• Katey Ladika

The Tale of My Avatar

While creating the logo for this blog, I followed the colophon tradition of making it personal to my life and how I came to be. As you will notice, my logo is made up of three primary components: my initials, a crown, and a strange branch-like set of graphic spokes taken from the vegvisir(an ancient viking rune). All three of these pieces represent a portion of my genealogy, my family history, and the pride I share with the stories of my ancestors. Each piece also holds a small significance to my personality as well. Together, I combined these elements to create a visually appealing logo that tells a story more than one would originally think.

The Crown: A large portion of my ancestry comes from the Slavic nations of Eastern Europe. Though we do not hail from one region in particular, I pulled inspiration for the crown from the coat of arms of countries like the Czech Republic and Poland. I recreated a more modern version of the crown and made it one of the larger focal points of my logo. Personality wise, I believe the crown stands for my sense of order and constant need for perfection in my work. It also is a means of motivation as I strive to be the best I can be in my artistic endeavors.

The Initials: The story of my initials is probably the least interesting one. I simply pulled the English letters for my name and placed them in a typewriter format. This represents my family that came from the UK. The personality element lies in the use of the “K.” and “L.” because I frequently replace my full name with a nickname or abbreviation. I am an extremely laid back person, so I think my full name is just too formal for use in most situations.

The Vegvisir Spokes: I am of Viking descent, and this is a piece of my family history that I am immensely proud of. An interesting story that surfaced during my investigation into my Scandinavian roots happened while I was studying in Prague last summer. While learning of the Battle of Prague (which involved the Czechs and the Swedish Armies), my professor stopped her lesson and points to me, stating "You are a Viking!" At the time, I didn’t know I was, but I found out a few months later that she was correct and I truly was a viking.

Strange, she knew when I didn't have a clue...

I then spent a vast amount of time researching symbols and runes from the history of the Scandinavians to find a reference image that would represent my family, but also my personality. After reading through many historical books and webpages, I found the symbol deemed “vegvisir,” and it personally struck a chord with me and my exploration-driven nature.

The “vegvisir” was used as a symbol of protection for Viking voyagers as they traveled through harsh seas. This symbol was carved into the hulls of ships or inscribed on jewelry to give the wearer a blessing for safe expeditions. Being that my life is literally a series of repeating adventures and travels across the globe, the voyagers background of that symbol seemed to be a perfect fit.

Ironically, as a meticulously reckless photographer, I think I could use a little extra luck and safety as I continue my work as well.

Hundreds of years of Varner/Ladika history and a personal touch all of my own, I created this graphic to represent me and my point of view.

Disclaimer: No image can be taken for commercial or personal use without prior consent from the artist.  

© 2019 Katey Ladika