With “Antelope Spirits” now complete I’m ready to get back to drawing now. Currently I don’t have anything specific in mind, I just know I want to curl up on my couch with my mechanical pencil and a sketchbook and see what comes out. Along with wanting to get back to scribbling on some paper I’ve also been tossing around the idea of doing another little art zine, this time filled with well drawn out sketches and maybe even adding in some prose or micro stories. I’ve done one once before a few years back which you can glimpse a few pages of down below.
Zines (short for magazine) are a neat DIY way of self publishing. If you have a printer, a stapler and some paper you can pretty much create your own zine. And they’re pretty fun to make if you have the patience to put one together. I can see myself doing a few more in the future but for now the idea I have in mind will probably be a long term project, so in the meantime I have some sketching, writing and planning to do. 😊
I keep a list of art ideas for those moments where I’m not inspired by anything new to create. This design for my next lino carving is from that list. It’s called a Chiwara, an antelope figure of the Bambara people of Mali, that represents the spirit that taught humans the fundamentals of agriculture. There’s two different styles of the Chiwara, one is of a male antelope featuring curved horns and the other is of a female antelope featuring straight horns with a baby antelope. The one I’ve drawn here is female with a few personal stylized additions that are similar to the male version. The Chiwara is one of the handful of designs I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo of but have been far too much of a chicken to go through with it. Maybe one day I’ll get brave and get that tattoo. For now though, I’ll just enjoy making a carving out of it. 😌
So I’m back to lino carving and I set up for myself a project with a bunch of swirls, curls, nooks and crannies. I just got the outline done and I’m already exasperated. In need of some carving stamina today. 😌
Got a design all drawn out and ready to carve for my first lino carving in over a year. I’m excited and a bit nervous. Linoblocks are harder to carve compared to erasers so it’s easier to wind up with gouged hands and bloody fingers, so I’m hoping I’m not too rusty. But I’m excited because, well, I’m back to something familiar. With patience and a steady hand, I know how this will turn out. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something different, like with the stamp carving, but it also feels good to come back to something you know. There’s nothing wrong with staying in your zone.
…now, if I could just come up with a name for this piece. Any suggestions would be appreciated. 😌
I’m used to being the kind of person who can get the hang of something by the third try. As of today, I see I’m going to have to throw that thought out the window with this stamp carving. So far I’ve mutilated somewhere between 20-25 erasers and my carvings are still not up to par with say my linocut carvings, which are now proving to be much easier. These designs I create look deceptively simple when drawn out in paper but once I transfer them to the eraser they can turn out to be somewhat of a pain when it comes to carving them.
Now don’t get my grumbling wrong, I’m a trooper and sticking with it and working through this journey of creative growth, although I now can clearly understand why some artists just go out and buy the stamps. This stuff ain’t easy. But you really can’t beat the satisfaction of creating your own unique designs, so I’m gonna keep marching on. 😊