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Mekonnen in Armour

By j-saturn
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10 Comments
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This is my original character named Mekonnen from the ancient Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum, 6th century AD.
Medium: pen & ink, color pencils and computer graphic effects and layers using Photoshop.
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© 2010 - 2021 j-saturn
Comments10
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KarakNornClansman's avatar
This is an excellent design! Intriguing concept and cleverly conceived.

Have you by any chance ever been interested in drawing a classic fantasy picture? Dwarf-Elf-Orc sort of thing. Perhaps even with some angelic force involved in the background.

In case you ever would be interested in attempting one or more such drawings, then the Ninth Age (T9A) might have a brainstorming project cooking that might interest a man of your talents and tastes.

T9A is the community-driven spiritual successor of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but is even more heavily based in history than both Warhammer and Tolkien's Middle Earth. One area neglected by Warhammer was the equivalent of Africa (despite WHFB's Renaissance era basis), which won't be left behind in T9A.

In particular, there is a fantasy Ethiopian Dwarf project cooking. Being called a Dwarf is the highest compliment available to man, by the way! Kegiz Gavem: www.the-ninth-age.com/index.ph…

It's a collective brainstorming, with lots of ideas and artistic interpretations being added over time. Sergio Artigas has contributed his vision ( Ethiopian Dwarf by Artigas ), and I've doodled some as well. If you would by any chance be interested in giving Gavemite Dwarves a spin of of your pencils, then know that any and all artist contributions are most welcome! Having widely different interpretations only add to the richness of such fiction.

Since it's fantasy the cross won't be a symbol used by these Dwarves, but otherwise it's all open for any artist willing and able to come up with his own symbols and ornamental designs.

Just mentioning in case you'd be interested. :)
davidmation's avatar
nice! and a great idea!
DaBlackX's avatar
Why the hell has no one commented on this yet? Oh...because there is a European wall hiding this prominent black African nation, so it's unknown to most. Time to tear it down!
KarakNornClansman's avatar
Well, to be fair there is a very narrow range of topics that is brought to the public through popular culture. Great empires and thrilling history much closer to Western Europe (such as the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire and all the Slavic nations) are also part of the 98% of world history that never surface in the popular imagination through movies, comics and novels. And even within the topics that do get public attention, only a select few periods gets all the limelight: Julius Caesar, Augustus and his predecessors overshadows almost all exciting stuff from the centuries of Roman history, both before and after, to take but one example. Some of the broad outlines of Ethiopian history is at least quite famous among more learned Westerners due in particular to its long Christian history making it blip on the radar, and beating Italy is always a good way to gain attention. Ethiopia is not well known among the general public here, but it is not completely obscure among those who bothers with picking up books and knowing more about stuff.

There is no intentional hiding going on. As some Polish leader recently said about spreading knowledge about Polish inventions and scientific discoveries (which are numerous, but poorly known in the West): "If we don't spread this knowledge, no one else will do it for us."

Public attention is excessively narrow, and there is a lot of elbowing and regurgitation of the same old stories going on. It usually takes a long time of scholarly efforts both at research and outreach to a broader public to get anything through to become more well-known, when it comes to academia. Byzantine and Ottoman studies are two examples of fields not well-known to the public where there has been lively work among scholars going on for decades, that is only now slowly getting through to the learned minority. But it's gonna be decades before we see any big Hollywood film featuring Byzantines or Ottomans, if it ever happens.

This scholarly grind has a direct parallell to artists and authors of fiction: They too can drag something seemingly peripheral forth from the shadows to get wider attention, but it usually takes many years and many like-minded people working with similar stuff to make any sort of breakthrough.

Jerome Matiyas' Epic Adventures of Mekonnen is a good example of such a work. Hopefully it will find its deserved outreach. And indeed Aksum and Ethiopia has a rich history worth studying. :)
Artigas's avatar
Great way to put it JurassicPark89. I don't subscribe to narrow minded views that are borderline supremacist to one "race" or culture or another and would not suffer having my artwork associated with such a line of discourse. No mixing politics with my artwork in any way. That would be a deal breaker.

Accusations of conspiracies and the such are a very crude way to paint a much more complex and interesting reality. I am quite happy to see you have a more balanced and unbiased point of view, with which I can agree. 
KarakNornClansman's avatar
Thank you kindly, Artigas! Away with partisan political bickering, I say. It can only obstruct and distract from the fascinating reality one should wish to study in all its nuances. I'm investing almost all my time in creative endeavours, and in encouraging artistic creativity in others (running online contests, making sculpting tutorials [ eefl.freeforums.net/thread/102… ] and so forth), and I would never wish to drag creative work in that loathsome muck. I'm all in it for the pure joy of creativity and learning itself. Cheers!
Artigas's avatar
Sure thing my friend, we are much alike in this. I am interested in the whole amazing saga of the HUMAN race, as a whole, and I utterly abhorre any sort of political pidgeon hole view. I am also here for art, good old art, not very keen on anything else.
j-saturn's avatar
Interesting comment DaBlackX. Aksum and Ethiopia in general has a rich history and culture, no wall can hide that for long.
Thanks for checking in.
DaBlackX's avatar
It's funny, because in the African High Fantasy Novel I'm writing, there is a magical group of people living in a civilization that is pretty much Aksum. They even worship a goddess that is (basically) Zat-Badar.
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