Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Arctic Myths - Grizzly People

I believe I've spoken of these supernatural characters form Arctic mythology before. The Grizzly People are typical examples of the myths and legends told by the Inuit people. The Grizzly Beings are animal, human hybrids which feature prominently in Inuit lore.There are also Wolf People and Seal People. Here the Grizzly People are large human characters with bear like attributes and modes of behavior. They hunt and eat humans,  rob graves and scavenge human camp sites. They are very large and very dangerous.

It was decided that we should have a Grizzly Being on the title page of the book we're just finishing up and so this first illustration shows just such a one, menacing and striding toward us, having just decided we are something worth adding to the menu.. He is big and rather misshapen and carries a large Inuit spear, which is just as likely to be used for digging as it is for hunting. I like to depict these fellows with bags or satchels because they are scavengers and I can imagine them traveling about with bits of old meat, bone and other edibles picked up on previous foraging operations.

In this second illustration we see a Grizzly Man with a fresh body he has just pulled from a grave.  He is scruffy and dirty which is typical for them and much in need of the bath he will never ever have and the dentist he will never ever visit.  These pictures are for a new collection of Arctic stories from Inhabit Media entitled The Shadows That Rush Past, A Collection of Frightening Inuit Folktales. These stories are historically the kinds of stories told to children in order to teach them survival lessons and this book is for children also - Inuit children. There are plans to release these books in English but as far as I know not many of them have yet been translated.

You can find out more about Inhabit Media here - http://www.inhabitmedia.com/

I'll have more for you shortly


Friday, April 8, 2011

Dreaming of Spring - Sketchbook 2

I believe I've spoken before about how much I love to draw with a simple old bic pen. The bic  glides smoothly over the cheap printer paper I often use and leaves a nice clean blue. There's no erasing with a ball point pen so you can't get too careful or fussy. You have to think on your feet when working this way and a little coffee will help to keep you alert and fresh. I often like to start these doodle sessions by drawing the frames on the page first and then challenge myself to put something, anything into each one. This of course leads to a certain amount of repetition but it can also yield happy accidents and pleasant surprises. You have to be willing to take whatever you get when working this way but it's often worth it because there's nothing better than a new idea.

Peace be with you.

More soon.

Dreaming of Spring - Sketchbook

I don't think I have ever been so desperate for Spring to arrive as I was this year. Winter just seemed to hang on and hang on. Even when the calendar said it was Spring, Winter kept stabbing at us from the grave with snow flurries, sleet, wind and frost. We are definitely into Spring now and things are beginning to warm up, but the spring I'm dreaming of is the warm golden spring of mid May, not the cool and damp spring of early April. These sketchbook doodles are from this past winter when the balmy, sun lit days of May were front and center in my thoughts.