Question Mark Phoenix

The folks over at MISSING LINK are offering their buddies and clients a free tattoo.


This threw me into a panic. And I quickly pulled out one of my favourite of Roger von Oech's WHACK PACK cards... 'Solve the Right Problems'.


The card has this picture on it, but in stark black and white silhouette. I love this image.


If you're not sure, it's actually two images -- a question mark in negative space, and a swan or phoenix in black. (If you can only see one of them, don't worry... it just means you're stuck in one mode of brain usage for now. Touch your left knee with your right hand, then your right knee with your left hand a coupla times, and that should free your hemispheres to integrate a bit.)


I copied von Oech's question mark into ArtRage, and started messing around with it. The red/pink background is meant to represent skin tone.


But while I was doing this, I asked people in the Blue Moon office what I should use for my new tattoo.


Craig said, 'How about one of the Gautrain safety icons I designed?'


I knew EXACTLY which one, as he said it... The powerlines dude. (Not my interpretation of it. Craig's is a thousand times better. I'll upload it at some point.)


So yup... Looks like that's the one.


If you feel like getting yourself a swan/question mark tatt, please feel free to use this one.


Painted in ArtRage 2.5 on my Toshiba Tecra M4, then messed around with in Photoshop CS3.

  • artphoto2005 7y

    very nice with the red I thought of a Phoenix rising
  • Roy Blumenthal 7y

    I've just changed the title from 'Swan' to 'Phoenix'. You're right. My girlfriend also mentioned that it looked more like a phoenix than a swan. Thanks! And shotto for faving this, and the powerlines pic.

    Jennifer doesn't dig the slick icon that I thought I'd use as a tattoo. But she likes this phoenix. Might just end up going for the phoenix.

    Blue skies
  • Schmiegel 7y

    Thank you for sharing!
  • Roy Blumenthal 7y

    Pleasure, Schmiegel!

    Blue skies
  • Roy Blumenthal 7y

    Here's the tattoo I got yesterday based on this painting...

    Roy's finished 'Questioning Phoenix' tattoo
  • qthomasbower 6y

    Greetings, Roy!

    Great tat! Wonderful piece!

    I have included this lovely piece in my latest blend:

    Swirling a Mystery
    Swirling a Mystery

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Thank you for using Creative Commons licensing!!!

    - QThomasBower
  • Roy Blumenthal 6y

    Thank you, dude! Your pic is lovely! And thank you for crediting my contribution to it!
  • FuzEboX 4y

    Dude, I'm so getting this tattoo
  • Roy Blumenthal 4y

    Rock and roll, FuzEboX! Pop a picture of it in the comments once you've got your tat!
  • fireliz 4y

    Great image! I used it in a blog post here: Seeking input--will you help?

    Thanks for making available under Creative Commons!
  • Roy Blumenthal 4y

    Awesome, Fireliz! Thanks for letting me know. And thanks for crediting me. Excellent!
  • grahick 3y

    i have a copy of that design on my calf now and i love it
  • phoenix-07 3y

    love the design.........excellent work.........:)
  • Roy Blumenthal 3y

    phoenix-07 Thank you! The design was based on an illustration found in Roger von Oech's CREATIVE WHACK PACK. This is just my version of it.
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Taken on June 13, 2008
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