Mythology-Designing a Dragon Scarf

My goal is to reach back in time and pull the essence of an ancient myth forward into a modern day fashion accessory.

When creating my Mythology collection I had several creatures in mind that I wanted to create. A dragon was my first choice, but I wanted to do some digging and see what kind of inspiration I could unearth.

The most common dragons I see in modern day art tend to be Chinese or European dragons. I wanted to find something more obscure.

I felt my dragon needed to have movement so I opted for a serpentine body type, but when it came to the design of the head I was a little stuck. Searching for a reference somewhere between Asia and Europe, I found an amazing dragon painting from 14th century Persia with a strange, whimsical face. Many of these early dragons have contorted, almost goblin-like features. Drawing inspiration from this and several other ancient images I began to draw. My use of vines and flowers was also inspired by several of these early works, to both frame and accompany my dragon in a motionless dance of color and textures.

My desire in creating the mythology collection stemmed from a fascination with the ancient world, and a need to create something in this modern society that contains the spirit and romance of times past. But I also believe in talismans and symbols of power and protection. I wear dragons when I feel like I need strength. Sometimes I deal with anxiety, and having dragons with me helps my confidence.

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I like clothes and accessories that can be both armor and beauty. I've always had an edge in my personality, and been drawn to things that some consider dark and dangerous. Perhaps this comes from my early years of feeling powerless and afraid at times, and wanting to seek out things that helped bolster me in the world. If anything, I've learned what some ancient cultures thought of dragons, and how they informed both elemental aspects of the world as well as spiritual.

While researching the origins of dragons I paged through a book I've had since childhood called The Enchanted World - Dragons, which has a beautiful collection of stories and history. One tells of a sacred tree called the perindeus, which grew sweet fruit that doves liked to eat. Dragons would lurk nearby, waiting to feed on the doves, but could not stand within the shadow of the tree, for that shadow was poison to them.

Stories like this are so beautiful, for they show the imagination and creativity of people from so long ago. I often wonder what it would be like to go back, sit and talk with these storytellers from times past.

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Damon Grey