W.I.P. Slumbering Sloth

I’m starting my next piece and I’m giving in to this sloth obsession that has been going on. It seems like every year their is a strange animal that people go “ga-ga” over! This year is the sloth, I guess. Perhaps it’s one of those “you’re so ugly, you’re cute” kind of thing? Or is it their slow, calm and chill attitude? Whatever it may be, I’ve decided to try my hand at a sloth.

This is my rough sketch. I don’t think sloths really sleep like this but I wanted to play off of their lazy-like appearance. I’ve been really tired lately between work, family, summer activities and staying up later than I probably should. When I look at this, I can just imagine taking a nap in the trees with a nice, cool breeze. That would be the life, am I right? I think it’s safe to say we have all been there.

I have some of the ink done. This piece has a lot of patterns in it naturally so incorporating them will be fun! I also can’t wait to start the color. I don’t typically incorporate backgrounds for my totem pieces but this one definitely called for it. The leaves will be neat to create and green is one of my favorite colors to work with.

I hope you enjoyed the work in progress of my Sloth Totem. Check back soon to see the finished piece! What do you think about sloths? Cute and chill? Or Ugly and Freaky? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think?

Pleasant Dreams, Free Spirits!

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~Totem Animal art by Free Spirit Meg~

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Turtle Totem Finished Piece

This piece was a challenge. I do not know why though. It was not fluid. I never really found a flow to the drawing. Usually I know what I want to do just by looking at it. Not this time. I had no idea what I wanted to incorporate of how I wanted to execute it. Perhaps a small bit of it was that I am still learning how to use the watercolor pencils. It takes time and practice. I know this but it is still frustrating when something doesn’t look the way you want it to.

I feel like I could have added a lot more detail with my ink work also. I have noticed that I have slowly slipped away from adding pointillism to my pieces to incorporate shadows. In my earlier drawings, I used this technique frequently. I should have used it with the turtle to allow it to blend more and become more real.

Although, I encountered a problem with my pens. The ink from the pen activated the watercolor pencil on the paper, therefore, it gets gunk on the tip of my pen and stops working. I thought it would be easy to add the ink after the color but it doesn’t really work. Maybe I should try doing the ink first and then use the watercolor pencils. Or else I will have to try a different type of pen.

I also grew very bored and tired of the piece. I had so many other ideas that had popped in my head that I would have rather been doing. I should have just abandoned the piece and came back to it later. I think the end result would have been better. I was just in a rush to finish it by the end. I was ready to move on. This definitely did not help the outcome.

It is not my best work but it is far from my worst. I still like the whimsical feel of this turtle. I really enjoy the smile and added that feature for a good reason. The reason I wanted to draw the turtle in the first place was because of an incident that recently happened to me. I was driving down the road with my brother in law and we saw a snapping turtle trying to cross the road. It had almost been hit a handful of times so we pulled over to rescue it. It was challenging trying to move it without getting snapped at but we were successful and got the turtle to the other side with the help of another driver passing by. We felt like super heroes and referenced a funny quote from one of our favorite TV shows, Futurama. “I saved a turtle today. What have you done with your life?” I was thrilled to be able to save the turtle and wanted to create this design to go with the phrase.

Have you saved any turtles lately? Share your story in the comments below! I would love to hear more success stories about our turtle friends! If you like this piece, you can find this and others in my shop at Redbubble!

Thanks for stopping by!

Take care, free spirits!

Horse of a Different Color

I’ve had some of these beauties hiding in a folder on my computer and decided it was time to share them with the world! I have literally gone horse crazy with my Horse Totem drawing (originally done in colored pencil). I’ve been wanting to get better with my photoshop skills and in the near future would like to get a digital drawing tablet. Yes, the digital age has finally grabbed me. So here are some designs I’ve created for horses of a different color! Which one is your favorite?

Find prints, apparel, home decor and more by clicking the links below!

Purple: rdbl.co/2FZ2n1N
Pink: rdbl.co/30p9ybz
Green: rdbl.co/2RYxPSR
Yellow: rdbl.co/2L5YoEP
Blue: rdbl.co/2V4ddsW
Orange (Plain Background): rdbl.co/2UVeRx0
Orange (Pattern Background): rdbl.co/2NDsrWM

#6 – Green Giraffe

Remember this guy? I never did get around to finishing the color. It’s time. And now it’s a green giraffe. Because I said so.

Flamingo WIP + Updates

Happy Monday everyone! Was your Monday as blah as mine was? Sometimes, days are just like that. Rain doesn’t help those days either. You just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie until you pass out. Any how, I survived the Monday blues long enough to write my post tonight. There are a couple updates I wanted to share.

First of all, I have added more color to my Flamingo Totem. It’s becoming very bright and I’m excited to finish it! I have always avoided pink in the past since it was far from my favorite color. Lately, I have had more of an open mind with my work and have used it for my Flying Squirrel Totem and now flamingo. It’s nice to change things up every once and a while. Plus, I have always put limits on myself and my work, unintentionally. I use to “make rules” or guidelines to my art that I wasn’t allowed to teeter from. Like I was forced to stay within a certain style of art or subject. I have no idea how I picked up this terrible habit but I am proud to say I have kicked it and now create whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. My art has improved greatly because of it! I’m even going to pick up painting again, which I am excited for. I just need to get some more supplies, first.

Secondly, I wanted to share that I’m back to my full time job as a landscaper. I’m going to have to make some changes to my future content. As you can guess, Spring and Summer are the busiest months for a landscaper! Last year, I tried to keep up with my Totem Animal posts the best I could. I always shoot for one post a week but it can be difficult keeping up with everything. Not only do I need to create the drawing itself but I put a lot of time and energy into the research for each totem. Then when I have an understanding of it, I need to type it out for my blog. This is done in between my landscaping job, family responsibilities, social obligations, appointments and every once and a while….sleep. Not to mention any other efforts that need to be put into my business as an artist such as marketing and social media, editing my work for products and uploading it to my online shops (Redbubble and Society6) and how about just talking and connecting with people! I always tend to lose my mind a bit when Spring comes around! I have to lighten the load.

I do not want my artwork to suffer and obviously I can not take time away from my family or my job that is currently paying the bills. Therefore, I am going to halt new Totem Animal symbolism posts. I will continue to create the drawings like I have been but I won’t be able to go over each one in detail about their symbolism. The art is more important than the writing and I don’t want to become discouraged because I can’t keep up with both! Don’t worry, I will still continue to keep my blog. I just won’t be able to write such lengthy posts for a little while!

I hope you like the Flamingo Totem so far. Let me know what you think in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week.

Happy Spring, free spirits!

Totem Animal: Horse

I am happy with how his piece turned out. The mane was a lot of fun to draw. It resembles fire which is funny because I have always struggled with drawing fire, yet this came easily for me. Now that I have this concept in mind, I will have to experiment with fire again. I had to change my perspective a little to figure it out.

Like the orca, I did not add any tangles to this totem. I don’t know why. I easily could have but I just wanted to play around with the fading colors and the shape of the mane. I wanted the mane to be the focus of the entire piece. It’s wild and free just like the horse, which will lead us to our symbolism.

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HORSE SYMBOLISM

The horse has been an amazing companion throughout the history of mankind. No other animal has made a bigger impact in the lives of humans than the horse. They’ve aided us with traveling long distances, they’ve carried men through wars, provided the power needed for agriculture and entertained us with racing and horse shows. Horses have been by our side since cavemen. If you have horse for a totem, consider yourself extremely lucky.

The horse is a symbol of travel. They have always carried us where we need to go, making travel between cities and families easier. They also were used to deliver goods and news from place to place. They were the first to show us what it is like to have wings. If the horse has crossed your path, it may be time for you to take a trip. Are you stressed? Do you need to get away for a while? Let the horse take you away and show you what it’s like to fly. They will show you what it’s like to feel free again.

I loved riding my horse, Skyler, through the open fields by my childhood house. Once they have the open space, they will run as fast as their thundering hooves can carry them! The tears streak from your eyes! It’s a rush. The horse is a strong symbol of freedom. Remember to keep this spirit with you always. Do not stay tied down, no matter how domesticated you feel. Even domestic horses let go and let the wind guide them, their manes flowing wildly. Use this energy in your own journey to freedom. Live a little.

Horses are the greatest symbol of power. Each color of the horse represents an individual strength. The black horse rules dreams and the dark. They will guide you and show you how to find the light. The chestnut shows us the power of remaining playful and remembering the joys of life. They show us how to have fun. The palomino shows us the power of teaching others and sharing our enlightenment. It is important to help others when we can and guide them to find their own strength. Finally we have the white, or gray, horse. They are the unity of all the powers and your mount to and from the spirit realm. The white horse teaches wisdom and that wisdom cannot be obtained if power is abused. Keep all this in mind as you trot down your path in life. It will take you far!

Last but not least, the horse represents sexuality. The stallion is a strong representation of this. The stud. Need I say more. Strut your stuff, honey! You look mighty fine. Just don’t get too cocky. Wouldn’t want to take a kick to the face.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s totem. It has been a long time coming. Horses are my favorite animal and have played a huge role in my life. They have truly changed my outlook on life. Do you have any great horse tales? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by!

Stay wild, free spirits!

Find Horse Totem prints and other products @Redbubble

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

Sources

Horse WIP

I am surprised it has taken me this long to do my favorite animal as a totem. I’ve been wanting to tackle it for a while now but it kept getting put off. I finally made time for it and present you with the ink for the horse totem. I know I say this for every drawing but I am really enjoying this one. The mane has been fun to play around with. I can’t wait to get the color done. Once again, I did not add any tangles to the animal. It just didn’t call for it I guess. I wanted the mane to be the “wild” part about this piece. What do you think?

Check back next Monday to learn about the symbolism the majestic horse holds! Thanks for stopping by!

Stay wild, free spirits!

Twitterpated

Spring has finally arrived! The weather is trying to make the shift from cold and frigid to into warm and inviting. I can hear the birds throughout the day. It was silent during the winter then one day, it seemed all the birds came out at once to sing their songs! I love it! I always think of the scene from the movie Bambi when the owl explains that all the birds are twitterpated! Twitterpated? Yes.

“Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example, you’re walking along minding your own business, you’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of the sudden, you run smack into a pretty face. WHOO-WHOO! You begin to get weak in the knees, your head’s in a whirl! And then you feel light as feather, and before you know it you’re walking on air! And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop! And you completely lose your head!” -Friend Owl

It makes me laugh every time I think about it. So in honor of springtime and a great movie here are is a collection of all the avian totems I have drawn so far.

There are still quite a few I need to cover but it’s a pretty great collection to start. I have the flamingo in the works right now. It’s going to be fun playing around with the different shades of pink. For now though, we have these beauties! You can read about each birds symbolism by clicking the links below.

You can also find prints and other cool products with these images @Redbubble and @Society6!

Which drawing is your favorite? Is there a bird not pictured here that you would like to see? Drop a suggestion in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by today!

Fly high, 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: Blue footed Booby

This post is all about boobies! I’m sorry, I had to! Ok, but seriously though it’s about boobies. The blue footed booby to be exact. It is the latest animal I chose for my totem series. I had a lot of fun with this piece. I really enjoy using zentangle when drawing birds. Their feathers always come out awesome! I was excited to use the blue colors to create the feet, as well. I didn’t use any ink around the feet like I did through out the rest of the piece. I wanted the color to be the only part of the feet you pay attention to. This is also why I didn’t add any tangles to the feet. I kept the colors for this drawing realistic. The blue footed booby is so beautiful on it’s own. I didn’t want to take away from their natural patterns and colors.

The blue footed booby’s symbolism is just as interesting as their appearance. It was difficult to dig up information on this one. It was a unique choice on my part. Not too many people stumble across these guys too often, being that that they are only found in Central and South America. However, I was seeing them repeatedly online and my son brought home some school papers about them so I decided I needed to check this one off the list.

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Blue Footed Booby Symbolism

The word booby comes from the Spanish word “bobo”. Bobo means stupid. Some think this name was given to these birds because of how clumsy they are when on land. Although they bumble around on land to mate and care for their young, they are most graceful in the air and water. They soar through the air, above the ocean hunting for food. They will dive straight down into the water, with speed and elegance, to gobble up unsuspecting schools of fish. When searching for a mate, males use their vibrant feet in a courting dance to show off to females. The brighter the blue, the more attractive the mate. They also use their feet to protect their young and keep them warm. Because of their size, the only predator boobies have
(besides humans) are sharks.

The blue footed booby is a survivor. If one has crossed your path you can expect the same for yourself. No matter what life is throwing at you, you can come out of it stronger than ever! Dive deep within yourself. There are more layers than just the surface. You have strength deep within that will help you get ahead in life.

The booby is fearless. They may look silly as they stumble around, doing a little dance. They may be a bit goofy with big blue feet that don’t quite seem to fit the rest of their body. Though in the end, they are still confident and continue on. So what if your own dance is a little clumsy, it’s yours! Strut your stuff, don’t be afraid to be you! Single? This could be your time to shine and pick up that cutie you’ve been too shy to approach otherwise. In a relationship? Don’t forget to have some fun every once and a while. Remember to dance together, even if you look silly.

The blue footed booby is also a symbol of creativity and dreaming. It might be time to take that dream and make it a reality. The booby is telling you to keep in touch with your creative side. Anything is possible, as long as you can imagine it. Use your creativity to make it happen.

Blue footed boobies live on the coast. This symbolizes unity of all the elements. The sun shines on the coast (fire), the booby birds dance on the shore (earth), they soar through the sky (air) and they dive into the waters(you guessed it, water). They use all the elements to survive and have achieved a balance between them. If we can obtain this balance in our own lives, we too can dive deep into the open water and come out with an abundance of fish….or whatever you are aiming for!

With awkward feet and a name that makes you giggle, it’s surprising how powerful a totem the blue footed booby can be. Balance your life and remember to look within yourself for the strength to survive. Stay silly and spend time with the love of your life.

I hope you were able to gain some insight from the blue footed booby. I was happy to learn as much as I did about them. They are unique and interesting creatures. Have you ever seen one of these birds in person? Share your story in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back soon for my next totem piece, the orca.

Dive on in, free spirits!

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~Totem Animal art by Free Spirit Meg~

Find your own totem animal in the shop!

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