AtoZ: Y is for Yin Yang Guardian by Anne Stokes


The penultimate day of the A to Z Challenge!

Today we have:


Y is for Yin Yang Guardian Dragon

Here is a cool Chinese-style dragon called Yin Yang Guardian by U.K. professional freelance illustrator Anne Stokes, who also posts on deviantart as Ironshod and has an active Facebook page that you can follow to see even more of her great artwork.

The description for the painting from her deviantart site says (directly copied) :

This is a new design style image I have painted called “Yin Yang Guardian”, based around an oriental style dragon and the Yin Yang symbol.

Many thanks to Angel Shi for providing the Chinese translation and suggesting what text to use. Chinese characters look great and the meaning is really interesting. The ones uses here are the first sentence of a poem in the first chapter of Book of Changes(YI JING). This is a historical book considered as a foundation for all the Chinese fortune telling and FengSui. The sentences mean “Yinyang generates Taiqi”. Yin and Yang are the black and white, live and death, fire and water etc, basically two opposite sides of everything. Taiqi, is the round black and white logo, and here represents everything.

The Yi Jing is also known in English as the I Ching, and while I couldn’t figure out the exact phrase she intends to portray in this image, according to the website (“your literary bridge to China”), the first chapter is called “The Creative.”  You can read the English translation at that link, if you’re feeling in need of some sage wisdom!

Anne Stokes is a prolific artist and I’m sure you’ve seen her work at some point, even if you didn’t know it was hers.  In fact, as I browsed her deviantart gallery, I realized I’d already shared some of Anne’s work when I came across this image, called Steampunk Dragon


As you can see, Anne created this image for a Steampunk Market that her friend was hosting, and she even gave away some signed prints of this dragon to the first twenty people to approach her at her artist booth with the secret phrase “clockwork dragon.”  How nifty!

But this image is also what the artist and crafter known as Mandarin Duck used as inspiration when she created the beautiful dragon journal that I shared back in January when I posted the first chapter of Finding Dragons, which is why the image may look familiar to you.

Dragon Journal Cover 1

You can see all of the images of the journal in the three posts linked on the Finding Dragons page, in case you missed them the first time around.  While you’re looking, you could also check out the beginning of my novel, if you’re interested in meeting Azur, Kite, and some of my other characters before I try to refocus this blog on the book next week!  I feel like the Universe is trying to tell me something, as a lot of my posts this week have turned out to be more and more about going back to my novel… 🙂

One more AtoZ post left!  I’ll likely also do one extra post as a wrap-up of the month, hopefully on Sunday or early next week.  I hope all my other Challenge-mates made it through the month, and I can’t wait to go catch up on a few blogs I missed as I worked feverishly to finish my own posts!

Thanks for reading, and stay creative!

Image credits:
Yin Yang Guardian by Anne Stokes
Steampunk Dragon by Anne Stokes
Dragon Journal by Mandarin Duck

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