"A Different Breed of Western"
Hello there! You can call me Midnight Mustang, Midnight Mustang Series, Midnight Mustang Art, MMS, or just "Hey you!" if the mood strikes you!
I am a freelance student artist/author and I'm currently focusing my efforts in writing about and depicting the lives of 3 original characters of mine: Cheyenne Wilson (Wovoka), Cameron Wilson (Wovoka), and Christelle Kennedy. Typically, I portray them as teens growing up in a rural ranching community in Humboldt County, NV. Their lives intertwine with the many controversies of the American West such as the BLM's control of the wild horse population, land use, and reservation life for the Paiute (and many other Indian Nations). Cheyenne and Cameron are cousins who both reside on James Wilson (Cameron's father)'s Roaring River Ranch, and both direct (fictional) descendants of Wovoka (or Jack Wilson) who was a Paiute spiritual leader who taught the Ghost Dance religion (which was spread among many Indian Nations, notably the Oglala Lakota). Christelle, on the other hand, is a friend and neighbor of theirs who lives in a somewhat broken home with her mother and irksome stepfather on a Missouri Fox Trotter breeding ranch. My work chronicles their journey of coping with life's many struggles and "coming of age" as well as their relationships with each other and the often portentous world around them.
It has always been a dream of mine to become a published author, and one day that just might come to pass. For now, however, I am young and improving. I've had some struggles with syntax and "awkward language" in my writing, but that is sorting itself out as I continue the thought provoking and heart wrenching process of delving into the world of my characters, one that I've been shaping for the past 4 years.
Of course, I occupy much of my time creating digital and traditional artwork, something that I see in my future as well. I enjoy working with graphite pencils and charcoal, but am open to other media as well. I owe much of my success to the artistic process, as drawing has only enhanced the world of my "Midnight Mustang Series" and made it much more vivid. Recently, I've acquired a Wacom Intuos tablet and am exploring a whole new realm of creation with it (Before my sketch titled "The Girl with the Tattoo on her Chin", everything digital was done with a mouse).
I became enthralled in the American West when I read the Phantom Stallion Series by Terri Farley many years ago, Nevada in particular. However, I have opened my eyes to the vast region and have developed a liking for the Dakotas, Montana, and other states. Perhaps my characters will venture further!
Unfortunately, there is a lot about American History that most people do not know and is not mentioned in school books. In my perspective, it is often taught in a very black and white fashion that does not delve into the complexity of the actual events. For instance, "Thanksgiving", which I refer to as ThanksTaking, is portrayed as a stereotypical culmination of pilgrims and Indians in harmony. In actuality, it was a time of great bloodshed and massacre.
I've always felt that the voices of the various American Indian Nations that resound all around us are ones that are important to listen to. Indian or not, all people can learn and appreciate the traditions, cultures, and languages.
My personal connection stems from the fact that my great grandfather was Ojibwa, and after he passed on when I was very young, a desire to learn about the nation that he held so dear sparked in me. I carry him with me in everything that I do.
Also, my deep passion for all things equine lies at the heart of my efforts. Horses are like therapy, and these magnificent animals have taught me the meaning of life. A horse's eyes can read one's soul and their huge, floppy ears make them the best listeners of all!
"A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence." -Pam Brown
In addition, I create fan art for the Phantom Stallion Series and AMC's Hell on Wheels. Eddie Spears, who plays Joseph Black Moon in Hell on Wheels is a huge inspiration to me and a photo-reference for my character, Cameron. I had the opportunity to speak to him in a call-in podcast, and he gave me some advice that I will always keep in mind.
Being a very shy person, I treasure the friendships and connections I've formulated while having this very special expressive outlet. If I can support or help out another artist in any way, I certainly will try to!
Feel free to drop me a note, hit my tumblr ask box, or leave a comment on my Wordpress blog if you have a question, comment, or suggestion (I do not bite, I promise!). I love conversing and collaborating about everything and anything!
"Believe in yourself, anything is possible no matter who you are ,or where you come from. Find your path and stay on it, if you want something bad enough, nothing can stop you." -Eddie Spears
Happy Trails to all!