Original cover art to Nick Fury: Agent of Shield #10. The first image is all original art, but it was decided to rework it for the published cover, which is the second image… largely stats from the original artwork. The artwork was done by Frank Springer, with touch-ups by John Romita.
Chat Noir is not the first one to discover Ladybug’s identity.
Nor is it Alya, her best friend, or her parents, one floor below, or even Chloe, her worst fan. No, Ladybug is a secret that Marinette keeps tucked close to her chest. The thing is, she can’t keep Ladybug out of her shoulders.
Which is why Nathanael is the first to suspect anything.
He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t spent years watching Marinette. They’re placed in the same class in their cinquieme year, and it’s when Marinette - smelling of cinnamon - leans over his desk and exclaims how beautiful one of his sketches is that Nathanael feels his heart pulse in a different way. It’s fluttery, and kind of warm deep in his chest, and he puts his pencil to paper in a way he’s never done before. One day, he’d have to thank her.
That warmth only grows, and they find themselves in the same class the following two years, too. Nathanael doesn’t start drawing her until the end of quatrieme, and spends the entire summer sketching the lines of her face and the pitch of her smile over and over and over. So the difference is stark, the first day of troisieme, when Marinette walks into the classroom.
And it’s not just the obvious things. Sure, she puts in hair in pigtails now instead of last year’s bun (he’d liked the bun, but now pigtails gave him a new style to practice penning), and she’s invested in pink and has maybe grown a little taller. Even if Nathanael hadn’t honed his artist’s eye on her last school year, he would have known all of these things just from listening to Alya shout it out over the hum of the newly reunited class (as if the two best friends hadn’t seen each other over the summer). No, it’s the little, glaring things that no one else seems to be picking up on: the straightness of her spine, the way her shoulders square up when she’s called on by the teacher, the slow, intentional tracking of her eyes around the classroom. The occasional hardness to those same, aquamarine eyes when Chloe starts with her usual ways.
Marinette and Chloe have a history - anyone who has been at Francois-DuPont long enough knows that. But this year things turn particularly vicious, because when Marinette fights back, she fights back. And Nathanael keeps seeing it, keeps having to revise and rework his image of her, because Marinette has changed. It’s like he’s drawing someone new - someone stronger, more lovelier, more impossible not to fall for.
It doesn’t make sense, though, until he is turned into Le Dessinateur.
Nathanael doesn’t remember much, and he tells himself he’s thankful for it. What he does remember comes out only at home, on a wide canvas he’s painted and repainted, over and over and over, in blues and blacks and bruised purples. But that’s besides the point.
Nathanael does remember Ladybug. Not like he’d forget her, of course - her face was everywhere, all of the time. The Hero of Paris. But Ladybug becomes more than just the hero of Paris; she becomes his hero, through and through. More than that, Ladybug becomes his inspiration.
He can’t stop drawing her. It helps that she seems to circle within his sphere on an almost daily basis. It’s her face he sees when he’s broken out of the pink goop of Mylene’s horrific akuma; it’s Ladybug that stands out in Reflekta’s crowd. Where there once was Marinette, there is now pages and pages of Ladybug.
It only takes a few weeks - two, maybe three - to see that they’re one in the same. He’s staring at the back of Marinette’s head in Mme. Mendeleiev’s, and his fingers naturally gravitate towards his pen, even though he knows the risks. It’s a simple figure study, harmless, and he hasn’t drawn Marinette in a while (his feelings aren’t tempered so much as split), but when he looks down and really, really looks, Nathanael realizes that he’s drawn Ladybug instead.
No, no, that’s Marinette at the tip of his pencil. But she has Ladybug’s shoulders, and the curve of her neck. But it’s Marinette’s jacket and the angle of her chin, and her hair, pulled into two pigtails.
It can’t be.
He flips between the pages of his notebook, but now he can’t unsee it. The only sign that he’s looking at Marinette or Ladyug is the mask.
The rest of the class period is frantic pulling out of pages, glancing up at Marinette, and layering sketches over one another. Nathanael’s so occupied in the venture that he almost misses the dismissal bell. He looks up to see Marinette walking out, and then looks back down at a high-action sketch of Ladybug. They have the same butt.
The rest of Nathanael blends in with his hair, and he slumps back in his chair, unable to even stand. They have the same butt. He should know: he’s an artist, and he spends a lot of time looking at it.
By the end of the day, it makes sense, though he isn’t able to look at Marinette without overheating to the point of sublimation. That caring, devoted, strong-willed Marinette would be the same as the red clad savior of the city doesn’t seem so strange to Nathanael. He has, after all, been saved by them both.
Originally designed in 2015 as a limited-edition print, Shephard Fairey, aka Obey Giant, was in Las Vegas a year later to slightly rework the image for the Life Is Beautiful Festival. In 2015 Fairey told The Daily Beast his “biggest concern as a father, artist, and citizen is corruption and abuse of power.” He hopes that his work is compelling enough to make people examine issues more closely, and this wall, applied to the prominent corner of Fremont and 6th Streets in the middle of last year’s election season, underscores his ongoing commitment to highlighting the “dangerously disproportionate influence corporations have on politics and policy.” Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Fairey graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now lives in Los Angeles. @obeygiant@LifeIsBeautiful
Spend less than an hour browsing through Tumblr’s witchcraft community, and I guarantee you that you’ll find at least one post offering a sigil or displaying a sigil that the author had created. These little sketches and drawings are everywhere, and to the new witch, it may seem a little confusing. Especially if prior to exploring the Craft, his or her experience regarding magic was limited to pop culture. Sigils don’t really make much of an appearance in films such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. And, at least in my experience, the only show they really make repeated appearances is Supernatural, in which our monster-hunting duo makes use of sigils regularly as a form of protection against ghosts, demons, spirits, and even angels on occasion.
But what is a sigil, and why is it that they’re everywhere in the witchy community. Furthermore, how to you create and/or use them? And do I have to use sigils from history or that have been created by other witches?
Well, there’s a reason why sigils are under my Practical Magic header. They are one of the simplest and more powerful forms of magic that many witches are able to do at any point in the day. Hell, when I was in high school, one of my pagan friends who had a habit of doodling would start doodling sigils - especially if a test was around the bend.
What is a sigil?
Simple answer: a symbol used to focus intent and concentration. But the simple answer is misleading. Symbols are more general and generic. While sigils may incorporate the image of a pentacle, the star is a widespread symbol of the faith. A sigil tends to be more complex in design.
The sigil is sort of like a stamp of intent. You’ve seen the movies where somebody gets papers certified or approved or even denied, and the clerk takes a big ol’ red stamp and slams it down on the paper as if to prove a point. In my eyes, sigils are just like that. When affixed or drawn on a surface, it’s the magical equivalent of a stamp, confirming the witch’s intent and encouraging the magic to manifest quickly.
Most sigils are beautiful drawings that were derived from a simple statement of the intent desired, condensed down into a simple image through repeated drawing/writing.
How do you create a sigil?
There are many different methods for creating and using sigils, but the most common, most simple, and generally agreed as most effective, is the one that is described here.
Say you have a test coming up that you have studied quite a bit for. You need that little extra help to guarantee that you get a passing grade on it. You begin with a simple (yet precise) statement of your intent: “I have a passing score on the English Literature test.”
You would write this down on a scratch piece of paper in all caps, continuing to focus on that intent (and visualizing all the while). From my example, you would get “I HAVE A PASSING SCORE ON THE ENGLISH LITERATURE TEST.”
Next, you would remove all vowels and punctuation: “HV PSSNG SCR N TH NGLSH LTRTR TST” What this does is helps you further focus on the intent, while beginning a process of abstraction that helps you visualize better and, for some, induces a meditative state.
Some variation exists in this next step. You could either remove the repeating letters within the same word, or you could remove the repeats from the entire sentence. Personally, I remove all repeats. The fewer the letters, the more abstract the sigil becomes. “HV PSNG CR T L”
With your little collection of letters that you have left, you would begin the truly artistic process by mashing the letters into abstract shapes and designs, merging all of the letters into the same image. After the first time you’ve mashed all of the letters together, you do away with the letters entirely. This is your baby sigil - a primordial image, as it were. From here, you redraw and rework the image over and over again until you reach a desired state of mind.
Once again, this is where variation exists. A lot of witches prefer to redraw the image over and over again until they completely forget what it was meant for. Personally, I don’t like doing this. If a sigil is supposed to have purpose, it wouldn’t do for me to forget that purpose, especially if I’m the one giving the charm life. I keep going until I forget what the original image was, and the current image is pleasing to the eye.
The sigil can be as angular or wavy as you’d like. The key is that it instills the confidence you need. Once done, you have your sigil!
How do you use a sigil?
Like many aspects of witchcraft, it depends upon both the witch and the intended purpose of the sigil. I’m going to get just a little graphic in a bit, as sigils have many variations on their use. Some of which aren’t particularly savory to those who get queasy at the thought of biological processes or body fluids. If you’re one of those individuals, I’ll begin that particular topic with three asterisks (***) to warn you. I will end the topic in the same manner.
The way I personally like to use sigils is by drawing them on an object meant to bring about that goal. On a test, I might lightly pencil the sigil in the lower right corner (if the test is on Scantron, I recommend tracing the sigil with your finger instead of drawing it, as the graphite from the pencil might interfere with scoring). Many sigils are for protection, and therefore may be drawn on the tags in clothing or embroidered into the seams.
Those of you who follow me would know that I love kitchen witchery. Believe me when I say there’s plenty of opportunity for sigil work. When preparing your ingredients, you could trace the sigil in the air above them, or inscribe the sigils into the ingredients with a knife. You could trace the sigil in a pan (or draw it with a drizzle of oil). Pies are particularly nifty for witches who like symbol and sigil work, as the inner part of the crust can be lightly inscribed with images before being filled and baked.
Say the witch is one who likes to sharply release the energy into the world to do its purpose. This is the case with many many witches who work with sigils. For these witches, usually the image has to be ingrained into their memory through some sort of shock. The easiest way I’ve seen this done is holding a piece of paper on which you’ve drawn the sigil. While being careful and safety-cautious, light the paper on fire and hold it, focusing on the sigil and its purpose while it burns, not letting go until it gets too hot in your hand and you have to drop it. In that moment of pain, the image should essentially burn itself into your mind. Other witches do away with the fire, focusing on the image and then biting their tongues or doing something else that might induce a little bit of pain - just enough to shock the image into their minds, but not enough to cause any bodily harm.
Other witches have less conventional means…
*** Some witches who are like me and prefer to draw the sigil where needed, tend to use blood to draw their sigils. The prick of the finger might serve as the shock needed, the blood the ink as they draw. But if the witch is one who likes to sear the image into their mind, sometimes a sexual act works best for them.
In this case (and I’ll admit that I have used this method before - it’s not something I do often, and I only do it if I need the outcome particularly quickly or if the intent has sexual implications to begin with - such as mixing things up in the bedroom or drawing more sexual energy), the witch may choose to masturbate with the image in front of him or her. Right at the moment of climax, the image should be seared into the mind. For male witches out there, it is common to ejaculate right onto the image so as to “seal the deal” or to mentally confirm that the spell is active.
Still other witches - especially those who are couples and are working the same spell or whose partner is willing and able to help - will forgo masturbation and skip straight to sex, visualizing the sigil at the moment of climax. This is particularly useful for fertility spells.
For our female witches who like to work with menstrual blood, drawing sigils with your monthly makes for a particularly potent spell.
Really, the uses for sigils are limited only by your imagination. Some witches like to destroy the sigil in the act of activation, others prefer to reuse the same image over and over again, activating in their own way each time the sigil needs to be used. To this end, you could create a permanent sigil that you feed just as you would any other spell.
Do what feels best for you in your spellwork. Sigils are meant to be deeply personal in nature.
Do I have to use historical sigils?
That largely depends upon your tradition and what you work with. For the most part, I would say no. However, if you work with spirits, there are often sigils that are attributed specifically to them. For instance, in Jewish mysticism, each archangel has his or her own sigil that can be used to invoke them. In this case, I would recommend the older sigils, as they were created using a much more ancient method with a completely different set of standards.
Alternatively, you could create a unique archangel sigil which could link you to the angel in question on a more personal level. The same goes for any other spirit that you feel would need a sigil to invoke, be it Medusa, a dragon, et cetera.
Do I have to use sigils created by other witches?
By now, you might be able to tell that there’s no requirement to use the images created by other witches. For the most part, sigils are meant for personal intents and purposes, and often times the sigils posted online by a lot of witches are meant to share the image as a mark of pride in the craft, much in the way many witches may share pictures of their altars. Some witches will draw sigils upon request, and these may be used, but I maintain that the most powerful sigils for your needs will always be the ones you create yourself.
Sigils are a beautiful and incredibly practical part of witchcraft, and many witches are drawn to the craft through these simple spellcrafting tools. Go forth and create! May your sigils always bring about positive results!
in-story those three gods have been defeated and remade in a much more negative image by Bolas, which goes some way to explaining the imagery mismatch; I’ve already seen people asking if we can get cards for their pre-Bolas incarnations in a supplemental product, which would hopefully include something closer to that protective solar symbolism.
I did just find that out, yes. It still doesn’t quite wash for me, however - in order for the negative image rework to have effect, the people of Amonkhet would have to consider the scarab a negative creature, which feels odd for a world evoking ancient Egypt. Though obviously that is possible since the Amonkhetu aren’t actual Egyptians.
In addition, Egyptian gods with “negative” imagery were often depicted as such in order to show or invoke their protection from the real life counterpart of that depiction. E.g. Serqet protects against scorpion bites, Anubis’ visage may have functioned as a deterrent for jackals snooping around the necropoleis.
How did you feel about the Outsider' s voice change? I like his original for the aesthetic, but the second one suits him better since he's practically 15
his original VA was a shitty person and after getting used to his new voice i like it better because i think it fits him more, i see him more as a sort of trickster -/ chaotic neutral god than anything too serious and threatening and i found his original VA to be too… blank and not expressive enough. i think the way they changed up a lot of things like not keeping him stationary and giving him a lot of facial expressions and the new voice did a lot to rework his character’s image and established a much better character for him!
Jake and Dinos Chapman (British, b. 1966 & b. 1962)), Like a dog returns to its vomit (no. 28), 2005. Reworked etching from Francisco de Goya’s ‘Los Caprichos’, image: 19 x 12.7 cm.; sheet: 29.2 x 41.9 cm.
Yesterday I did a paintover of this escher girl. I think she’s the victim of some cut and paste anatomy, so I quickly sketched up a second version to see what she might look like with her head and shoulders as is too. Anyway, tried to keep the spirit of the thing.
Cudahy’s paintings offer an array of associations, from the technical contexts
of photography and art history to the more emotional framework of desire, fear,
loss and identity. Drawing from a variety of disparate sources, such as
personal and found photographs, paintings, album covers and tapestries, the
same symbols begin to reoccur – daffodils, dogs, dark desert landscapes – and
images are likely to repeat themselves in a rhythm that can allow for multiple
entry points into one form. These works are defined by a state of flux, a
connection, whether visual or metaphysical, between places, times, ideas and
Conjuring notions of folk lore and forgotten histories, Cudahy interrogates the
currency of images, reworking and re-imagining figures and patterns to create an
entirely new dynamic.
You’ve talked before
about how you’re interested in the history of images, whether they’re degraded
or transformed. Does the source or context of an image influence the painting
or your process in any way?
Oh, definitely. There’s a push and pull between my painting
and its source that I like to work within. For example, I enjoy bringing
specific “non-painting” languages into a painting. This could be photographic
language, like a cast shadow, or digital language like a pixelated, crunchy
area. I’m not beholden necessarily to accurately representing these. The
painting dictates where it wants to go, and I try to follow that as much as
possible. Sometimes I think the source gives me only an initial structure. Sometimes,
though, it will give me a color idea that is the entire painting.
do you approach combining images, like in your recent paintings ‘mirrored’
(2016) or ‘desertshore’ (2016)? Is this a thematic/conceptual process, or
something more visual?
Often it’s an intuitive leap, but the images have to be on a
thematic wavelength to work. Sometimes I might not get that immediately, but
it’ll reveal its logic to me as I spend time painting and considering the
image. Certain sources become shorthand for me. In mirrored, the sides of the image are appropriated from the Unicorn
tapestries. Beyond a visual pull that related imagery has for me, I’m
interested in the mille-fleur tapestries as a sort of futile attempt to order
nature on the part of humans. I think there’s a lot of folly in those
tapestries. So I have that “symbol” in the back of my mind always as a way to
talk about an uncertainty or a crisis of existing. This particular painting is
part of a series that responds to Caravaggio’s Narcissus painting. The tapestry I used here has a woman showing a
unicorn its reflection, teaching the creature how to see— maybe teaching
knowledge of self. Visually, the image it’s paired with has a man who also
looks to the mirror, but he isn’t reflected there. That’s the crux of the
painting for me. As I work, I’m open to discovering happy accidents between the
images I’m pairing, where a line may meet or a compositional element might
give some insight to the process I go through pairing images. The cover of
Nico’s album had long been a resonant image in my mind. One that I would come
back to a lot, knowing it “meant” something to me, but not knowing how I’d use
it. As the Narcissus project continued, I started to think about solipsism. The
Caravaggio painting’s void led to that. I was trying to figure out why it was a
frightening image for me, and I think
it has to do a lot with the lack of setting. Yes, there’s a liquid surface
providing reflection, but it’s like the entire world has been vacuumed out of
that image. The intuitive leap came when I found the image that makes up the
larger, pink side of the painting. I thought about being alone in the world,
moving about in a degrading way— crawling on hands and knees. The Nico image
floating to my mind. Her son pulling the horse. The journey of her life, a
cyclical story. The child as parent circle. So these two disparate images
needed to be organized together. I don’t always expect a viewer to get most (or
any) of the references I use, but hopefully the feeling is transferred.
Your style has
developed over the last few years into something less photographic and with
more of a collaged feel? Was this something you deliberately moved towards to
create a specific atmosphere, or was it more of an instinctive change?
This was deliberate, and responds particularly to the way I
was organizing images within my zines. There was a freedom there and I started
to intentionally try to get that way of working into the paintings. I also
stopped being wary of symbols. I think for a while I was trying to assimilate
with some straight, male painters like Richter and Tuymans, where
impenetrability is a virtue. I was pushing back trying to not make emotive
work. I needed to tear this apart and become more vulnerable. I think allowing
myself to indulge a personal, intuitive symbolism was a way to break from that
You make a lot of
zines of your drawings. What role do these publications play in your practice?
Do they inform the paintings, are they informed by the paintings, or both, or
While this way of organizing images has influenced my newer
paintings, I still think of my zine work as a separate practice. One with
different rules and goals. When I get the opportunity to show a group of
paintings that I have truly considered as a grouping is as close as my painting
gets to my zine-making. Then the final layout of the show is the piece and the
paintings are elements of that. But more often a painting is a singular, solved
problem for me. Books allow me the chance to talk about ideas over a longer
period, and one that I have control of the pacing. Timing comes to the
forefront of my thinking. In the zines I make, there are often three or four
strains of thought that can be read by themselves or can interact with each
‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015) and ‘tendto’ (2016) are both drawn from Frans Snyder
paintings of a boar hunt, although they have a year between them. What makes
you return to a source image or subject, and did the similarities between the
two original Snyder paintings play a part in your attraction to them,
considering your interest in reusing images?
His paintings of dogs really resonate with me and are
shorthand in my practice for violence. tendto
is a dualism— the dog is violent, while the gesture is more tender. That word
in particular is one I think about a lot. The painter, Robin F. Williams,
brought it to my attention how it has two distinct and sometimes contradictory
meanings. It can refer to the kind closeness between people, or the lingering
sensation of a wound.
To better answer you question, when something like that
becomes shorthand for me, I feel free to reuse. This is to mix ideas and to
build and change them. Also, for the most part I never feel like I’ve said the thing. I could always come
closer or say it a different way. Rarely does anything feel done. And then
physically, returning to an image is interesting to me. I don’t have an exact
hand. I am not tied to the source so much that I try for accuracy. It will be entirely
different, and I’ll find out something new from the same source.
‘Snyder’s dogs’ (2015)
The titles of your
paintings are often formatted in an interesting way, such as your series
‘Everyone at the Funeral’ in which every painting title is abbreviated to EatF
(or most recently EatF_3 which I assume indicates the third iteration of this
series). These titles are heavily reminiscent of file names on a computer,
particularly when they include underscores. Is this intentional and, if so,
what do you think it adds to the experience of the painting?
I really hated titling work! So at one point I decided to
get very methodical with it. I was working at a publishing house and really
liked, even visually, how files were named. I started to use acronyms that I’d
never tell anyone, and I even would forget.
I don’t know when it changed, but now titles come easier for me, and
they are more “This is what it must be called!” The EatF paintings are a
long-term, methodical project (I’m rendering an individual portrait of everyone
within a found photograph- well over 100 people) and so that kind of naming
feels more integral.
You’ve also mentioned
previously that you look to film first for inspiration. Do you intend to work
with film in the future, either in your paintings or as a medium itself?
A few years back, I went through a big film phase.
Particularly obsessing over the films of Fellini and, most important to me,
Tarkovsky. These artists had a profound influence on my thinking and
understanding of art, and the world (not to be hyperbolic). At the time I
thought, Oh I must be moving towards film.
It was how I felt about the first painters I obsessed over as a teenager. But I
never connected with any other film to that level, and realized I don’t have
any ideas specific to that medium. It was more how those two directors took
ideas and through a medium realized a vision. And that’s something I can apply
to my paintings and zines. One of (maybe) the central themes of Stalker is whether nature is inherently
good or evil. That question is one I cover pretty consistently in my paintings
(in tendto, which we spoke about
Right now, I’m reading and thinking about novels more than
I’m looking at painting, although I still look at painting a lot. Things just
go in cycles like that. I just finished reading all of Toni Morrison’s novels
and she’s unmatched genius.
Anthony Cudahy has a solo show coming up in Brooklyn at
Cooler Gallery from 1st-22nd November.
Mood can make or break your writing. In my opinion, properly establishing mood is a huge factor in distinguishing good writing from amazing writing. In this post, I cover a few different ways you can approach the process of establishing a mood for your settings.