One of the more popular prints from the Closet of Mysteries is the hand drawn Deer Shaman T Shirt. Here is the story of how I developed this design.
The Back Story
Before moving to northern Arizona, I spent a lot of time venturing into the area for recreation. On one adventure, I noticed a metal sculpture of a deer headed man at a gas station in Flagstaff. After that, the image seemed to jump out at me every time I came to the area.
Since moving northward from Phoenix, I have seen this fellow quite a lot. Finally, while visiting a gem shop in Cottonwood, Cristina inquired about one of the metal sculptures of the deer headed man with the shop owners. They explained that he is a shaman and that is why you will always see him with a medicine bag around his neck.
After doing some research, I found that this particular motif of shamanism has been common around the world since ancient times; mostly occurring within tribes of people who, not surprisingly, sustain themselves by deer hunting. This is yet another example of the curious connection between cultures with supposedly no contact and separated by oceans yet doing the same things…
I decided to create my own hand drawn version of this character for a deer shaman t shirt design. Here is a sneak peek at the finished product:
Below are the various stages of the creative process through completion…
I like to work with a .5 mechanical pencil for most all of my drawings before inking.
I begin with the deer head since it is the main focus of the piece.
As I began to work on the body, I decided to give him a staff to aid him in his magical endeavors…
You can see that I started out giving him two of them but thought better of it.
I then added more detail with the fire resulting from his conjuring, the essential medicine bag, and lots of folds in his rough robe.
Once satisfied with my pencil sketch, it was time to do the inking. I use a waterproof acrylic ink and calligraphy pen to get the line quality and contrast I will need in order to get a good screen print image.
The Final Deer Shaman T Shirt Design
The final stage was done by scanning the drawing at a high resolution and adding some cool tribal elements to create a background to make my shaman stand out. At this stage, I am ready to turn this design into a screen printed deer shaman t shirt!
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