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Future of Frog

By axcho
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A treefrog, holding an egg, with a frog embryo inside it.

A drawing in the formline style, developed by many native groups along the Northwest Coast of North America, such as the Tlingit and the Haida. I would describe this frog as a contemporary rather than a traditional piece, though it doesn't necessarily break any of the rules associated with the formline style.

I created this design in honor of Year of the Frog, an effort to call attention to the plight of frogs and other amphibians, which are rapidly going extinct. :( "The world hasn't seen an extinction crisis like this since the dinosaurs died out." You can read more about it here: [link]

Pen, crayon, and marker. If you ever find yourself drawing one of these formline designs, do yourself a favor and stay away from crayons! They are not worth the hours of pain and suffering that is sure to result from using them.

This is an example of an expansive formline design, where the parts of the animal are distorted to fill a geometric shape, but remain recognizable.

If you like this artwork, and you want to learn more about the cultural context in which the style was developed, please see the excellent book A Story as Sharp as Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World by Robert Bringhurst. I've written a review of it, which you can read here: [link]

Enjoy!

Naturalistic: Leaping Velociraptor
Configurative: Baby Turtle
Expansive: Future of Frog
Distributed: Salmon Box
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© 2009 - 2021 axcho
Comments16
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can i use this design as tattoo on my arm?
axcho's avatar
Sent you a message. :)
really love this design and would like to seek permission from the artist to use as a tattoo.
axcho's avatar
Sent you a message. :)
arauz07's avatar
This is crazy cool. It would be sweet to see it in a digital image as well. Maybe a patch could be built out of this. If you do a thunderbird, please let me know, I think it would be a real cool thing.
axcho's avatar
Thank you! Maybe I'll turn this into a vector image someday - I definitely think it would be worth doing. I've never tried a thunderbird, but I will let you know if I make one!
heavyteeth's avatar
wow, this is just lovely, the elongated split u forms in his legs are so well balanced and the feet are cute :D
i really enjoy your northwest coast styled pieces!
axcho's avatar
:D :D :D :winner: Haha, thank you! :XD:

I feel so special now... :)
Zeptim's avatar
The first thing I thought of as well was a tattoo. However I have enough of said, so I won't make one. Doesn't change the fact that it would be perfect for it.

As if taken from an ancient illustration, maybe from Egypt? Looking completelly awesome, and with a sense of depth and shape hardly beaten.

The picture gives the feeling of being rather complex, but not too complex to understand, and love.

Once again, favorite.
axcho's avatar
Thank you! The 'formline' style is a classical art style, not Egyptian, but of many native groups along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. Around Alaska and Northwestern Canada, mostly.

I love the way formline art seems to move and flow when you look at it, where the complexity is not really from having lots of parts, but from the shape of the parts and how they relate to one another. I am very happy with the composition of this one, and the use of detail, and incorporating symbolism along with it. I'm glad you were able to enjoy these things as well. :D
Zeptim's avatar
Yeah it really made my inspirational day! I've been thinking about some paintjob-designs for my BMW M-Coupe. With your permission I'll have a look at how it could turn out, not doing it yet though, just checking it.
axcho's avatar
Cool! If you want to show me what you're thinking, I'll take a look and consult with a few people who might know more about what's appropriate. You can send me a note or something.
curodragon7's avatar
this, thiiiis would make an amazing tattoo
axcho's avatar
Thank you, I'm glad you think so! This is probably my favorite out of all the formline designs I've made so far. :aww:

Please don't use it as a tattoo without my permission though. ;)
curodragon7's avatar
didnt plan on it :]

too young for one anyways, lol
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