The Symbol

Like the movement we perceive of the sun, I gravitate to stories that offer sustenance out of the movement of life itself, accumulated experiences, and acquired wisdom. The sun gives us light, warmth, and energy. The ochre pigment speaks to my love for the  land and my connection to the prairies of Oklahoma. The full circle is carried over from the buffalo logo. Having a given name that symbolically propels me to live up to it is a gift. Of all the symbols of my journey, the sun has been the most constant: both the light and the flames.

The Artist

I knew I wanted to collaborate with Ashley Opperman again to create a handmade "sun" logo and a variation to symbolize movement, after she had done such incredible work on the "buffalo" logo. Within my theme of vision and migration, I asked Ashley what process of making art feels like light or joy for her, "I believe the feeling of being inspired is the antithesis of depression. Inspiration is brimming with life and hopefulness. It's when I feel the most alive and optimistic. The word inspire comes from the Latin word that means to inflame, after all."

The Collaboration

"We both strive to embrace the beauty of imperfection and celebrate the natural cycles of growth. So naturally, when we work together there is an exciting back and forth of shared ideas. Sun introduced me to a gorgeous film photography that captures the sun's journey across the sky. Together, we decided on a symbol made up of two parts and painted in yellow ochre. The first part, a single moment or enso to represent the sun. The second, a 'sentence' or many moments to represent the migration of the sun." - Ashley Opperman

Follow the Buffalo

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 American buffalo representing vision, blackbirds representing flight, and the mane of a rugged pony representing the movement of life. When Ashley Opperman handmade 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. In Buffalo Culture, nothing of the bison was wasted. I honor this origin, what it provided, and carry it forward. About Follow the Buffalo.

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

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