Meet Guinea Sam

AKA Sam Nightingale.  Sam was an herb doctor, conjure man and story teller from Boonville Missouri.  He is another fascinating subject of a book in the Notable Missourian series (Truman State University Press).


The challenge here was that there was no known photo or engraving of Sam to work with. That meant I had to come up with character sketches based on the description of his appearance and personality. To get in the mood, I listened to some hoodoo podcasts while reading up on the Gullah culture and conjuring.  It worked maybe too well...I think this image might have some juju going on. My son asked me to print out a copy so he could hang it in his room and some fold deep in my lizard brain told me that was a bad idea. 

Along the same lines, it seems superstition has been a theme of mine lately.  The other day I had a black cat cross my path while running and the first thought that came blasting through my head was "Well great, now I'm effed."  To build further on the crazy I got home and my own pet black cat came out to greet me and I thought "Oh good!  I own a black cat so that nullifies any black cat crossings, right?"  

Seriously, thats a thing right?  

Back to reality.  So Guinea Sam is a fascinating story and I can't wait to start on the final art for it, but right now I'm working on the final art for Helen Stephens so he will just have to wait...cause her story is amazing too!