GENERAL INTRODUCTION to this little series of photos; if you’re just looking for the part of the story told by the given “shot” of the artwork itself, simply scroll down to the “Phase #” part.
So a while back I shared a scan of a printout I had, which was of a mock book-cover illustration that I did back in college. It was done during my time working toward my Fine Arts/Graphic Design degree, and was for the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
It was something I came across as my family and I were undergoing a months-long moving process, and I just felt like sharing it on here as well as some other places online. Now the move is over, and I’ve been going through the process of making myself at home again.
As I’ve done so, I put another art-project from the past somewhat on display in my room, and upon reflection, I decided to share this piece on here/online as well, and to give a little bit of its story, both in regards to what led to it being made as well as the basic rundown of the story told within the piece.
This piece is quite a bit older, being something that was made during my time in high school instead of college/university, but having since become a published author of a fantasy-adventure book/series-to-hopefully-be, which features anthropomorphic animals (specifically a race that would seem to our eyes as “anthro wolves”), I thought this might be even more interesting/relevant to share, because it was done back in the VERY early period of development for what would become the setting of my published writing, and was indeed ABOUT a story that was conceived for it at the time.
For all the changes that came over the years since, I’d say there are still plenty of things about it that are, or can be, relevant to the present form of the setting and for future stories.
Indeed, without looking to spoil anything in particular at this time, I’d say at least a very basic “concept bit” from this old story was actually incorporated into a part of the story for Daughters of the East, with those of you who have read the novel potentially knowing what I’m talking about. ;)
So, with all that said, in regards to the piece itself, it was inspired by the vases, amphoras, etc. of ancient Greek culture (and wherever else this could apply; the idea at the time was simply going by what was “Greek” in my mind), which had images on them that told stories/scenes from stories.
Fun(ny) fact, though. This is not a ceramic work. It was made from three cut pieces of dried gourd, which were then glued/wood-puttied together and then painted with black and that “terracotta-ish” color.
Also, back in this early stage of my setting’s development, the world was initially going to be populated by a plethora of different “animal people,” including wolves, foxes, deer, badgers, panthers, lions, and some others. The story told on this “vase” tells of two “fox people,” with a “deer man” and a being that was essentially the setting’s version of an “Orc” also making appearances.
As for the story told from the images on the vase, in addition to whatever specifics that sprung from my own imagination (and any number of other inspirations, realized or not), it was inspired to some degree by Studio Ghibli’s/Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, which, at the time, was a movie I had recently watched for the first time.
The basic similarities I draw between the story here and the one from Mononoke are that of a “woman of the forest,” who encounters a wounded man on a mission, nurses him back to health, and develops feelings for him. After this, the two eventually work together to try to confront and resolve a threatening force/problem.
So, without further ado, here is a basic telling of the “story part” portrayed in the photo at hand...
PHASE 1 - THE HUNTRESS AND THE WOUNDED WARRIOR:
A woman who had grown up in the shelter of the forest, whom we shall simply refer to as “The Huntress,” happens upon a man, “The Warrior,” who was grievously wounded in a battle against a company of Orc-like people. The Warrior, either seeking shelter in the forest to try to heal, or else to die, but not in the midst of a horrid battlefield, is taken in by the Huntress and nursed back to health. As the Warrior recovers, the two converse with one another, befriend each other, and eventually develop feelings for each other that run quite deeper than that of friendship...