Looking Beyond – A Magical Grackle ink drawing by Scott Myst

I thought I would share the stages of progress of my most recently completed original magical grackle ink drawing.  I called this piece “Looking Beyond”.  Grackles are abundant in my area and I have been fascinated with these birds for a long time.  The males sport flashy black feathers that shine in iridescent colors of blue and green around their heads.  They have appeared to me in dreams a number of times and I always have seen them as a messenger from beyond and a sort of spirit animal.  Let’s take a look at this magical drawing in progress.

This is a detail of the completed artwork:

Detail of magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

The process

I began with a pencil drawing which is my typical approach.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

I recently purchased a new calligraphy pen for drawing.  It will never look this clean again…

Calligraphy pen

I commence the work by following along the original drawing for the most part but add a lot of detail as I see fit.  I like the way the trees are coming a long at this stage.  This new pen pleases me.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Once the pen work is done, I add in the tones with a watercolor brush.

Work in Progress magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst Completed magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Here is a detail of the eye at the bottom.

Detail of magical grackle drawing by Scott Myst

Final artwork

Here is the final magical grackle ink drawing scanned and made pretty:

looking beyond - A Magical Grackle ink drawing by Scott Myst

Two random side notes about my experiences with grackles:

I once observed a small group of these clever guys ripping into packets of sweetener and gobbling up the powdery content at an outdoor coffee shop.  The method was quite clever; nap packet from table and take it to the grass, stab beak into paper packet then open beak to make a nice sized hole, then feast on contents.  On a side note, these were the worst looking grackles I had ever seen.  Their shabby appliance reminded me of Gollum (artificial sweeteners turned them in to the bird equivalent of tweekers).

When I worked at ASU, I used to walk from a neighborhood across the street to avoid paying for parking on campus.  The road I walked down on campus had some very large trees along the sidewalk in which grackles would nest.  As I walked along that sidewalk during the spring when there were hatchlings in the nests, the males would dive bomb my head making a strange clicking sound.  The first time scared the hell out of me as I did not see them coming.  After a couple of times, I learned it was a better idea to walk on the opposite side of the street 🙂

Thank you for viewing!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Feel free to leave comments.  Sign up for updates with the form below to be notified when I post new content.

Hand Drawn “World Tree” T Shirt Design by Scott Myst

I recently completed my hand drawn “World Tree” t shirt design.  Here is the behind the scenes look at the design from beginning to end.

world tree muscle tank top from closet of mysteries
While reading Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircea Eliade, I was inspired to make a shirt design around the concept of the World Tree.  The tree is an archaic concept of a life force that penetrates all levels of existence; the underworld, our mundane or physical world, and above into the heavens.  This concept is present in most cultures from Siberia to the Norse traditions and are even the original basis for modern christmas trees.

The Drawing 

To begin my work, I pulled out my antique compass which was originally my father’s.  He bought the set brand new in the 1930’s.  It is a work of art in its own right.

Vintage compass set

I laid out a standard five pointed pentagram as the background and added the tree in the center.  Next, I added the alchemical elements around the outside.  Once the pencil work was complete, I began inking with illustration pens.

World Tree Original Drawing by Scott Myst World Tree Original Drawing by Scott Myst

World Tree Original Drawing by Scott Myst
World Tree Original Drawing by Scott Myst

World Tree Original Drawing by Scott Myst

The Screen print

Once the drawing was complete, it was scanned and prepared in for output onto shirts.  I removed any remaining pencil marks and made the artwork a solid color for the best screen print.  World Tree original art screen print from Closet of MysteriesThe image is printed large on the front of the t-shirt in a single color for a bold and unique shirt you can’t find anywhere else!
World Tree original art screen print from Closet of MysteriesWorld Tree black t shirt from Closet of Mysteriesworld tree tank w
I love creating unique graphics by hand since it always results in something that is a truly unique expression.  My two passions come together when I create artwork based on ideas I contemplate while studying the mysteries that intrigue me the most.  I hope you enjoyed this look into my process of creating this hand drawn “World Tree” t shirt design.  Feel free to leave comments and suggestions for future projects.

I also welcome discussion about the mystery schools, shamanism, magick, and spirituality 🙂