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As an artist who grew up in the Pacific Northwest I was saturated by unique Native American artwork everywhere I looked. We literally had indian tribes all around the area I grew up so seeing totem poles was a pretty common occurrence for me. They have always intrigued me. Here you have a stack of funky characters sitting on top of each others head all in perfect balance, it was just too much fun. And the style of Native American art is pretty graphic too, so design-wise the shapes and colors have always appealed to me.

While brainstorming art assignments for the illustration class I teach at a local college, I decided it would be fun to have the students illustrate their own totem poles. And in order to get the full effect I'd also have them construct actual desktop versions using an empty paper towel tube. Of course this gave me a perfect excuse to illustrate my own totem pole to show my students an example of what could be done. Below is how the Desktop Totem™ came about.
If you'd like to add some tribal flare to your next project or just want to go native on your desktop you can download a simple do-it-yourself pdf of this Desktop Totem™ at:
Project: Desktop Totem™
Client: "Intro to Digital Illustration" Class
Art Director: Myself
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