I like to think of my yeti living just off the main road of Yellowstone Park. He’s a pretty chill dude, that likens himself to a park ranger. He’s made use of discarded road signs over the years.
So last month I tried this painting a different way and it didn’t work out. So attempt number two! Using Will Terry’s dry brushing lesson. Also, I can’t believe it, but even trying to be so careful, I still made a huge design mistake. In my sketch, there were two plants and then randomly as I transferred it to the big version I switched out plant number two for fruit. Fine except then it looked like she was pouring water into the fruit! So I changed the position of the water pitcher but it’s all a bit awkward now . So... lessons. But I’m still going to work towards finishing it because I’m learning how to take time and push a piece all the way .
Wow as, ya’ll are incredible!
I definitely have some work to do, but thank you for this contest to motivate me out of my comfort zone!
A bit about Betty-
Her peaceful squirrel tribe sent her bc they figured she could convince some mighty warrior to help them with her amazing baking skills. She loves Dolly Barton, and is pretty handy with a whisk.
Interesting conversation about appropriation etc! I don’t know much about Tarot, but I’m glad Lee has a cool project to inspire more of his art. But I think the point got lost in the weeds- Lee is researching the heck out of it and talking to experts and listening to them. That’s the take away, not that we should be allowed to do whatever we like and ‘mix culture.’
An easy example is the Plains’ Indian Headdress. Culturally, headdresses hold a lot of respect, honor and are spiritually significant. You can compare it to a Medal of Honor. But then you see non-native kids wearing some sort of rendition of a headdress at a music festival, or feathers draping down a Victoria secret model... and it’s not such a cool mixing of cultures anymore. It’s not necessarily malicious, it may even be an attempt to seem positive, but it’s also not responsible or respectful. It focuses on how non-Native people see the headdress as opposed to how it actually acted in the culture that created it. And considering the history of Native culture being violently assimilated and silenced by White Christian colonizers, it also seems pretty brutal to take a top significant symbol from their culture and use it so flippantly.
It’s a really complicated topic, and I always wish there was a really easy nice neat bow to tie around it every time the topic comes up, but a quick easy answer isn’t the right one. Acknowledging and being aware of deep historical roots you may be involving when using symbols or whatever from other cultures is really important. Like Jake said, if the illustrator got something really wrong in the Bible, he wouldn’t love that. But so often, when a subculture says “hey, we don’t like the way you are using our symbol’, they are met with vitriol or deaf ears because of the years of oppression and racism. Further, if a white person was hired to illustrate a book about the variations of headdresses or something, in the argument of equity, I might ask, why not hire a Native person? Native people have been stereotyped and oppressed to the point where they weren’t allowed to be hired, or even seen/heard, and that is inequitable, so we need to make extra effort to create equity, which might look on the surface like creating bias towards them for a while.
Anyway, again, I don’t really think Tarot fits appropriation, as practitioners, to my knowledge, have not been victims of racial and cultural oppression. And When it comes to fandoms and things like that, I don’t think you can count them as the same kind of appropriation as actual cultural appropriation. Nobody’s grandparents were ripped out their parents arms and sent to boarding schools as kids because they liked Batman.
Anyway. Glad y’all are having these convos!
I’d say to them. ‘I’m grateful/honored that you came to me with this project. Unfortunately, this isn’t the type of art I create, and I think you will find it better to work with someone who specializes in that style. (Enter any helpful suggestion for finding that artist here). However, if you find yourself needing work that is (describe yours here) please feel free to reach out to me again.
All my best
Save and reuse because you will likely be asked again.
Be nice, be giving of information, and keep yourself associated with a good feeling so they might hire you for an appropriate project in the future.
Me too, and that’s where everything really gets murky. But I think the answer comes down to personal choice and ethics, and with what each individual is comfortable with. I agree w what the guys said about following your interests and getting to really learn about things while also making your art. One might ask themselves, “what is my motivation for this project?” to check in. And again, I think it’s going to be a different answer for different ppl and I’ve got to respect that. Also, it’s none of my business to assume someone is of a certain culture or race, and to try and ‘police’ someone on that.
My personal leaning is to proceed with the following understandings: First, that ‘content like this’ has really only been allowed to be created (or more accurately, seen) by people of white descent thus far, and so it’s more a push to get more voices involved than it is a hard fast rule about saying “you can’t do this.” It’s also reckoning with the fact that the content thus far created has been, historically and generally, incomplete and racist, and dismissive of the people.
Second: it should be noted that it takes some real work to realize one’s own internalized racism about subcultures. Like @Binski said about that author, “he still comes across as a bit colonialist.” For an example, it makes me think of what I believe Will said in his class about portfolio building (I could really be mixing lessons etc up lol). He said to include people of all different ethnicities and genders in your portfolio, but also make sure you’re not creating caricatures of those different ethnicities and genders. Like, it’s important to realize you might do that if you’re not paying attention. (My point here is that we might accidentally be racist, and we need to be ready to look for it, ask for feedback, and accept that we might have gotten something wrong.)
So for me, I’d probably not do that project, because I’d rather just cheer on artists like Ben Pease. Were I more inclined to do that project, and was going to make it public, I might look to see how I can make it a collaboration with someone who has a much more personal knowledge/ experience with it, and I’d, in essence, take a bit of a back seat- illustrating and learning to my heart’s content, and really making sure I’m not falling into the ‘white savior trope.’ Or, keep it private.
Again though, I’m not trying to tell anyone what they can or cannot do, because honestly, I don’t know. And I think that wouldn’t help anyway because artists are curious and love to explore and that’s wonderful. It’s just a matter of being conscious of context. And I do like @Binski question, ‘is it my story to tell?’
Also, thanks for the great place to have discussion and adding to it. I felt pretty nervous posting that first comment because Where I live, there is a lot of appropriation in art, and these topics generally get heated real quick.
Wow, this is absolutely stunning and soft and yup, made me cry too. Grief is so tough, having a gentle voice that understands it and shares it is amazing .
I think B! I think part of the reason I feel it’s successful for this prompt is because it doesn’t have background information, so the edges of the illustration are really interesting with the white negative spaces coming in.
Either way, these are all so good .
I’m sticking with A because I think it’s the most ‘spot illustration-y’ :).