INESSA KALABEKOVA

Questions to the artist for shamans

By chance, I came across an intriguing book in the library: The Paintings of Korean Shaman Gods: History, Relevance, and Role as Religious Icons by Kim Tae-gon (Author) and Christina Han (Translator). I was surprised by the facts in this book. Ninety-nine percent of shamans are women, and shamanism is still very popular in Korea. After a shaman dies, the family must destroy the god paintings she worked with.

I have a wonderful friend who is Korean, and amazingly, she knows an artist who paints portraits of gods for shamans. I am very interested in clarifying some details with this artist, so I am writing questions here out of curiosity…

I need this for my future art practice, as I will be collecting artists’ rituals. Additionally, I am curious why the works of Fra Angelico differ so much from those of his contemporaries.

If I meet this painter, these are the questions I will ask:

  1. Mental and Spiritual Preparation:
    • How do you mentally and spiritually prepare yourself before starting a new piece of shamanic art?
    • Are there specific rituals, meditations, or practices you follow to connect with the spiritual aspects of your work?
  2. Research and Inspiration:
    • What kind of research do you conduct before beginning a piece? Are there particular sources or traditions you draw from?
    • How do you gather inspiration for your work?
  3. Workspace Organization:
    • Can you describe your workspace? How do you organize it to facilitate your creative process?
    • Are there any special items or tools you keep in your workspace to help you stay focused and inspired?
  4. Materials and Tools:
    • What materials and tools do you use in your shamanic art? Are there specific types of paper, brushes, or paints that are significant to your practice?
    • How do you prepare these materials before starting a new piece?
  5. Preliminary Work:
    • Do you create preliminary sketches or plans before working on the final piece?
  6. Techniques:
    • What techniques do you use to transfer patterns or designs onto your working surface?
  7. Maintaining Focus:
    • How do you maintain focus and flow during the creative process?
  8. Completion:
    • How do you know when a piece is finished? What final steps do you take to complete your work?

These questions will help me understand the artist’s process and rituals, which is crucial for my future art practice.

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