Currently smashing its fairly modest Kickstarter funding goal of $2500 out of the park, Bambi Wendt‘s proposed The field guide to: Dragons, Wyrms, and Serpents of the World is a gem deserving attention.
The project is being promoted as a 50-plus page book, richly illustrated, with over 25 full watercolour paintings created “in the wild without digital programs”.
It’s clearly caught the imagination of crowdfunders, confirming, once again, how dragons are a popular fantasy theme.
“Giant scaled creatures with mystical powers appear in every culture throughout recorded time,” notes Bambi. “Sometimes these animals are benevolent beings full of wisdom, and sometimes they are fire breathing harbingers of doom.
“Whether six-limbed or essentially giant snakes, dragons are a part of the human experience: monsters who have been created to explain rain, evil, and goodness. Our human connection to these fantastic beasts that have been worshiped and feared is universal.”
Bambi’s book intends to explore the differences between western and eastern dragons, unearth dragons who ferry souls to the underworld, and look up to creatures of infinite wisdom and benevolence.
“In every element, in every realm, we find wyrms who chew at the roots of the world tree, serpents that coil in the depths of seas and lochs, and agile masters of the wind and sky.”
The book will be published by Beard Poetry, a company that began in 2010 with a long-arm stapler, a coffee table, and a dorm room, producing staple-bound chapbooks for Twin Cities authors and slam poetry collectives. Since then, the press has expanded into a full-service design, editing, and publishing shop for artists across the United States, collaborating with musicians, painters and tattoo artists, and nonprofit art centers. Authors have embarked on tours behind collections that have been distributed internationally and featured on year-end lists next to New York Times bestsellers.
The art is definitely eye-catching, and there are more examples on the Kickstarter project page.
“The inking was done with a traditional dip pen and archival sepia ink,” Bambi says of her work, “and many of the watercolor pigments are made from genuine and semi-precious stones including garnet, lapis lazuli, Minnesota pipestone, serpentine, and amethyst.
“Each dragon will be accompanied by an illustrated facing page with a typed description, story, or primary source material.”
• If you’re a fan of dragons and myth, check the project, which has raised over $17,000 in backing, here on Kickstarter
Art © Bambi Wendt