From the humble house cat to the mythical dragon, animals have provided some of the greatest creative inspiration to artists throughout the ages. We as humans seem to feel a deep and abiding connection with the other inhabitants of our planet. So, in Week Three we are taking artistic inspiration from our favorite animals. This can be in any way you like, consider your favourite animal, what the animal means to you, a time you have had contact with your animal (or a dream encounter) perhaps the colors of the animal and even what your connection with this animal is and why you like it so much.
For much of my life I've felt a connection with a few select animals more than any other Tigers (cats), Wolves and Foxes, Wrens and Finches (small birds) and the gorgeous Red Panda. While I love and adore all animals, these are something special, something I consider inspiring, beautiful and that I feel some kind of bond with - the more I learn, the more I love them! I've never seen some of these animals in person, and I might never, but it doesn't dull my urge to protect them (I donate when I can), or dim the absolute awe they inspire in me. It just means I'll need to draw them from photos. Take a look below and tell me you don't find little Sorrel completely inspiring - I sure do!
Image used with permission of the Birmingham Zoo, Sorrel the Red Panda Painting.
For a little more inspiration for week 3 I discuss a options other than a favourite animal, in the clip below - it's only quick so give it a watch and jot down any ideas as they come to mind or ways you could use the idea of a favorite animal or special connection with an animal as inspiration this week.
In the clip, I mentioned that if stuck you can always consider using your Chinese Horoscope animal or even your spirit animal, and as promised here are a few places that you can find out more information on both of those.
- A quick way to find out your Chinese Horoscope Animal is by using an online calculator.
If you'd like to learn more or look at the animal traits there are heaps of good sites that discuss the traits and characteristics of the Chinese Horoscope menagerie.
- Your Spirit Animal may be an animal you feel a strong connection with, one that has come to you several times in your lifetime or even one you choose. If taking a How to Find Your Spirit Animal online test, you might need to take the results with a grain of salt (or even do a couple of different tests and compare the results)! You can approach this as a bit of fun or as an opportunity to make a connection and investigate what it means to you, the Why to find your spirit animal is an interesting read.
There are several different ways to approach Spirit Animals or Spirit Guides.
Some look for Spirit Animals according to their Star Sign - in this instance my spirit animal is a Raven, with the following characteristics:
"Libra, the sign of the scales, is all about equality and balance in life and love. Which is very much like the raven, who is known for being a peace-loving creature. The raven is incredibly intelligent and charming, known for their incredible balance of beauty inside and outside.
The raven is the perfect mediator of any group as they are diplomatic, making them great listeners and advice-givers.The raven has boundless energy and is incredibly easygoing in all their relationships. Inside, they are romantic, patient, and caring. And when they're not their usual charming selves, the raven can be brash, demanding, rude, and even vindictive. But all in all, the raven is very nurturing and loves to give their time and hearts to those around them. They make excellent caregivers, teachers, and doctors."
There is also the Native American Zodiac - where I am a Falcon (interesting that there are 2 birds so far!)
Then the Spirit Animal based on personal choices and preferences that reflect a particular animal - in this test my animal is a cat and in this Spirit Animal test my animal was an owl (another bird!) So as you can see the online tests tend to be quite varied, so take what you will from the test and perhaps take a few different ones to see possible results and then choose what speaks to you the most.
And finally, "modern shamans believe that in order to connect with the true essence of your passage, you must first learn how to find your spirit animal, the path to find your spirit animal is best followed through observation. Whether dreaming, meditating, or simply observing and identifying with nature, discovering your spirit animal will leave you feeling inspired and empowered."
Now it's up to you! Pick your own animal, visit the local zoo or wildlife park if you have one close by and choose an animal you feel a connection with, take an online test (or 2), use your horoscope (Chinese or otherwise) and use this animal or animals as your creative inspiration for this week and paint, draw, write or create.
Go get arty, and if you think you can't - let me leave you with this beautiful clip, if a little red panda can pick up a brush - then what's your excuse not too? (used with permission from Birmingham Zoo) oxox