Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Magical Beasts and Ancient Archaeology

This morning, as I was pedaling an exercise bike at the gym, I watched a show about ancient paleontology. The program pointed out that the ancient Greeks and Romans collected and displayed fossils of Pleistocene mammals. Certain historians have speculated that some mythical creatures could actually be theoretical reconstructions by the ancients, based on these bones.

This program reminded me of an exercise we did at the workshop on Saturday. For those who were not there, we combined parts of three different animals to create a new beast. Familiar animal combinations include
  • dragons
  • unicorns
  • griffins
  • fairies
  • Pegasus
  • the Phoenix
  • mermaids
  • mermen

If you were not with us, try it now. Draw two different original creatures. Make one mean and ugly. Make the other beautiful. The ugly one will drive away the inner critic who tells you that your work stinks. The beautiful one will bring you new, wonderful ideas. Add a picture of one of your beasts to the comments section of this post, if you like. Don't forget to include a link to your website so everyone can see the rest of your work!