Colleagues

Colleagues

These two sketches depict characters from a more modern-day setting than my usual. The African-American woman at the bottom is an attorney of sorts named Zara, and the Asian woman above (no name for her yet) would probably be one of her colleagues at their firm. They might be best friends. Unfortunately, both of them came out looking rather angry, but I suppose being a lawyer isn’t a completely stress-free job.

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Cleopatra with the Triple Uraeus

Cleopatra with the Triple Uraeus

Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt, wears a triple uraeus on her diadem. The uraeus, or sacred cobra, was a common symbol adorning the crowns of ancient Egyptian royals and deities, but the triple uraeus (three cobras) seems to have been unique to Cleopatra among all the Ptolemaic rulers. This was pointed out to me by the classicist Sally Ann-Ashton, whose scholarship has focused on Cleopatra and Ptolemaic Egypt (as well as Egypt’s native African heritage and connections), so I wanted to incorporate a triple uraeus into my next Cleo depiction.

Arab Warrior

Arab Warrior

This would be an Arab warrior from the ancient or medieval Middle East (I didn’t really have a particular time period in mind for this design). Entering the annals of recorded history as a culture of pastoral nomads and merchants on the Arabian peninsula, the Arabs would make their mark on the world by founding the religion of Islam and thereafter carving out an empire that stretched as far afield as Central Asia, North Africa, and most of the territory of modern-day Spain. Even after this empire broke up, the Arab conquests were a vital early step in spreading the Muslim religion.

Inca Queen

Inca Queen

This would be a queen of the Inca Empire, which dominated much of the South American Andes between 1438 and 1533 AD (after which they were conquered by the Spanish). Although the Inca are often confused with Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Aztec and Maya, their culture actually evolved from a separate tradition of South American civilization which began with the Norte Chico culture in Peru around 3200 BC. The Inca Empire’s official language, Quechua, is still spoken in numerous South American countries (ranging from Ecuador in the north to Argentina in the south) today.

Although this woman’s crown and necklace are inspired by actual Inca artwork and jewelry, I also drew upon traditions of body paint and skin piercings from various societies of the Amazon Basin for her facial decoration.

Gold On Her Locks

Gold On Her Locks

This young Egyptian woman has ringlets of gold adorning her dreadlocked hair. In fact, I was tempted to jokingly name the piece “Goldilocks” in reference to that! As for the falcon figurine hanging from the back of her necklace, I believe it represents the falcon sun deity Ra-Horakhty.

The Camel Driver

The Camel Driver

An Egyptian Arab man leads his dromedary camel by the leash across the desert near the famous pyramids of Giza. He probably works as one of those guides who escorts tourists around the place on the back of his animals.

By the way, it would have probably been the Achaemenid Persians who introduced the dromedary camel to Egypt from the Middle East after conquering the country in 525 BC. Before then, the native Egyptians would have preferred the donkey (an animal indigenous to northeastern Africa) as their primary beast of burden.

Sinoceratops

Sinoceratops

Sinoceratops zhuchengensis was a ceratopsian dinosaur that roamed eastern Asia during the Late Cretaceous period, between 72 and 65 million years ago. It is noteworthy for being the first large ceratopsian (or ceratopsid) ever uncovered outside of North America, attesting to the overlap in animal species between that continent and Asia (since there was a land bridge connecting the two at that time). In addition, Sinoceratops appears several times in the recently released film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, including one scene where it has a scuffle with a Carnotaurus.