Magical BEINGS: Portraits of Artists, Friends + Pioneers: Pharrell Williams

18Oct15

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Connecting to Magical Beings makes the uncanny appear and miracles happen.  Many times drawing Pharrell Williams, my pen drew specific lines for me.  My computer window would suddenly open up a window or a book page would open with exactly what I needed to see.  The song playing spoke exactly on cue.

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The beautiful face of Pharrell Williams, already hangs in my home, one of them is this W magazine cover. I suddenly realized he must be added to my Magical Beings collection of illustrations!  A long-time fan, I’ve followed Pharrell from his Neptunes and N*E*R*D days to the rise of Get Lucky and get Happy to his Grammy awards, famous Vivian Westwood hat, and grateful tears with Oprah.

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Universalist.
Pharrell calls himself a Universalist.  The process of drawing Pharrell underscored for me that true creativity belongs to us all.  Here’s the journey, I hope it inspires you to create and play.

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Camouflage
“By 2013, I had accepted my role as the… camouflage,” Pharrell told W Magazine, my favorite quote of his. “I was the guy next to the guy, rather than the guy himself.”

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“All my formative years, I spent standing next to Jay [Z] or Justin [Timberlake] or all those kings. I’ve always learned from the masters, whether it’s in music or art or fashion. But in 2013, it was different: suddenly, it was not about being the camo anymore.”

Happy
Happy
, the song that propelled Pharrell into global fame, was not necessarily an instant hit.  It was, in fact, the tenth song Pharrell presented to a film’s producer!

I took this screen shot of Pharrell from the video on the bridge as his dance move seemed to encapsulate his way of moving and…

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Tiger
I was drawn to this gorgeous photo of a tiger in snow. The eyes, the direct gaze somehow reminded me of Pharrell striking face.

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The white tiger is not a native species and is a whole animal rights issue, which I might rail on about, but not here. (Go here.)

Talk about camouflage removal!

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Tiger “abides in the South, symbolizing unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness and modesty. It is relaxed yet energized; resting in a gentle state of being that has a natural sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, referring to the state of enlightenment. Associations: main quality is confidence, dominance over forest, and the air element.”

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My well-worn copy of Shambala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa fell open to this page.  Pharrell is like a warrior, a shaman, he had to be the tiger energy!

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That is Pharrell and his influence on music, art, style, charity and all-around happy.

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The Hat.

The brilliant signature Vivian Westwood hat of the man helped him be seen as the tower, the mountain. Its height and grooves are like a sacred mountain.

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To The Sole of His Shoes.
While I was drawing his shoes, a song lyric was on repeat: the “depth of my soul” …and I found my pen drawing his soulful eyes.  What Pharrell sees is his foundation, his soul and his sole.

Long-form, blow your mind alert!

While sketching Pharrell, this site called “Sacred Sites” literally popped up on my computer.  Another soulful eye!

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I was drawn to read about Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, here in its long form, esoterically describes the power of a hit song like Happy:

“Radiating out from the Chaco complex are an enigmatic series of straight lines that extend ten to twenty miles into the desert. Conventional archaeological theories explain these lines as roads leading to outlying settlements, but this seems highly unlikely, as the lines are arrow straight regardless of terrain. They go over mesas (table-top mountains), up and down vertical cliff faces, and along ways that make them utterly impractical for use by the casual or commercial traveler. Perhaps they had another purpose. Paul Devereux, a British scholar and writer in the so called “Earth Mysteries” field has suggested that these lines (and others he has studied around the world) are better understood as markings that represent the out-of-body spirit travels of ancient shamans. Archaeological research does indeed indicate that the lines often lead to small shrine-like structures where evidence of religious and shamanistic activity is common. These mysterious lines, sometimes apparently between no particular places, are found in many parts of the Anasazi region. More than five hundred miles of the lines have so far been charted. Nowadays they are mostly visible only from the air in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun casts deep shadows. Inspecting these lines at ground level, it is evident that they have been acted upon by many hundreds of years of natural erosion, which has obscured all but scarce remains. It therefore seems reasonable to suggest that these lines, prior to their erosion, could have been followed across great expanses of land, thereby delineating an enormous grid or map of sacred and shamanistic geography.”

I’ve seen these lines from in an airplane flying across America. No doubt you have too.  The power of the seen and the unseen. So glad Pharrell is no longer camouflage and the world feels his gifts. Here representing his gifts, the lines are the paths of Pharrell as shaman, ending in Tibetan clouds of peace and power.

My illustration of Pharrell Williams will be available on my shop, along with many other illustrations, here, The Jade Dress Shop.

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