corvi (corivax) wrote,

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Kanji: mibae

This says vanity, charm, or grace (mibae).

On top is Ken, look, see, show. The boxy bit with lines is a stylized eye turned sideways, the curves below are bent legs. A pictograph of a person kneeling to stare at something.

On the bottom is Ei, reflect, shine. The box with a line through it on the left is the sun. The thing that looks like a stick figure carrying a box on its shoulders depicts a human wearing a yoke on the neck, or possibly a human figure with an abstract square symbol meaning 'confine'. In either case, the focus is on the neck as a central line of the body, and the character means 'center'. Phonetically, it is pronounced the same as the word for bright, which may be why it was included in this character, but many scholars feel that it implies the center of the sun, the brightest part.
'Reflect' is a later associated meaning.

You could read the two as "Look at me! I'm shiny!" - and get vanity and charm, and even grace.

What I was trying to do is get these two characters together into some sort of harmony, some sort of balance. This is a new idea for me; I usually do one character at a time... even if I'm painting something with multiple characters. These are vixyish's kanji, so I wanted it to suit her, as well. When I was contemplating this, I noticed how similar the symbols are - eye looks like sun, and there are two pairs of legs. I decided I wanted to emphasize both.

Vix is a dancer, very graceful and feminine in movement and speech and attitudes, so I let the long graceful arcs of leg dominate both kanji. The top kanji, kneeling, I left one of the legs sharply bent, and one long and graceful - I dated a dancer for many years, and used to love watching stretches, including one where you half-kneel, one leg bent up in front of you, and one straight and trailing behind you. (Random image, close but not quite right, here. I love google's image search!) For the stick figure at the bottom, I drew the long motion line of the body parallel to the graceful kneel-curve. Those two arcs are the longest lines in the image - I stretched them a bit, and inked fairly heavy - I wanted them to set the tone for the entire kanji, graceful, arched, delicate.

There are no straight line in this at all, which was deliberate, again, keeping with the meaning of 'grace'. Though some of the arcs are almost straight. I also made the 'yoke' thin (on one side, at least!) and curved, trying to de-emphasize that a bit. The little spike on the end of the bent kneeling leg I made smaller, and I did not bring it to a point at the end; this different from the one on, say, Ta, which I usually curve to resemble a scorpion's sting.

Sun's idiograph I moved away from the rest of its character, and made it larger, and closer to the aspect ratio of eye. Partly to fill up the space between the dancing arcs, and party to suggest shining eyes, childlike wonder, innocence.

Overall, I'm happy with it. It isn't perfect. It isn't even very close. But I did get a lot of the effects I wanted, and it looks like vixyish to me, at least. If I'm lucky, she'll like it, too.

For some well-done kanji in a style very different than mine (including Ken), look at joxn's work here.

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