‘A Necessary Being” tells of how the leaders of two ancient tribes “must broker a delicate peace to ensure that their peoples are to survive.” In “Childfinder,” a young woman “locates children with budding psionic powers and teaches them to protect themselves from society.'”
*A new reading series at the University of Chicago called Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future, began today with Duriel E. Harris and Francine J. Harris. Based on poet Roger Reeves essays on Poetry Foundation, the series “features emerging African Diaspora writers from the Midwest who focus on the black fantastic, the grotesque, the Afro-surreal, the Gothic, the speculative, and science fiction” and the other readings will be on May 18, June 8 and June 22.
Today, I am presenting my second surprise — my new logo for my blog! My friend from high school, Estella Yu, designed it for me. I love it and as I told her, it’s like my own bat signal. Another thing about the Aker image I noticed that I didn’t until now is that the shape of the lions’ tails, going up the their backs and to the sun has an unintentional sankofa shape! Hmmm?
Anyways, below is my interview with her about her journey as an artist and the logo:
1) How did you know you wanted to be an artist/graphic designer?
I kind of knew since I was little that I liked art. My favorite thing about picture book stories were the illustrations that pulled me into the imagined world. They inspired me to draw my own pictures. My mom also had a lot of influence on me growing up, since she used to fix and make jewelry as a side job and I would sit with her playing with beads. She is very crafty herself and I valued her opinion on the quality of my artwork. As I grew older, I continued pushing myself to develop my abilities. While I did well in other subjects in school, art was the only one that I ever felt really excited about. And I was really good at it too.
I never really planned to become a graphic/web designer. It sort of resulted from a number of things. I wanted a career in art that wasn’t solely performance/exhibit based. It is so difficult to sustain a livable salary with this because entering works into exhibits is extremely competitive and costs of transporting work can get expensive. Also, I wasn’t sure I wanted my work to just be pretty objects to serve as decorative pieces in a stranger’s living room. More and more I liked the idea of creating artwork that is also functional and can help others. I also realized that plenty of companies rely on their websites for their businesses so there is always going to be a need for designers. Especially since graphic/web designers now also create formats for smartphones and tablets and such. I thought, not only will I help others but my artwork will be all over the Internet. I took a web design course in grad school, got hooked and started freelancing.
2) What has your journey as an artist been like?
Aside from knowing that I wanted to be an artist, the rest has been a journey of self-discovery. It was a lot of fun learning so many different types of medium on my own as well as in college. I am grateful to my undergrad experience for giving me the chance to try more traditional hands on approaches such as print-making to sculpting wood. I wasn’t just creating on a whim anymore but rather learning to research my subject’s purpose and defending my choices of expression. It’s a thrill for me to reveal my completed work to a client. It was also really hard because I constantly second-guessed whether I would have been better off sticking to a practical career like pharmacy or nursing, which seemed like what all the other Asians were studying. Although I’m almost done with school, art is a profession that needs constant curiosity and practice. Even now as web/graphic designer I am constantly trying to learn and keep up with the latest design trends and techniques for coding HTML.
*Hey everyone! I just want to let you know that if you enjoy my blog and want to see it continue, please consider supporting it by donating at the side (–>). Any amount is welcomed. Thanks!
* I was thinking about creating an official logo for my blog. I have a basic design based on the initials of my full name S.V.F., the drawing for Aker and the chnoubis. I am not an artist, so I don’t have any way of fleshing it out. If anyone is an artist and interested in creating a better version based on the logo and images below, contact me at email@example.com. Any chosen will have a post dedicated to them (and maybe I’ll write a poem for you, too)!
This is Aker, Ms. Futuristically Ancient and I am a Time Traveler!
My name Aker (pronounced Ah-Care) comes from an ancient Egyptian god represented by two lions facing opposite each other with the sun in between. He was know as the god of yesterday and tomorrow as well as the horizon. He also guarded the underworld through which the sun passed through creating the night and when it came out, day would come.
The reason why my blog focuses on putting culture into a historical context has to do with the god Aker, who relates to West African word Sankofa and the Greek god Janus. We did not come from nothing. The past, present and future are all connected and the past has had an influence on the way we are now. By learning the past, we can better situate ourselves within time and better handle our future.