Photo Journal: April

Here are a few shots I have taken with my phone this Spring. Many of them were taken while I was landscaping at various places in New York. It’s awesome to slowly watch the season unfold. There is a different bloom every week and I love seeing all the colors! If anyone knows what the yellow flower in the second row is, please share in the comments below! I am struggling to identify that one.

The last picture is my new kitty! Her name is Marozi. Marozi is the name of a cryptid ( like bigfoot or Nessie) that looks like a spotted lion thought to exist in Africa. I call her Rozi for short. She is a big, fat, cuddle machine!

Thanks for stopping by this week! If you have any good Spring time stories to share, drop a line below!

Take care, free spirits!

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Flamingo WIP

My next totem that I am working on is the flamingo! They are a very bright colored bird and have odd proportions. The weather is finally starting to get warm and act like spring so I thought a nice tropical creature could help get us in the mood! It’s going to be beach season soon! Beach or not, I just want to be outside!

Here is the completed ink for flamingo. The entire animal is done in tangles unlike my recent horse and orca totems. I can’t help but use zentangle when creating feathers! They are too perfect for the occasion.

I will also be incorporating the legs but have decided a new and fun approach. I am drawing the flamingo on three different sheets of paper. Then, when I scan them into the computer, I can piece them together making one long print! It’s going to be cool! I like trying something new with each piece that I do so let’s see how it turns out!

Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back next week to see the finished flamingo in all it’s florescent feathers!

Stay flashy, free spirits!

Totem Animal: Orca

I had so much fun creating this piece. I always have an idea in mind but as I draw I let the piece create itself. My original thought was to have each orca resemble each half of a yin yang symbol. They originally were going to be done in zentangle and one porpoise would be black, the other white. The more I worked on it, my entire idea changed. The orcas’ skin is so smooth and shiny, I didn’t want to take away from that by adding patterns. I thought, instead, it would be a fun opportunity to play with the value scale and get some nice blue hues in replace of the orcas’ natural black. To fill in the space between, I created a neat design to represent the waves of water splashing around them. It’s a very calming piece. I feel like I can hear the water splashing when I look at it.

The orca has always fascinated me, ever since I was a child. They are my favorite marine animal and they have a lot to boast. So let’s dive on in and learn about their symbolism! (…see what I did there…)

Orca Symbolism

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First of all, lets get this out of the way so there is no confusion. Orcas are also known as killer whales. They are not actually whales, however. They are the largest porpoise (like dolphins) species in existence.

Orcas are highly intelligent creatures. They have the second largest brain in the ocean and can figure out any dilemma they come across. Have you ever seen those videos on youtube of the killer whales hunting? Pretty crazy stuff! Their ability to work together and problem solve is remarkable. This is a key point we should take from the orca. If they have swam into your consciousness, it may be time to start using that big brain of yours. Keep yourself mentally active and healthy. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can take on any obstacle in life!

Orcas are a strong symbol of family. They live in huge “pods” sometimes of 40 family members! The females lead the pod, passing it down from generation to generation. They have great respect towards their grandmothers and mothers. We, too, should remember to respect our own family members who have cared for us and taught us what they know.

It is also important to work together. Killer whales know they can accomplish more when they are together. They are phenomenal hunters. Orcas have often been referred to as the wolves of the water because of the way they work as a pack to catch their prey. Make sure you are being a good team player. Help each other to obtain a common goal. The success rate is higher when you work together. It is much easier to make waves with many whales than it is with one. Imagine what you can do if everyone is in tune with each other. Communication helps with this.

Orcas are very vocal and rely heavily on sound. They use echolocation to navigate the world around them. Plus their songs are beautiful and melodious. If you hear the call of the orca, remember to use your own voice. Communicate with others to achieve harmony. Sing your song and enjoy the music of others. A calming tone can do wonders!

Some Native Americans believed that each orca was a reincarnation of a loved one. They showed a great respect for the animal and never hunted them. They were a sign from the spirit realm that a love one that has passed is still with you, watching over you. If you have lost someone recently, perhaps they have come to comfort you in the form of orca.

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The orca is such a powerful totem and they represent so much more than what I covered here. Make sure to check out other sources to get a full interpretation of your totem. Thanks for stopping by this week! Say hi in the comments below and let me know what you think of the orca totem!

Make a splash, free spirit!

Find Orca Totem prints and other products @Redbubble

Click here to get $10 off your first Redbubble purchase! Prints, canvases, totes, tapestries, apparel and more!


Totem Animal: Flying Squirrel

What a goofy, little critter. These strange creatures are unique from other squirrels as they have a flappy membrane from there front to their back feet called a patagium. This is what allows them to fly, or rather glide, through the air. They are clumsy creatures on the ground so the will try to hide until they can return to the tree tops for safety. Another trait that makes them unique is that most of them are nocturnal. The fact that they only come out at night led to the recent discovery that certain species glow under UV light. Their underbellies glow a vibrant pink. After learning about this, I had to draw one for my next totem piece, even though I’ve already completed a red squirrel.

The drawing came out so bright and crazy! It’s very different from my other totems. The pink is so vibrant, I wanted to make sure I captured that unique trait the best I could! The blue and pink work well together. It was a lot of fun creating this piece and I can’t wait to try even more wild colors in the future! Now on to the symbolism!

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FLYING SQUIRREL SYMBOLISM

Flying squirrels over all have the same lessons to teach as all squirrels. You can read general squirrel symbolism in a post I wrote a while back first if you like. Then come back to this one for a cherry on top.

Because they are nocturnal, the flying squirrel is connected to the moon. The moon is a strong symbol for feminine energy and the flying squirrel is known for fertility in some Native American lore. These little critters also teach us about balance. Perhaps it is time to balance our energies in order to glide, effortlessly, though our day to day. Maintaining balance will help us remain fertile in life, not only meaning family but in joys and riches as well.

Flying squirrels have huge, buggy eyes in order to see better in the dark. Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings. Dangers could be right in front of you but if you refuse to see them, they will get you! Just like a hungry owl gets the flying squirrel. You may also want to check out Owl symbolism to see what could be lurking in the shadows.


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I hope you enjoyed my latest totem and were able to gain some insight from the flying squirrel. Have you ever seen a flying squirrel? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Glide on, free spirits!

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Sources:

Rhino What You’re Thinking!

Hey Everyone! I uploaded the Rhino Totem to my Society6 and my Redbubble. The designs came out really cool! I am enjoying the Redbubble editor. It is so easy and user friendly. It doesn’t take forever to load like Society6 and I can change the color of the background on the editor which gives me a lot of options. I really like the red with the Rhino design.

Society6 has some awesome products though that Redbubble does not. I really like the yoga mats and the furniture is really neat too!

Make sure to give both shops a glance. They are each unique and different like these notebooks. The blue one is from Society6 and the red one is from Redbubble. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get! Plus the prices vary between the products. Sometimes one of my shops will be having a sale and the other won’t.

I hope you enjoy the Rhino Totem. There is so much available in the shops it’s crazy! Let me know what you think about each store and what you favorite products are. Do you prefer Society6 or Redbubble? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Growth is key! Thanks for your support! All profits go right back into my art for supplies, equipment and helps keep the blog running! And remember….

Save the Chubby Unicorns, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Rhino Symbolism | For Sudan and Northern White Rhinos

ZenSquirrel WIP

My latest totem is certainly one of the most interesting. The creature I was inspired to do this time is a flying squirrel. I know I have already completed the Squirrel Totem but I had to add this one to the collection. I recently read an article from National Geographic about the recent discovery that certain species of flying squirrels glow a vibrant pink when under ultraviolet light. Scientists are still trying to figure out why this happens and if it useful to the animals or not. The colors were beautiful with the hot pink in the light areas and a shade of blue in the darker areas. I decided I had to this for my next totem piece. I have the ink finished and will start the color on it today. With just the line art though it is already vivid and bright! It’s fun using different colors than I normally would. Especially pink which is a color I use the least.

Next week I will post the symbolism behind the flying squirrel. I wonder how different or similar it will be to a common squirrel. If you are interested in reading the article from Nat Geo, I posted the link at the bottom of this post. Thanks for stopping by today! Check back often for new work!

Shine bright, free spirits!

Squirrel Totem

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Related Posts: Squirrel

National Geographic Article:
Flying squirrels secretly glow pink, thanks to fluorescence

Totem Animal: Coyote

The Coyote Totem came out very nice. I had a lot of fun with the different tangles and matching them with the coyote’s natural patterns. The colors were also fun to play with, using the different shades of copper, tans and yellows. I also added more of a background this time. With such a great pose from the coyote, I didn’t want it to look like the coyote was floating in mid air. The background is a design I came up with to represent the tall grasses the coyote will hunt in.

Coyote Symbolism

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The coyote is a very unique totem from the others I have studied so far. The coyote is a trickster. So much so that they will even fall for their own tricks. They symbolize self sabotage and making things more difficult for one’s self. If Coyote has presented itself to you be sure that you are not blinded by the obvious. You may be caught in disbelief of a stampede coming towards you that you allow it to trample you. Not believing what just happened, you’ll look again only to get struck once more by the same stampede. It is time to be aware of your surroundings. Are you being fooled by someone? Are you fooling yourself or others? Make sure you have not beguiled yourself and others into believing you know what your doing, when in fact you do not.

Do not be alarmed if Coyote has came across your path. Yes, Coyote’s medicine can be perceived as good or bad but it is still medicine. Coyote holds a great wisdom. Seek out this wisdom when you are down about yourself. Coyote wants you to be able to laugh at yourself. It may be laughter from pain or it may genuinely be funny. If you feel as though you have a flaw, shrug it off and chuckle about it. No one is perfect. If you wish to change that flaw then take the action needed to do so but do not fool anyone into thinking your perfect. Own up to who you are and do not let it bring you down.

Beware. Coyote could also be a sign that something may backfire on you. Perhaps you feel like everything you touch is going to sh*t. Or perhaps someone you have tricked in the past is looking to get you back. Keep a keen sense about you, like Coyote, to ensure you can escape any traps laid out for you. Especially be careful not to fall into your own trap! Do not play tricks on yourself and set yourself up for failure!

They are related to everything whimsical and everything funny. They teach us to stay light hearted and remember to laugh. The reason I chose to do the coyote totem next was because I heard them singing in the woods one night. When a coyote calls it may be because things are becoming too serious. They remind us to remain playful and view the world as if through child eyes. The world is a wonderous place and Coyote teaches us that anything is possible.

If you would like to dive deep into Coyote lore, I suggest checking out the book Native American Myths and Legends by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. There are many great stories in it about Coyote’s magical feats and incredible powers. They are the masters of many skills. Although, they will often seek out ways to benefit without having to use those skills. They are not lazy, quite on the contrary. Though they come off as crazy and foolish, they can also adapt to any situation they are in and any environment as well. They are swift and have many tricks up their sleeves (if they had sleeves) to get out of trouble urgently.

Summary

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Coyote is the wise fool. They have powerful magic that can get them out of any predicament. Though remember that magic doesn’t always work. Do not fall into traps made by yourself and do not fall for anyone else’s either. If you are known to prank others, there might be someone around the corner waiting to get you back. Stay aware of the obvious and do not second guess what is right in front of you! Use your skills to adapt to your surroundings. Remember that we are all flawed, to err is human. So learn to laugh at yourself when you make a silly mistake. Embrace the true you and stop tricking everyone into thinking your perfect because you’re not. No one is. We just are. So have fun, stay playful and fill your eyes with wonderment. Just remember to not let that wonderment turn into a vale over your head.

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I sure learned a lot from Coyote! They couldn’t have showed up at a better time. Did you know their howls can be deceptive as well? When they yip and yap through the woods, their call will bounce off the trees. This makes one coyote sound like two and two sound like four and so on. Many believe this is a tactic used to intimidate potential threats that may be close by. Just another tricky prank they like to pull!

I hope you enjoyed Coyote’s Totem piece and were able to take some Coyote wisdom with you as well. Prints are available in both my shops @ Society6 and Redbubble! Thanks for stopping by today!

Keep laughing, free spirits!

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Related Posts: Coyote WIP

Sources:

ZenCoyote WIP

Thankfully the snowstorm has passed and I can finally get back to my art! I started the color on Coyote and plan to have it finished this weekend. Coyotes actually have a diverse range of colors in there fur and it has been interesting pairing them together. I can’t wait to see what it looks like once it’s finished!

Also, I have been adding a lot of my work in my shops on Society6 and Redbubble. I am so excited with how my art looks on everything and it’s so much fun building my shop. Make sure to check it out. Yesterday I added Blue Jay Totem and I love how the tapestry turned out!

Thanks for stopping by! Stay warm, free spirits!