Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Naming the Animals

Adam names the animals

God loves to create.  He made animals of shapes and color combinations and processes that we could not have imagined.

At an illustrators' workshop a few years ago I met Iain McCaig whose job it was at that time (I don't know if it is still his job) to design monsters for George Lucas.  Design creatures: what a job!  Talk about playing God!  Because it's a monster, by definition a creature unencumbered by reality, the boundaries are wide open, and one is limited only by imagination.  Iain showed us how he freed his mind from the strictures of an unimaginative day or not enough caffein that morning.  He led us through a process that used objects at hand to reimagine as monster parts, and challenged us to design our own monster.  It was great fun, and when we were finished I had drawn a creature that I would not have imagined without using his method.

God did it (does he still do it?) his own way, from scratch.  There is a niche that needs a creature, and he finds a way to fill it, always with panache. 

Adam in this picture has not yet eaten the awful fruit.  He is a simple, straightforward, guileless man who has been given the joyful mandate to give names to all the animals as they parade before him.  He gives them names and so asserts his stewardship over them. 

I tried to include in this picture as many genres of animals as I could without getting confusing, and still have an elephant as the centerpiece.  (Could a picture of animals in general NOT include an elephant?)  So there are mammals, birds (one extinct), reptiles, and an insect.  They have to stand in for all the animals that are outside the border of this picture.