Sci fi/Fantasy image by

Desiree Isphording

Although I uploaded this illustration in 2002, I actually created this piece back in 2000. It was drawn for a friend and served as a combination going-away/graduation present. This is the only copy I have of this piece, and unfortunately it is only a partial copy. This particular view cut off the Sanskrit symbol for 'om' which revealed itself in the mist unfurling from the Raven's beak.     My friend copied the central raven figure so that she could take it to a tattoo artist, who transferred the design to her left sholderblade (the tattoo is not nearly as good as my illustration though!). It is strange to think that one of your designs is permanently etched onto the skin of another...     Everything within this piece is a symbol of the person I created it for. My friend considered the raven to be her personal totem, and so it takes a central place in the overall composition. The raven's back is the night sky, and the constellation Cygnus (the Swan) is sprawled across it, while the moon is on the lower left on one of the wings. The small marsh wren in the lower left corner is a word-play on my friend's nickname, which is Ren, while the Jack of Diamonds was the indicator card she always chose to represent herself when divining with an average deck of playing cards. She believes the Swan, in this case a Tundra Swan, and the Snake to be the totems that represent her feminine and masculine aspects respectively (note the yin and yang designs inscribed upon the crowns on their necks). The medium is pen and ink.

Published More than a year ago

Category Mythology

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