Resolving an Idea

Sep 2 · 2014 // Art / Design / Instagram

Continuing to work on a Bison illustration. I’ve been fascinated by the animal for a long time. It’s through line in American history, first as a staple of life for Native Americans, then nearly wiped out during white man’s march to the west coast, and now to it protection and nearly sacred symbology of the American West.

Beyond that, it’s held a slightly more personal resonance, dating back to an incident with my father that not surprisingly eventually related to running as well.

A broken arrow often signifies the ending of one thing. That day in Chattanooga really was a significant turning point, both for my relationship with my then deceased father and with running. I wouldn’t be training for the Berlin marathon if not for that day. I also wouldn’t be somewhat at peace with the complicated, even after death, relationship between my father and me.

As it is, think the illustration is close to finished. I hope to scan it and refine it a bit more in Illustrator soon. Live with it a bit. I’m also thinking about trying to resolve it in at least one other direction, attempt to illustrate a running bison in the style of the Lascaux cave paintings. It would create one more connection, cause layers and layers, right? That last connection would be to graphic design, or more basically visual communication. It was a quasi-revelatory moment in my history of graphic design class that the first lesson began with cave paintings. Coincidentally, so did my first art history survey class in college. The lesson being that for someone to go through the effort to create these images in the places they did, there was great intent. It could be seen as the origins of graphic design because it was the first attempt to distill information and communicate it through visual means. I’ve always liked that idea. And I’ll cut the tangent off now, as I need to get to work.