Yelena Sophia

All that and a side of pickles.

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Make a crest, unite a family

Three years ago, my family had a huge rift. My father and grandmother (his mom) got into an argument over  some property and stopped talking. Well, at least my dad stopped talking to her and that side of the family. It hasn't been pretty, and has really hurt my grandmother. She's a remarkable woman, and won't be alive for much longer. My family was born in Russia, and most of my dads side of the family lives in Ukraine. I doubt that I'll be able to reconcile their problems by making a crest, but it would be a nice tribute to them both. Heck if for nothing else, then to thank them for the life I have! 

Step 1: Research 

Planning to scan a few photographs I have on hand, dig a little bit about some history I know. Think of a few questions to ask my grandmother, and my cousins about the fam. 

UPDATE 11/14 

Well, I talked to my mom and dad, the experts first. They were enthusiastic, and offered the idea that our family consisted of just the three of us (them and me) I suggested that our immigrant family is not unlike any other in history that came to America for a better tomorrow. They reminded me of some things I alreay knew, and pushed the colors to represent ukraine much more then Russia. This could also possibly be that they are afraid that todays political climate is so charged, I should keep any Russian related work under wraps. Not sure how I feel about that. Anyway, here's an inspiration board. Planning to touch base with the Ukrainian side of the family later this week. 

Ps. Kerning Russian Letters is FUCKING TERRIBLE. 

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11/26/14

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Shape: A shield flipped upside down looks like a house! When you give it chicken legs, it becomes a great shape for the crest staright from the Russian folk tale 'Baba Yaga' 

Icons:

Fish = Our last name "Rybkin" means fish

Egg in a cup = Nourishment  

Hook = Generations of fishermen on my dads side 

Wheat = Grandma worked in the fields as a little girl during the war 

Sun = bright beginings..  from us coming to the states, also the icon of ukraine. 

Now on to illustartor....! 

11/29/14 

Had fun making these. I would have an egg in a cup every morning at my grandmas house as a lot of kids do. I loved cracking the egg and remember waiting as long as I could do crack it. 

NOURISHMENT EGGS

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7/13/2015

After months of silence I finally reached out and made a connection with my cousin on my dad's side. Yulia.  I met her when I was in Ukraine and she rememebers me as a little girl when I lived in Moscow. Yulia is jovial, kind, and receptive to talking with me. It felt strange but wonderful to speak with her in English while she replied in Russian. I told her about my project and showed her what I have so far. I asked her to think about any other stories that she could remember that she thinks that we should preserve in our family. I'm going to see what she says before reaching out to any other relatives. In the meantime, an update:

EVOLUTION OF A SHAPE

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These don't feel quite right yet, I don't like the way the Russian font looks so disconnected from the rest of the family crest. Also, the bear, even though it is symbolic to Russia isn't symbolic to me. I'm going to see if I could find any photographs of my grandfathers medals, there could be some imegary there that could be interesting to use. 

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11/23 Update:

So I ended up calling my cousin and asking her for help. Which was scary. We haven't spoken in a few years now. She sounded reserved at first, then a bit more relaxed. She has three kids now instead of one - we are not that far apart in age so it really stops you in your tracks to learn the news. She gave me the name of the ship that my grandfather was a whaler on, which roughly translates into "The emerald" It's been such an insane three months of graduate school I haven't been able to finish this project - but I think it will be perfect in time for Christmas. 

On a much lighter note, I actually learned  how to import into Cinema 4D so ... stay tuned, things about to get even more interesting! 

Yelena 

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