Day of the Dead Mexican skeletons and the dragon from Chinese New year - these were my starting points for outside the fence.
I just wrapped this first dragon over the top of the letters…oh, THAT had to go!
(below) The 2 Day of the Dead puppets morphed out. The man’s skeletal head was replaced with the head of an actual person, wearing face paint. The women was totally replaced with a costumed person.
I wanted the outside ring of this FT to represent the vibrant diversity of non-white culture: to show modern people (not historical images). I searched for festivals around the planet:
Above are masks form Burkina Faso and Papua New Guinea. The masks of non-white. Below are masks of Spain and Austria.
I didn’t want the outer circle to be completely non-Caucasian. By including the scary masks of European festivals, I hope it shows that the ‘other’ we’re afraid of isn’t all that ‘other’. What’s the difference between an African mask and an Eppingen Witch mask? (below)
In an early version I used the costumed child and man from the Fastnacht Festival (below) - they were exactly right to depict a Caucasian child drifting into the outer ring, to the unknown.
Then I found another example that fit better into the red color scheme. I managed to turn around the little boy and his sister (soon to be replaced - like a Stepford wife - by a doll) and team them up with an Eppingen witch (below).
These costumed figures from India (below) are glorious, and I kept trying to shove them into my composition. They didn’t make it, nor did the Epke festival figures below them.
These Japanese figures are wonderful, and there are a great variety of photos of them available.
Combined with small Japanese children, I had a strong visual element.
But then I found these men (below) resting, with their masks:
I took one man, twisted him mercilessly in Photoshop, until he fit:
Look above the man holding his mask and you’ll see a little girl holding her Halloween mask.
Below, the two drummers on the right made the cut, along with children from India, and eyes copied from photos of Indian men.
Below is an early version. In the bottom right corner is a large puppet figure showing the young woman holding it up. I very much wanted to get her in, as well as children holding up the Chinese dragon figure. Can’t always get what we want.