So great a cloud of witnesses

So great a cloud of witnesses
Originally uploaded by anselm23

Via Flickr:
I drew this today in conjunction with my friend Chris/toefur, who commented on how much I knew. I took my most recent piece of artwork, the second decan of Libra, and tried to chart the influences upon it, at least in the mortal world. Even as I type this, I’m realizing that at least part of my artistic practice is informed by Gordon White of who helped me understand the magical process of sigils and sigilization (and I’ll be adding that to this drawing in a moment). Peregrin’s By Names And Images in here too. But exoteric teachers, from Mrs Duchovny in second grade, to Mrs. Cannon in fifth, Mr. Kelly in tenth, and even my dad and my grandparents, all make an appearance in the knowledge base of this image. I’m surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses — ancestors and spirits of place and what Anne Cubberly called at our dress rehearsal on Friday night, “luminous beings”. Andrew Carle (@tieandjeans on Twitter) said that he’s more of a recombinator than a creator, but that’s a lie. De Combinatoria is taking existing pieces to make something new— but the skills and the instruction and knowledge base that underlie that recombination are unique to any individual. And what design programs like the one at my school are theoretically invested in doing is

  • A) helping kids acknowledge the power of their unique experiences, and
  • B) translating those experiences into creative actions aimed at a goal.

So, Makers and Designers — take your last project and identify its components. Recognize where the bits and pieces came from, and acknowledge your creative influences. Know who and what entities helped you complete that creative project, and thank the people who made it happen.

The image on Flickr has a ton of embedded links, so it’s worthwhile to click through and follow all the lines of thought and influences that went into making this post and this sketch.

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