Friday, February 4, 2011
Back in Nov, I made my annual trip to the West Coast.
My twin sister was convocating her Masters, and both my mother and I wanted to be there.
Curing my stay, I touched based with my friends who were First Nations and lived in the local area. Quickly calling up friends, family, and extended relations so we could all hang out together and reminisce.
During the trip, I wanted to venture into making some art while challenging my design hand. So instead of dealing with NWP art via line thickness and weight, I wanted shape and color. My goal was to do a bunch of monochromatic images depicting some animals that came to mind (and were requested by some individuals).
Dealing with this style is hard, because anyone who knows anything about First Nations know that it demands a cultural understanding, lots of prior learning, and cannot be done simply becuase the illustrator "likes the style". Many non-community members take it upon themselves to dabble in this style, and create offensive and culturally insulting pieces. They are not even aware of this because they have no prior understanding to what they are doing.
Because of my connection, work, and relations to fist nations cultures and people, I take this cultural appropriation VERY seriously. I cannot fathom those silly people who think they can simply take something from someone else's culture, and think it's OK. I wan trained in the style by the people, and with the cultural rules applied, and still do.
I say this because within this series of designs, I had to come across a lot of cultural infringement- and deliberalty had to ask permission from the Elders of the local communities the right to do some of the things I did. Over the next few days, I'll be illustrating some of the events that I had to go through in order to design some of the images.