"There is nothing 'mere' about symbols.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Inspiration

The spirit of Follow the Buffalo can be summed up in one word: migration. Over the years, my journey, my writing, and my work has earned a collective of symbols, which include Buffalo Culture representing vision, blackbirds representing flight, and the mane of a rugged pony representing the movement of life. When Ashley made this logo for me, she used soot from fire, which could not be more fitting. Like telling stories, we move through breakdowns and breakthroughs, knowing our journey has its unique beauty and plot, coming full circle.

The Artist

Ashley Opperman shares her practice, "When I create I am usually tired, worn out and in need of a hot shower. As much as I wish sun was pouring in and I had all day to play and sip coffee, it rarely happens. That is one of the lessons I've learned, always show up. When people go on long hikes and hit that point of exhaustion, they often ask how much further? I never want to know. The buffalo I follow is the possibility of something new and beautiful making itself known along the way."

The Method

The essence of the logo was created with a natural goat hair brush and sumi ink, which is made by mixing the soot of a flame with a binding agent. "There is something about the fluidity of sumi ink that takes control away from the artist and instead takes on a life of its own as it streams and pools on the paper. Your migration was inspired after many failed attempts; it wasn't until I trained my wrist to flick at the right moment, while relinquishing enough control for the ink to flow of its own accord, did it appear." - Ashley Opperman

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories... water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” – Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

Using Format