As a part of a Mythic May Drawing Challenge I am creating characters who are forged in Dante’s Kiln.What is Dante’s Kiln you may well ask?
Dante’s macabre world takes loose inspiration from the Divine Comedy. Beware mortal souls forif you have committed one or more of the seven deadly sins, upon death you may just find yourself unceremoniously deposited in Dante’s Kiln, ready to be repurposed and to lead a life commensurate with how you lived on earth. This cluster trampled over everyone to become BIG thieving fish and now they are learning all about being big fish in a very small, crowded pond.
A bestiary is a compendium of beasts. Originating in the ancient world, bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals and even rocks. The natural history and illustration of each beast was usually accompanied by a moral lesson
Dante’s Kiln is a storytelling project inspired by drawing and Tarot, Oracle, Lenormand and playing cards
Lisk, a feared dictator who committed heinous crimes against humanity was always destined to end up in Dante’s Kiln to be repurposed. He was pretty smug when he was shaped into a Baslisk, a feared Serpent King who could cause death with a single glance.
The smug look was quickly wiped off his horrible face when he learned that the one thing that could kill him was the crowing of a rooster and that there were a host of roosters in an adjoining pen.
You do not need to be Einstein to figure out what happens each day as he wakes, hears the roosters and dies again, only to be repurposed all over again. Such a Westworld kind of fate!
I am in the process of manifesting a small, tight knit Patreon. It is still in the planning stage but one development is that I will be working, collaborating with Vlad of Vlad’s Mobile Art Studio (@vlads_mobileartstudio) to establish a creative playground. This is a post that may appear on the Patreon.
If there is one thing a writer knows it is fear and desire. Every time I begin a new writing class I am confronted with participants who have the look of a rabbit caught in the headlights. The fear and desire is palpable as they hold notebooks with clean white pages and pens that have spent far too long sitting, lazily, in caddies that sit upon writing desks along with other tools of the trade.
Sadly, many of the people I have worked with are casualties of formal education. They have been damaged by teachers who have told them that they have not done something right, or who have diminished the value of their work. So many have never really been provided with unconditional support. I have found that when I produce my magic medicine first aid kit and discard all the so called ‘rule books’, those who trust the process and engage, are encouraged to be themselves. Everyone flourishes, produce extraordinarily creative work and we all end up clapping one another and celebrating.
One good way to start is to ask yourself “What would Vlad do?” This is a technique called Figure Storming! In figure storming, the group picks a well-known figure who is not in the room—it could be a boss, a fictional character, or a well-known public figure—and discuss how that person would approach the problem or think about this idea. What Vlad did do was throw in the illusions of the corporate world she had worked in. She bought an RV, Vesper bike and a tent to set up as a mobile art studio and hit the road.
In the book that accompanies her Tarot, Monicka Sakki Sakki explores just what a Fool, who has no idea of what to do with the pencil he is given, ends up doing with the pencil. Her Fool, as all good fools are prone to do, goes on a creative journey and meets each member of the Major Arcana, ultimately triumphing and naming himself ‘Artist’.
What if I gave you a piece of paper that identified what will be your ‘great work’? Would you scrunch it up or take few deep breaths, take the leap, play with the symbolism that surrounds us and just see what happens? Can you trust the process?
Perhaps begin by writing about taking a leap of faith or about what you have in that swag over your shoulder. Don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure or try to write anything profound. Literally just spew words onto the page.
See the words appearing on the page! See! You are no longer looking at a blank page!