Somewhere in my mind, I knew that brainstormings were fantastic sessions of thinking and developing amazing ideas (I used to do them a lot with friends!). But, well, I forgot about it (and part of myself can be lazy even to do something like that).
In my Inkredible Inktober adventure, I had problems with a specific prompt: Foxy Tale.
The main reason was that I didn’t want to paint something that screamed fox all over the paper. Also, the world “tale” was ticking oddly on my mind. I needed something different, but in touch with what I like to portray.
Brainstorming started, then.
As I was painting about spirits and forests, I tried to visualise some options: folktales, shapes, animal extinction. Then I started thinking “Hmmm, there should more than the typical red-furred fox”, and as I was using mainly white ink, I discovered the beautiful arctic fox. I also thought about the Native Americans and their animal spirits, but scratched the idea, as I had a memory about the wolf being the most used representation, not the fox.
So I started investigating about the arctic fox, trying to tell a story with it. But then my mind whispered to me: “Wait a minute, Isa. There were many totems and animals spirits. Let’s search the Fox Tribe and see what appears. I feel there is something about it.”
I found that The Fox Tribe existed, but its name was a mistake during the colonial era, so the animal spirit wasn’t the fox.
I kept searching about Native American Folktale, and I found “the silver fox”. That’s what I wanted! I read about its meanings, and some tales from different tribes.
I found it very interesting that there was a tale about the silver fox who brought fire to the red-earths. It pictured a beautiful sketch on my mind. But then I read “Fox-Woman is usually portrayed as a wise elder” and something clicked perfectly.
I respect the elder’s knowledge deeply. It’s full of experiences and longs lives of ups and dows, from which you can learn a lot. Older people have been the ones that have helped me the most in my life —they have given me strength and motivated me always to keep on growing as a person.
In Native American culture, older people were the most important ones, teaching values and the tales of the spirits and nature to the next generation. Here, Fox-Woman is a teacher to young people, a vision that appears in specific moments —a part of Wakan Tanka, the great mystery.
I started sketching, mixing almost all I brainstormed at the very beginning: forest, branches, folktale and spirit shapes.
I don’t do many sketches. I prefer to develop the idea while I’m painting, playing with the brush strokes.
I wanted to paint something about Native American Folklore for a very long time (I have a sketched project about it, shhhhh) so I was super happy about the idea and the result, especially, as sometimes I have problems playing with white ink. But this piece came out very well!