The Small Gods Project

June 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

What curious susurrations, odd overlays, and eddies of thought have led me to undertake this curious project?

1. I grew up believing that work was work and that the more work one did, the better. Anything else was laziness – not to be tolerated or encouraged. That’s probably why many of my best friends are also workmates. My work has too-often been rather less fun than it should have been, but painting is fun, if I let it be. So, what kind of project could I do that would let me exercise my painting muscles, but not be some pile of useless sketches at the end of the days and weeks?

2. Facebook is a menace. Not only does it hide some unknowable 90% of one’s putative “friends”, but it tempts one to read and write while not drawing. Or painting. Or working in any other way. I was just listening to Carl Hiaasen convey my very thoughts on the matter. But since I like Facebook and my remaining friends, how can I make the experience more interesting and less draining?

3. Each day, Rich Potter has been asking his Facebook pals for suggestions as to what famous person he should paint. And I’ve been impressed with both the work he’s doing, and the responses he’s getting. So tempting to just steal his idea…

4. Eddie Izzard talks about “crap gods” in his show Dress to Kill: “And then the Romans came along with their gods that they had borrowed from the Greeks. They invaded Greece, conquered them and stole all their gods… and renamed them with Roman names, ’cause the Roman gods before that were kind of crap, you know – Geoff, the god of biscuits, and Simon, the god of hairdos….”

5. The real ‘Small Gods’ is a book by Sir Terry Pratchett. Pratchett’s Gods are beings who yearn to be believed in, that they might become powerful and influential. Belief is everything to them, and without it, they may stay small forever. Some gods find nice niches and fill the Belief Economy for many years undisturbed. Others want it all. Or rather, like Om, they want it all back. Pratchett also has fun at the expense of Fedecks, the Ephebian god of messengers and other homages obvious and unobvious from Petulia to Ishkibble.

The Obvious Conclusion !?!

My first Small Gods card: Ishka Babel, the Small God of Comic Novelty Songs.

SG1 So, the plan is to spend 1 hour (or less) making a new Small God each day.
I’ll be taking ideas from the Comments provided by the lovely people who read this blog, and see me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

What object, area, category, or activity needs a Small God? Which already has one (or more than one)? And don’t expect the Gods to necessarily bear the forms of the humans who might worship them them – after all Sobek and Offler had Crocodile heads!
And some Gods needn’t even be flesh and blood!

I hope to create a curious and entertaining Rogue’s Gallery of Small Gods – all while trying to enjoy the act of painting and experimenting as broadly as I can.
I hope you’ll enjoy the ride!



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