The Story Behind: Tribal

Mandala The Story Behind

The second in the series, but the one that I felt began to set the standards for any dreamcatcher I was to design going forward. It was the upgrade to 'Prequel', yet the first to define my dreamcatchers overall. 

So as you guys now know, Prequel was the first dreamcatcher I designed (you can read the story behind it here) but if you read the blog, you'll know although I loved it, I was never really satisfied with the finished outcome. It taught me to remember my journey, where I started from and how far I've progressed but I knew after designing Synergy and the pieces that came after, I could do so much better for a dreamcatcher. And there became the initial thought into the birth of 'Tribal'. 

And of course, remembering the basis of a dreamcatcher and it's symbolism and purpose as mentioned in The Story Behind: Prequel -

"They were designed (as legend has it) to be hung above beds of those sleeping and protect them from nightmares or evil spirits - the spiders web in the middle would only allow good dreams to filter through and only those could filter down the feathers to the sleeper underneath, whereas the bad dreams stayed caught in the web."

I decided I needed to pay tribute to an original designed dreamcatcher with feathers, with an Aztec/Native feel to it that resembled it's traditional style whilst still being infused with mine - whilst I was still learning what my style was! 

In all fairness, dreamcatchers aren't just tagged as Aztec as I've just made them to be, they stem from people of the Ojibwes (Native Americans), but I think it was when I first started paying attention to them more and more in an Aztec printed style that I began to fall in love with them even more (and also after watching Twilight - do not ask but when Jacob's family describe the old traditions and stories it made me think of dreamcatchers and designing one some day and the thought trail progressed... easier to not ask haha). 

So I began researching Tribal, Indian and Aztec designs that I loved and picked out elements of each to start combining them into my second dreamcatcher. But I followed one thing on from Prequel - I kept the elements of additional circular modules underneath the main web as if they were still 'advanced filters' on the dreamcatcher to continue sifting through the bad dreams in case any were missed off the original web. Sounds silly, but for me who believes in them and still has quite annoyingly scary dreams at the best of times, you can never go wrong with added measures of sifting out the good stuff! (Even if they weren't designed as smaller webs...)

Tribal for me was different because it didn't necessarily take as long to design as I thought it would have, it was actually quicker in terms of time than Prequel considering how much more detailed it is, but that isn't to say it was rushed. No no, Tribal was a full flow of design from start to finish once I found my elements, it was a complete free flow of energy into creation, and I genuinely still believe that's why I love this one - it was seamless. 

It still had some flaws, of course every one of my mandalas do since there's no such thing as perfection and the world has it's flaws - it's not down to us to make an unrealistic world as artists but something that is reflective of current day state. If we ourselves have imperfections, how can we draw something that has none? Art is a reflection of us at the end of the day - or at least that's how I've always seen it.

So why the name? This time, it was about the influence of the design. Tribal is automatically associated with history and small groups of peoples or ancestors that had their own values and cultures that over the years have either evolved, been absorbed or become extinct. And since it was a dreamcatcher which already has it's own deep-rooted historic origins and meanings, adding more elements to that from design references of 50+ years ago, to me just only ever added to the authenticity and nothing else seemed right to suit as the name.

Whilst I haven't released any other dreamcatchers since for public sale, this most certainly became the foundation for the third dreamcatcher I've drawn which was a private commission piece that is currently being designed into a tattoo for one of my closest friends in Malta - which will also be shared once the piece is inked! 

For those who wish to, you can purchase Tribal Dreamcatcher online here.

Thank you for reading & keep your eyes peeled for future piece meanings being shared across the blog and also socials. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and even your own interpretations in the comments below or if you wish to let me know privately - I'm always social on emails and my social media channels. 

One love - Simmy. x

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