"Little Wolf, Big World" (Project Preview)

So, as some of you know, I've started working on writing and illustrating a children's book! With so many friends and family who either have young kids or are about to very soon, I've begun thinking a lot over the last year or so about how I might contribute to welcoming these little people into the world. How can I help provide nurturing spaces for children to start learning the world around them and for parents to learn their children and themselves in their new roles as "mom," "dad," etc.? What can I make and give that can add even just a hint of the beauty that helps love grow?

A very early mock-up of the book's cover. We'll see how things develop!

A very early mock-up of the book's cover. We'll see how things develop!

I'm finding numerous answers to those questions, and this book project is just one of them. The progress will be slow and steady, but I'm keeping track of much of it on my Instagram feed under the hashtag #littlewolfbigworld, and I'll also be updating the blog periodically from this point forward. In the meantime, as the book itself is developed, I've opened an online store full of prints and other home goods that feature the characters and scenes from the book that folks can purchase. You'll find a collection of illustrations for Kids & Nursery, Coffee & Kitchen, Home & Family, and my Iconography series all available at society6.com/sarahduetCheck it out if you're curious! 

And on a personal note, I've been finding the process of working on this to be quite enjoyable, and I think healthy for me as well. As a person who tends to take things pretty seriously, focus on complexity, and think in primarily abstract terms...it's a good exercise, I think, to immerse myself in work like this  that requires a foundation of delight, simple communication, and very concrete ideas. It's been refreshing thus far and I think a valuable complement to my more introspective creative process for songwriting, painting, etc.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for stopping in,

sd.

Remember all that snow we got this winter in Shreveport? Well Lowe the Little Wolf and his fox friend Ferdinand got some time to play in it!

Remember all that snow we got this winter in Shreveport? Well Lowe the Little Wolf and his fox friend Ferdinand got some time to play in it!

Baby wolves need nurseries, right? So here's a view of Lowe's.

Baby wolves need nurseries, right? So here's a view of Lowe's.

Ferdinand playing on his  Index Drum (indexdrums.com)  and Lowe the Little Wolf sporting his  Space Bees  onesie! Local Shreveport makers will hopefully be making periodic appearances in this project.

Ferdinand playing on his Index Drum (indexdrums.com) and Lowe the Little Wolf sporting his Space Bees onesie! Local Shreveport makers will hopefully be making periodic appearances in this project.

Gandhi

Another piece in my icon series is complete. Gandhi's life, words, and wisdom are truly a valuable and needed gift to humanity. Ironically, a stigma is placed on Gandhi in some Christian circles, which deeply grieves me. Gandhi was deeply influenced by Jesus and devoted to embodying His way of being in the world...so much so that he adopted a daily practice of reading the Sermon on the Mount and has written that, "Jesus was the most active resister known perhaps to history. This was non-violence par excellence" (Gandhi on Nonviolence, p. 55). Though Gandhi claimed no one particular religion solely as his, I wonder if in many ways––especially in terms of nonviolent resistance, peacemaking, care for the poor, communal unity and equality, renouncing of empire and worldly power, and the study/embodying of Jesus' words and practice––if Gandhi looked more like a Jesus-follower in the world than many of us modern-day Christians do. At the very least, I see value rather than danger in learning his story and hope that more folks might come to share that perspective as well.

What you see in the illustrated icon:

  • Gandhi pictured in the white, homespun cloth that eventually became the only clothing that he wore (and made for himself) as part of a protest to British rule in India in which he encouraged the Indian people to wear no foreign textiles.
  • His hands in the namaste position with which he consistently greeted others. Namaste literally translates as "I bow to you." It is also rumored that when Albert Einstein asked Gandhi what exactly his greeting meant, he explained it as follows: “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us.”
  • Waves of salt water in the background that symbolize the water of the Arabian Sea where Gandhi led people in the Salt March of 1930. This was an active, nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India and an essential part of the revolution that led to independence for India being granted in 1947.

If you're unfamiliar with Ghandi or just curious to learn more, here are a few good places to do that:

GANDHI   was released as a major motion picture in 1982 and won 8 Academy Awards. This may be the best way to get a vivid, holistic picture of Gandhi's life and to get an introduction to his wisdom and practices. There are many options for online viewing of this movie. Don't be intimidated by its length...there's an intermission, and it's well-worth your time.

GANDHI was released as a major motion picture in 1982 and won 8 Academy Awards. This may be the best way to get a vivid, holistic picture of Gandhi's life and to get an introduction to his wisdom and practices. There are many options for online viewing of this movie. Don't be intimidated by its length...there's an intermission, and it's well-worth your time.

Gandhi on Nonviolence   (Edited by Thomas Merton) is full of quotes from Gandhi's writings and speeches as well as commentary by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.

Gandhi on Nonviolence (Edited by Thomas Merton) is full of quotes from Gandhi's writings and speeches as well as commentary by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.

I haven't read this one yet, but it's on the "read ASAP" list.  Gandhi's autobiography  is widely renowned reading...sure to inspire, instruct, and encourage.

I haven't read this one yet, but it's on the "read ASAP" list. Gandhi's autobiography is widely renowned reading...sure to inspire, instruct, and encourage.