My SYMspiration: Sankofa

It's RARE that I get completely original requests that say..."I trust you, do whatever you like." So, this was the start of something wonderful. My dear SYM1 supporter, frequent commenter and soror, Tanaya, sent me an order requesting a Sankofa bird on the front and the continent of Africa, a woman w/ locs, and the words "know thyself" on the bakk. That's it.

Essentially, the Sankofa bird symbolizes a need to know where you came from in order to know where you are going. To read (a little) more, go here:   http://www.duboislc.net/SankofaMeaning.html. Many of you don't know, but I was an African American Studies major, so I was feeling in touch with my studies. Of course, I was happy to do it, but really had no idea where I would go with the design. It was a simple request, but I wanted it to be grand. So, I had a meeting with one of my business partners, Google, and he gave me a few pictures to work with. Here's the one I liked most.

However, I remember Tanaya having this same bird on her graduation cap (that I didn't do), so I decided not to copy the colors. (Nor do I understand why this Sankofa has left her egg unattended. I was a little disturbed.) She also requested to have the letters from each of the Greek organizations she is a member of on each of the wrists. The dominant colors are red and blue, so I started there. Then I sat in front of my paint shelf and laid the colors all side by side to see which ones worked. I don't know why or how, but I ended up with a indigo and violet-less rainbow. I REALLY wish I had taken step by step photos for this one, but I didn't know I was going to fall in love with it. My bad.

1st things first. I sketch the bird. I fill it in with the rainbow colors. Then I do the black outline. I don't like it. It looks flat. UGH! So I decide to add some details to the colors, but I wasn't sure which kind of pattern to use. I wanted it to keep that "African" feel. So bakk to my partner Google. Here's what I came up with...

At the time, I didn't really pay attention to the masks, but I like those too. Maybe a future piece. Anyway, the designs within the bird come from this piece. Yay! It looks so much better now, but I still don't like it. Lol. So, I decided  to wrap the spiraled squares around the entire design. :D Great idea! *cabbage patch* I'm the man.

I added a similar detail to the strings on the hood, put the letters on the sleeves. Signed my name...then flipped it over to do the bakk.

I chose to do Africa in red, and filled it with the same pattern I used on the bird. The woman was the main thing that I was really concerned with. I got the idea that she should be dancing. That has nothing to do with Sankofa, but I personally feel like there is a freedom in knowing. Dancing is the ultimate expression of that freedom. Google and I linked up one more time and he showed me a picture of a woman dancing.

She doesn't have locs. *shrugs* But, I'm SYM1...now she does. lol. I added the Sankofa symbol in yellow, simply because it felt naked. Now, I'm all done.

I love it. I want to do it again. It's getting a great response on Facebook. YAY! I want to make another one. (Said that already, huh?) Maybe on this green track jacket I have...hmmm...

#random: I want to do a shower curtain. I'm tired of looking at mine. I might be feeling colorful!


Ashley said...

LOVED it and you already know I love the Sankofa...the creation turned out beautifully and to read EXACTLY how you came about making it makes it even more beautiful. this was a great blog and I enjoyed reading about how you came about the actual design based on the order. Kind of makes me want to hear about how you come up with designs on my surprise orders.

ARTina said...

Soror, being in your actual creative presence would probably give my work the kick I feel that it needs. Until that is possible, keep the posts coming! I SWEAR I'm going to crack open all that new paint I have had forever and give it a go. The shower curtain idea? FANTASTIC!

Sankofa said...

SYM1! It is beyond my wildest imagination. I am glad that your business partner "google" was of good help! The ideas were brilliant. I always loved Sankofa... she is a beautiful. I do love the tattoo one, nice u remembered her being on my hat, I love your color choice! And the pattern. It was great to hear your thought process on it. I am glad to have inspired you and gave you a fun project. If you don't mind I want that one for my tattoo. I been wanting that bird but I could not think of a design. She is perfect! Thanks again... oh and Shower curtains? Nice that is a must see / blog!