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January 7, 2011
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Three Tigers by shelzie Three Tigers by shelzie
"The White Tiger is connected to the symbol of jinx in China history. Some Chinese might consider that 2010 White Tiger is a bad year....

...Tiger contains Mainly Wood, Fire and little Earth. Wood and Fire together will make Fire stronger. Metal is afraid of Fire and Metal is also against Wood. That means Metal and Tiger together will fight each other, which implies 2010 won't come quietly and peacefully. We can image that 2010 is a Tiger wearing armor. This Tiger doesn't like armor on the top its body and keeps jumping around. For safety, we should keep our distance from it. That's why many Chinese don't like White Tiger."

-[link]

A year ago, whilst celebrating Lunar New Year in Chinatown with ~rainELL, I slipped and fell down the steps of the subway, giving myself a massive bruise on my hip, and breaking a bracelet that ~SockHero had made me in the process. A week after that, my wallet (containing my immigrant work permit) and mobile phone were pickpocketed. This was the start to my third Year of the Tiger.

I had meant to draw this picture back then, but the incidents listed above put that thought out of my mind for quite some time, and after that things just seemed to keep cropping up. A recent trip to the Singapore Zoo made me remember it, and I figured might as well do it before the year officially ends (and it's not the Year of the Rabbit for another three weeks or so, so don't go overboard with rabbit imagery just yet, guys. lunar calendar ≠ gregorian). I try to draw a Lunar New Year picture every year, and I had meant this year to be far from an exception.

The Tiger is the year of my own birth, which means as of this year I've completed two twelve-year cycles (a complete cycle is 60 years, which means I've gone through the years of each animal in each of the five elements). Tiger Year children, generally speaking, are not traditionally favoured in Chinese culture (in the year of my birth, 1986, the birth rate fell dramatically), and girls particularly not so - apparently because it is supposed to make them overly aggressive, which is not a value that Chinese women are traditionally supposed to aspire to. The Chinese equivalent of the term 'bitch', at least where I come from, is 'mu lao hu' - 'tigress'.

It's been an interesting year, to say the least, definitely a year of extremes and firsts. A lot has been going on, some things nice and others not-so-nice, but one thing it has certainly not been is forgettable - as tigers never are. I've been very fortunate this year, but with all the good fortune came a great deal of stress and wear, and I've been trying to hold it all together and keep everything in check. Exhausting, but worth the effort in the end to my mind. Similarly, with all the not so nice things that happened, there was always a silver lining somewhere -- the day of my fall in the subway, there were good samaritans kind enough to help me up and give me tissues for my bleeding wrist; and the day my valuables got stolen, my friends pulled through for me unbelievably while I was being a hysterical mess. Also, I had already sent in the application for my work visa, so that was unaffected by my permit being missing (my social security number on the other hand was another story, but thankfully that's all in the past now and didn't really affect anything either).

So here's my image for the Year of the White (Gold/Metal) Tiger -- the White Tiger himself, sitting in foreground, the Yellow Earth Tiger (1998) in the middle and the Red Fire Tiger (1986) at back. I'm amazed at the ease with which this picture appeared within the space of a day or so, given that it took me long enough to get around to making the effort.

Anyway, actual Lunar New Year picture coming in a few weeks :B And a fond farewell to the Year of the White Tiger -- it's been rocky, but grrrr-eat.

(P.S. been thinking of making some prints to sell for money to donate to various conservation efforts. If I can figure out a good way to do that, would you be interested? :))
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:iconverticalgravity:
VerticalGravity Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I LOVE how you draw big cats! tigers are especially intriguing, I adore the color scheme here too.

I'm a dragon- only in China I suppose ;) heh, I don't do the whole astrology thing anymore but darn if the animals in their zodiac aren't amazing- well, I'm glad I'm not a rat I guess......though they are adorable.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
...I also meant to say THANK YOU FOR THE COMPLIMENTS but got caught up in writing about the zodiac part xD!

Thanks, though, it just involved a lot of referencing from photos to try and get the faces right. :B
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Pff, why does it have to be 'only in China'? I'm pretty close to my Western zodiac sign too so I don't see how or why it should be limited. In any case, the Tiger is only my year animal - you get four different animals and elements in the Chinese zodiac for your month, year, day, and hour of birth which is something a lot of Westerners don't know about. So if you want to get technical, I'm actually a Water Snake (day) ;)
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:iconverticalgravity:
VerticalGravity Featured By Owner May 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, I didn't know that either, that's neat- I found out I was an ash tree in the celtic and people kept hearing it as "ash tray" LOL.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional Filmographer
HAHAH! I looked up what my Celtic sign was once but forgot. x.x; I should try and do more research on that one next..
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:iconjamjams:
JamJams Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your tigers are truly amazing!
I just love the informative description, and the tigers are simply beautiful.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks so much!! And thanks for reading the description, I love to learn things and share them with people so it makes me happy to know that I'm not just rambling to nobody xDD
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:iconjamjams:
JamJams Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love to learn new things, so I thank you for sharing the information!
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:icontorenganger:
Torenganger Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never new you were Asian :)

I love the whole comment you made, it gives so much more understanding to this piece! I'm now checking the website you gave :iconstormyhotwolf88: too check my own birthday.

I hope the year of the rabbit brings better luck too you!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Professional Filmographer
So far it's actually been pretty miserable xD But it's not so bad that I can't deal with it. Thanks for the concern, and I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings!
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