Let's start with a quick prologue:
For the past three or so years my job as a designer at Night Agency was the main reason why my painting production had slowed to a trickle. However, I've since found myself without that responsibility (Night Agency and I parted ways – very amicably – in March) and am thrilled to say I've returned to my freelance/art roots. As such I will be doing my best to create as much work as I can. I will also be attempting to do the kind of blog post you see here with all future works as they are made – big and small. Each blog post will talk a little about the work, the process of making it, the series it will become a part of, etc. That way I can better keep people up to date on the work I'm doing!
So without further ado: KITSUNE SHINI YOKAI!
I know the words are not a direct translation (my brother informs me things seldom are when converting Japanese to English) - but I've decided to take the phrases he helped translate for me and make them the names of the creatures in my Forest Spirit Series (which will hence-forth be referred to as my Yokai Series).
So a quick explainer: from a very early age my brother and I have been fascinated by Japanese culture, art, video games and animation. My brother channeled his love for Japan into making their language one of his majors in college and subsequently living there teaching English and later programming/designing at a smaller video game company. I, on the other hand, chose to channel my love for the culture and art by (mostly subconsciously) letting it influence my own artwork and, often, the subject matter I chose to depict.
Recently I had become fascinated with the basic ideas behind Shinto. I'm not really a spiritual person (and I am fairly vocally anti-religion) – however, that didn't stop me from being fascinated with the mythology and lore that comes from the world's various religions. I see them more as fantasy akin to Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter- worlds I adore, often wish were real, and sometimes sculpt my views through but are ultimately works of fiction. With all that said I love the basic ideas behind (my very narrow interpretation of) Shinto. I know that what I'm about to describe is likely FAR from an accurate reading of the religion- but taking some basic snippets I decided to craft a world and lore for a series of paintings I'm fast becoming emotionally attached to.
It all started with my Kusa Kami (Grass Spirits):