Here's one of those other projects that took up my evening sketching time. I did NOT design this logo - that was done by some other designers we have/had at Kubal - but I did take an evening to paint it on the wall.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but gracious words are pure. - ESV
This Proverb was a long time coming. I've had it resting in my mind for about 2 weeks but between a couple other projects and my regular work I wasn't able to get it out.
Something presses on me with implications of such futility. Like Ecclesiastes, this proverb talks about the futility of life without God. In this instance of consideration it is the wicked who finds himself living without God and in another place it says that 'even the plowing of the wicked man is sin.' In both instances there is an activity which is either essential or unavoidable and it is counted as a horrible action. To be living is to be human and responsible for the good and evil we recognize, or choose to ignore. For the wicked many, even his plowing, that is, raising food and being productive/industrious is sin...even though it is for attending to the basic needs of life, and the original commission in the garden. And if that man is to lazy to be productive, even his thoughts are an abomination. It is an all-encompassing reality that we are responsible for our thoughts, and if they are done apart from God, they are counted as unrighteousness.
The other half of the proverb is quite hopeful. When considering what good there is that I can do, what good I can hope to do, this proverb begins to give an answer. Some commentators point out that the sense in which the word 'pure' is used is the same as in Malachi 1:11 in reference to a 'pure' offering. In that passage the author is talking about sacrifices which were knowingly imperfect, whether blind animals or with defects or stains and people were, in their hearts, despising the system God had set up. Instead of the imperfect sacrifices he wanted them to offer 'pure' sacrifices. And in this sense, in all the words speak, knowing that in a multitude of words sin is not lacking, those words which are gracious are like a pure sacrifice and a pleasing aroma to God.
Then this brings up a whole other bunch of questions - if the word of the tongue is from the Lord as in Prov 16:1 then are we really giving Him anything any way? Or has He given us gracious words to give back to Him through others?
Also - no one seems to notice what's going on in the brain of this image...there's more there than a snake....
HOORAY I'M PUBLISHED!!
This was fun! It was my first experience doing an illustration for a publication and it was great! I found ways to push the creativity and get some work out even when I was drawing a blank on the possibilities. It was a great test of creative output. These caricatures were done for Philosophy Now Magazine based out of London. I worked with their editor Grant who was really chill and seemed really excited about the final product.
I literally just got back to my apartment (and it is 5:30am) from finishing this project. I put technical sketches of four machines belonging to Cafe Kubal on the back wall of the new space. The goal is to help put the image of espresso drinks into greater prominence and look cool. It was a quick project and a good project. The final image is actually white on black, not clack on white. I shall post it below.
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. KJV
This image ended up being pretty crazy. I went through a bunch of variations trying to fit a furnace into a man's chest, and then trying to peel his torso open and inserting a funnel linto it in which a load of things are being poured. I also thought of imagining a black hole absorbing things into his heart but the difficulty that I found was limiting what I intended to say visually and also making it work as a visual piece. So I eventually stumbled across the idea of using vacuums for sucking things up into the heart. It's kind of creepy but it works.
Commentators had a few similar things to say about the meaning of this proverb. One of the biggest things is the significance of the division between our ability to make or intend something and what actually 'is'. Despite our greatest efforts, and often wasted efforts, what will be will be not just because of or solely dependent upon our efforts.
Many commentators used the example of the Sorcerer, Balaam, who was paid to and attempted to curse the Israelites but was restricted by God in what he was able to say so that he could only bless them. Despite his preparations (and payments) towards hurting them, he simply couldn't.
And another commentator pointed out with simplicity that this proverb demonstrates how dependent we are upon God for even the simplest act of speaking. The big question that pops out after that is of course why God has people say so many of the horrible things that we say. I don't know. I think the answer is in Job.
Prov 15:4 NKJV
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
I've been wanting to do parallel images for a while and I ended up finding the energy to struggle through it with this one. It's amazing how difficult it can be to - just - make an image.
I had thought of a few different ways to represent this proverb. Some were less realistic and others were very graphic; one involving a very long black tongue and people being shattered. But in the end I didn't want to ONLY represent the negative side of this proverb and no ideas came (quickly enough) to put the ideas together (and I wonder if that's not completely reasonable). The negative side seemed more interesting but it also seemed to easy, and I kept seeing so many human representations on instagram that are specifically negative perspectives being human. So, if only for my own learning/sanity, I wanted to spend time thinking about the effects of good choices and not just bad ones.
These took me from 930am till 630pm with a couple hours of break in between to just do the drawing. I had a basic concept and some incredibly simple diagrams of what I wanted them to look like but taking them out of my imagination and making them visible was difficult. So, I ended up breaking the idea down into its several objective parts: trees, persons, hair, smoke; and I found relevant reference photos for each of those categories. Then, with the help of a computer that a friend gave to me, I made collages in Photoshop whose only purpose was to bring the separate parts into association with each other so that I could better understand how they might reasonably appear. And from that point I just started drawing.
I really like the direction they're going in but I was listening to Will Terrell today concerning interesting images and it seemed to him that those which tell stories are immediately going to be the ones that have some inherent interest inside of them. So, these images are curious, and I did want to make 'pretty' images but now I'm thinking a bit about the aspect of story. These images were not meant to involve the storytelling concept at all so I don't hold that against them. I'm just thinking about the idea.