Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ballad of the Mongeese

This unit's assignment was to create an ink print of some sort of wildlife. I pondered on creating a print of the Shoggoth, but decided something in the Lovecraftian realm would have to many complex textures. So instead, I made a small legion of mongeese:

(Reference Photo)

As you can see, I was going for photorealism.

I noticed early on that many people were also doing this creature for their projects - or something almost identical, the 'mongoise' - so I took a risky decision and made it a baby mongoose, to add originality. Don't let its large head and eyes deceive you, however; this here's a battle mongoose. It may not be apparent at first, but on closer inspection you can see that the scar tissue between its plates give the illusion that large sections of its armor is barely connected as if they were splotches of ink, as well as the gash on its chin, no doubt the result of a gruesome battle with some metallic, wedge-headed serpent.

**Fun fact: Another distinctive feature of the battle mongoose is its color patterns - similar to that of a great white shark, it has a darker colors on top of it's body, so it blends in with the dark waters below when seen from above, and lighter colors on the bottom so it can blend in with the lighter water above when viewed from below. However, most battle mongeese will swim upside-down, standing out from all angles. This is an even more effective defense mechanism in the wilderness, as then it is not confused with the puny great white shark, but something several orders of magnitude deadlier. Generally, the passage of a battle mongoose through some of the more populated waters is accompanied by hushed whispers of one fish to another: "Hey, is that a battle mongoose?" to which the other fish would reply, "Yeah, let's not mess with that guy."

This valiant warrior mongoose has has ambitions, visible by the death glare it is giving the creature that inhabits the plastic bottle in front of it. This ocean litter is both a statement about pollution and a metaphor for the ultimate goal of every mongoose: become a moongoose, navigating through vast spans of space with a roughly bottle-shaped vessel. Deeper meanings are left to the viewer to unveil.

I crafted this battle mongoose from linoleum with nothing but the power of my mind, which manipulated devices called 'limbs' into clutching tools and moving them in such a way that they carved away the linoleum, leaving only the image of the mongoose in their wake. It was a grueling task, of course, scratching away the material through sheer will, focusing my mental power on the narrow spaces between the plates. But my concentration was still intact at the week's end, though I had to rest it back to its former glory before I could write this post, and even now, I can hear the sticky sound brought about by rolling ink on a brayer ringing in my ears. From this experience, I can deduce an important life message: some cuts are not deep enough, and can become so over-encumbered that they can no longer be seen.

Sometimes, I lay awake at night, wondering, "Could the battle mongoose's struggle to attain its dream of becoming a moon-goose really just be a symbol for my struggle to create battle mongeese?" and I can't help but think that I have been up far too long pondering these things and should really go to sleep before further psychosis begin to develop.