Whale as Totem (early)

I’m pretty obsessed with drawing animals. And animal totems. And animals as totems. And so on. I know this, because I’ve submitted something like over 300 different deviations into the ‘traditional – animals’ category at my DeviantArt account. And that’s not including animals that count in the ‘fantasy’ category, either.

I love animals. I love that I am an animal. I’m not such a big fan of the dichotomy set up between humans and nature, as though, because we’re capable of creating plastics we are somehow not a part of nature anymore. Sorry to disappoint, but even the destructive things are a part of nature. I am not one of those people who puts humans on a pedestal, or does something equally naive (in my opinion), and castigate them over all other animals.

Whale as Totem - unpublished Australian Animal Oracle Deck

This is ‘Whale as Totem’, from the unpublished Australian Animal Oracle Deck, back when I was still at the beginning of developing my ‘totem artwork’ style. The shapes used are personal symbols, because I found the idea of poaching from Indigenous cultures to be highly distasteful. I also thought that it wouldn’t be too hard to develop a personal symbology; being already very spiritual, and loving seeing meanings in symbols anyway. And it wasn’t that hard.

This is before I was using watercolour pencils (I was scared of them), so all the colouring is via coloured pencils.

I draw what I’m compelled to draw. And animals are part of that. I might not be vegetarian, I might think that plastics are as much a ‘part of nature’ as a bumblebee, even if they’re not biodegradable, but celebrating nature through artwork is part of what I do.