Bde Maka Ska | Skillshare Projects

Bde Maka Ska

I'm from Minnesota where a local lake was just renamed to rid it of its negative racial ties. The Dakota name was re-introduced: Bde Maka Ska, or "White Earth". Although Ricardo suggested we letter our city, I feel like the name of the lake is more representative of my city's increasingly progressive attitude (especially in thanks to the local educators and protesters).

After completing the alphabet warm-up, I took Ricardo's advice and did a little digging on letterforms at Made some quick sketches of a few I liked:



Then moved to sketching the lake name out. Here's 2/4 of the pages:



I liked the idea of using a wavy "M" to represent the water of the lake. I also chose a white ink on brown paper to represent the translation, "White Earth." 


I photographed using the recommended F6 and ISO200. I put some putty between the lettering and a blue piece of scrapbook paper from Michaels. It's night time over here, so the lighting was poor. I had a hard time color correcting and it came out a bit orangy. I used the liquify tool to fix up my small letters, and edited out the toothy paper with the clone stamp. Here's the final:


Next time I'd photograph using daylight and spend a bit more time on the smaller letters. I'd also make the shadow a dark brown instead of black -- it looks more dirty than shadowy. 

For more of my work check out my instagram account at Thanks for viewing!


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