What started out with the basic concept as the doodle posted above - ballpoint pen + watercolor wash in the sketchbook - eventually evolved into a much more involved piece. Basic issues of simple respect aside, there was no way I would even contemplate properly tackling such a complex cultural design without any formal training in formline.
The resultant panel wound up as a collaboration with another artist friend, Abel Ryan (previously featured here before), who created the custom beaver blanket + hat designs for the final version.
One can't help but be continually impressed at the quality of work that is constantly being created within the UAF Fine Art department's Native Arts studio. Also I've been really inspired by a recent purchase of an amazing graphic novel "Red" by Haida-Manga artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (video here).
Once Abel emailed me the penciled-out imagery, I pasted it in to see how it would look: AWEsome.
Bonus trivia in the detail of a view from his hometown of Metlakatla that I snuck in from photo-reference. Mainly just so I could say Metla-CAT-la.
After receiving a surprise packet in the mail of the hard-copy finished designs, I then set about scanning them for final placement. The inherent awesomeness of the design in turn necessitated an expansion of the real-estate, as in making the blanket bigger so as to accommodate more of the art.
Started the whole thing way back in March, with another another bout of output in August; finished it all up in December; ran in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the following