flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
First things first, I am once again asking you (insert Bernie here) to go check out the Alleyman’s Tarot, please. It’s a really cool project and the Kickstarter has been blowing up, let’s overwhelm the creator but in a good grocery buying way!
So, on to the current active project (not to be confused with all the other projects that are once again slightly back burnered because new idea is exciting idea). For the Empress, I wanted to do a Selkie, even though the truth is that Selkie tales (and swan maiden tales, and really any ‘man traps magical maiden into marriage’ tales) are TERRIBLE. But the creatures at the root of those stories are delightful. Who doesn’t want to be able to turn into a seal?
The general gist if you’re unfamiliar is young man sees beautiful girl walking along shore with wet hems and wet footprints, no matter how far she walks. He realizes at some point that she’s a Selkie; sometimes that’s before they’re married, sometimes it’s after. Either way, he steals her sealskin, which traps her on land in human form. Marriage goes on, the dude sucks, and at some point after they have had a child together he either yells at or hits her for a third time and she retrieves her skin and disappears with the baby, off to live happy seal life again. Mercedes Lackey has a nice twist on it in her Elemental Masters books, where the Selkie boys need to intermarry with humans to keep their people going but post-industrialization it’s not so easy to turn up on the beach and marry a girl, so a helpful magician finds willing brides who are perfectly delighted to have handsome husbands who can support them comfortably, are great in bed, and fuck off with the kids to the sea regularly while they get a nice break. Seriously sign me up, I’m in.
But ok. My Selkie has her skin safely over her shoulder, and she’s out in the sea, not staring longingly through a window at it. She’s both part of nature and apart from it, she’s fertility and transformation, she’s mysterious but open. She’s the mistress of her own powers. If she takes a human husband, it’ll be on her terms. Also she’s fat, why the fuck did I ever draw a seal woman skinny? (I’ll take internalized fatphobia and self-loathing for $5000.)
Places to buy stuff!
Did I miss something? I think that’s everything.
What’s making me happy this week:
From this stuck artist, I need to tell you that witnessing your creative joy is making me very happy. You go, girl.