See this design in action here [link]
My entry for the "Design Your Own Marque"
contest for #Nights-Doorstep
, a Group dedicated to all things Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey.
Adepts of the Court of Night Blooming Flowers receive tattoos on their backs to honor Naamah, the consort of Elua, who laid with strangers in order to pay their way through their hardships. The scratches she left on the backs of her lovers stayed with them till the day they died, inspiring the Adepts of the Night Court to adorn themselves with Marques on their backs that symbolize the unique talents of their respective Houses.
The idea behind the contest was to design our own Marque utilizing symbols important to us. It's hard to distill one's identity in such a way but I did my best using the white rose
, the butterfly
, the crown of thorns
, and the moon
.The White Rose
- In the language of flowers, roses represent eternal love and secrecy, white roses in particular standing for loyalty, innocence, and reverence, qualities which I identify with. I have also used the white rose to symbolize the presence of divine beings in my artwork.The Butterfly
- Butterflies have been with me since I was young. They have come to me in my life teaching me lessons about fragility and restraint, such as the time I touched a butterfly's wings as a child, ruining it's ability to fly forever. Their ability to morph from an unassuming larvae to a beautiful creature fascinates me, especially for the fact that their life spans are so short. It is the greatest symbol of change and the carefree love of life, in my eyes. They are arranged in a spinal shape to emphasize the mortality of their beauty.The Crown of Thorns
- In this instance, the crown doubles also as a halo, a sign of divinity in saints and angels. Though I am not a traditional Christian, I admire the symbol of the suffering of Christ, the willing act of resigning to one's fate in order to save others. Suffering and self-sacrifice for the sake of another is, for me, the greatest form of heroism. The thorns represent the challenges of life, the hidden droplets of blood, the power of our ability to overcome adversity. Though I am flawed, my will to be an enlightened person prevails.Feathers
- The feathers represent my continued personal connection to the symbol of angels, whose wings carry them beyond human boundaries. Just as I aspire to better myself spiritually and in my own life. The lack of a full set of wings, however, symbolizes my constant imperfection as a mortal (while also showing that this is perhaps what makes mortals interesting and original!). The feathers also double as quills, representing my ability to create as both writer and artist.The Moon
- Those who know me well know that I am a lucid dreamer, meaning that I have a very vivid, oftentimes overwhelming nightmares. Dreams play an important part in my artwork and writings, just as the moon symbolizes the domain of the dreamer. It is also the domain of moon goddesses (Artemis, Hecate, etc. ) whom I identify with for their strong connection to nature and their personalities. These are goddesses that most know best not to trifle with! (Just as those who have seen my temper can attest)
This was more of a practice run for a design I will most likely have tattooed on my own back later once I have time to sit and do a hand-drawn version that I am completely satisfied with. Please do not use it for yourself!