Finally done this… couldn’t really post my other sketches because the appropriation was kind of embarrassing… I managed to make this totem more individual to me I guess..
Powdered graphite, acrylic, coffee stains and some charcoal pencil on wood panel.
My starting sketches were totally different but the prof said they didn’t really convey the fortune, and she suggested a make a sort of totem or something that symbolizes protection. Yeah so I went all Canadian about it and had a totem pole in a landscape and it made me want to barf. On the last crit of the sketches she suggested I do a sort of ghostly image of my face with the personalized totem pole obstructing my face.
Here’s my artist statement that goes along with this:
My fortune cookie was, “Someone is looking out for you.” I went through many ideas and concluded with creating a monumental totem pole containing creatures representative of guardianship, protection and my own personal symbolism. Native totems heavily influenced my design although I took inspiration from Egyptian and Asian sculpture as well. The totem pole has many meanings: Some celebrate traditions, heritage and legends, while others are merely for artistic presentation. In some cultures, totem poles are places around villages to ward off evil spirits and demons.
I noticed in my research that many totem poles were topped with ravens and had hidden eyes throughout. The many eyes in my image are an attempt evoke an omnipresent atmosphere and show the ever-watchful existence of the totem. The winged female figure represents a maternal protectiveness, and is based on Isis, a goddess of motherhood and fertility. The rat is a symbol of good luck and a tribute to my own passed on pet that I looked out for throughout her life. The dog on the bottom is a representation of my childhood dog, Angel who was both territorial and loving; she was the protector of our family.