a particular group of people or clan.  The totem pole as we usually think of when we hear the word totem, is actually the history or story of the group of people that it represents. Also Totems are not specifically exclusive to Native American tribes in the US or even the Native peoples in North Canada.  Its appearance in religions span the globe.  You can find them in China as well as even in Kenya and the Mountains of Tibet.

     As I am not specifically a group of myself, I decided to illustrate a personal totem that represented me.  Totem Animals represent specific characteristics, morals and values that can guide one's life by.  It takes years of focused meditation to have your Animal Spirit guide appear to you.  I only had this week so I "cheated" a little bit and took an online quiz that tells you your spirit guide. ;0)

     As it turns out, my Animal Spirit guide is the Spider.  It is ironic as I am very much arachnophobic.  The spider represents the creative and receptive, to summarize in a small nutshell.
I have included something I found online about it in more detail below.  You are in tune with the ebbs and flow of life and have tremendous patience for weaving my creative webs (my art.)  It very much reminds me of Charlotte's Web when Charlotte would weave messages about Wilbur the pig into her web each morning.

      I also thought about an animal that keeps popping up around me.  I wondered if this is how you find your true spirit animal... start "listening" and paying attention to what's around you and see what is trying to get your attention.  Sea Turtles have always been an "animal" (reptile actually) that has gained my attention.
I figure this may be my true Spirit Animal Totem.  I even have a Crush lapel pin on my Carry Satchel. The turtle represents peace. Peace with one's self and peace with the earth around us.  I have also included the Turtle below as well. 

      I took the two spirit animals and paired them together into a totem pole for this week's inspirational challenge.  I did have one other alternative solution to this challenge.  As many several African clans include totems in their faith, I wanted to illustrate a Spider dancing a traditional tribal dance (particularly either one that has to do with the communion of nature or one that is specific to the worship of the creative spirit.  There is an African Goddess of Creativity and Love, Oshun, And I wanted the spider to be wearing a tribal mask that depicted her visage.
I thumb-nailed a composition for this idea (left thumbnail sketch) but abandoned it for the stronger of the two ideas.  My totem pole, in a way, reminded me of the parable of the scorpion and the frog, which was about understanding your true nature.   It inspires me t write a similar but different parable of the spider and the turtle.  ;0)  Who knows I just might.

I used as much source material to keep my shapes, colors and patterns for my two spirit animals as true and traditional to the real deal. I do LOVE all the color that Native American Totem poles display. I share the Very Same LOVE of LOTS of Color. :0)

The spider is a remarkable figure of feminine energy and creativity in the spirit animal kingdom. Spiders are characterized by the skilled weaving of intricate webs and patience in awaiting their prey. By affinity with the spider spirit animal, you may have qualities of high receptivity and creativity. Having the spider as a power animal or totem helps you tune into life’s ebbs and flows and ingeniously weave every step of your destiny.

The turtle totem wisdom teaches us about walking our path in peace and sticking to it with determination and serenity. Slow moving on earth, yet also incredibly fast and agile in water, those who have the turtle as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their busy lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded, long-lasting solutions. Traditionally, the turtle is symbolic of the way of peace, whether it’s inviting us to cultivate peace of mind or a peaceful relationship with our environment.
***Both Totem Sourced from the following website:

     I did forget to snap screen shots along the way of my progress in illustrating this so none this week :0(  But there is always next week :0).

In any case, until next time...
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art. 

[Thumbnail Sketches]

[Final Sketch]
[WIP Inking the Sketch]

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