I just published these illustrated winter animal gift tags on my Etsy shop. Check them out!
“Mush, Mush! Forward! Forward!”
We have a little mouse that lives in the bush outside. If you look carefully between the branches and leaves, there is a whole little maze world he has built. In one respect it looks totally alien to everything we know but also strangely familiar. He seems to have gathered every bit of twig, leaf, fur, hair, paper and discard to assemble an elaborate labyrinth. It runs eight or nine feet across and doubles back and down, wrapping on itself. Scale is a funny thing.
I’ve always found miniature things very intriguing. Things follow all the same rules and laws as we do on our scale of life, but there is something very alien and eye opening about thinking about the world on a smaller scale. The construction of objects from our everyday are viewed in a completely different light just by changing scale. Thread becomes rope and needles are large dangerous objects much likes swords. The miniature world has been much played in the story telling world, mice especially, but simply thinking about the many little objects on your desk or table, or the many components that make up many of our more complex objects reveals a whole additional dimension when thinking about it at scale. Creating scenarios of small characters using out of scale objects is always a fun exercise, and though much played out, offers an unlimited array of stories and characters.
Imagine what a creature one hundred times our size would think of the way we utilize the many things in our lives. What objects around you would be wonderfully utilized to advance you forward on a smaller scale?
Illustration Friday : “forward”
Say it a villain, but I like the wolf; I think he is rather dapper. Fables, rhymes and fairy tales unanimously agree that the wolf (or fox) is a mean, shrewd, cunning, coy, heartless villain, a thief, a robber, and a murderer. There, of course, are a few humorous attempts in looking at the wolf’s side of the story such as “The True Story of The Three Little Pigs,” but I declare justice is not served. I do applaud Roald Dahl for allowing us into the life of Mr. Fox; however, he is still hunted and villainized by the farmers of the land despite being the hero of the story. Certainly stories of the natives include heroic, god like wolves but American culture would much rather idolize the lion over the wolf.
We have a lot to learn from the wolf, and not just about how to dress. We see ourselves in him which perhaps gives reason to villainize him. By some social mythology structure, the goat, or the pig has inherently done no wrong and even in mistake can be forgiven, actually idolized for learning a profound lesson. The wolf, however, gains no such glory. His very presence is greeted by hiss and boo. Perhaps the sharp teeth, or sleek eyes have gained him no ground. The story could equally be rewritten to warn of tattle tale little girls, men with guns, forgetting to look in the clock, and snarky construction working pigs. Just look how regal, how clean and cunning, dapper and dashing, steady and stark, alert and acute is the wolf. If he were human, he would be a knight, or a Robin Hood at least.
Certainly there is an elephant in the room. I may be carefully avoiding the fact that the wolf is, indeed, a predator and the goats and pigs certainly should be afraid of him. He is their villain, I cannot argue that. Yet, the wolf has a villain as well, as do we all, and despite the long held cultural structure of an innocent goat, perhaps we should write a story about The Three Grass Brothers, or The Daisy and the Tulip. We will see how cute and innocent that goat remains.