33 drawings, ink on paper, digital color, 2010
A friend, Cielo L, approached me recently and asked for help designing a phoenix logo for a website she's creating. I told her that most of my drawings look like low-budget children's cartoons, but I'd be happy to give it a shot. I started by making a few rough sketches, then I drew a few more, and then I got really into the concept of the phoenix, and ended up sketching phoenixes for days and days.
There are numerous versions of the phoenix myth throughout the world. The basic story involves a bird that catches fire, burns down into a pile of ash, and then is reborn as a new magical bird that lives for hundreds of years until it catches fire again and the cycle repeats. I was so busy drawing that I didn't have time to do any research on actual phoenixes. All of these sketches are based on my pre-existing knowledge.
Here are my thirty-three best drawings. Even if you're the kind of person who hates phoenixes, I'm sure you'll find at least one of these that you like.
UPDATE: So many phoenixes! I'm going to take all these drawings to Kinkos and make a zine called The Phoenix Tribune. It'll consist entirely of drawings, photos, essays, and poems about phoenixes. I'm going to leave stacks of it at coffee shops all over town. I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE 2: Cielo isn't sure if these are going to work for her site. (What?) Apparently there are other artists in the running and she's going for a very specific type of phoenix. (But I thought I drew all the types!) Either way, I'm glad I did this. By drawing forty-plus phoenixes in two weeks, I've grown far more comfortable with the concept of burning things down to nothing and starting over again.