Finding fun in fantastical fantasy, this month’s feature local artist, Bambi Khan, is as unique as her pieces of art.
Khan is in the process of completing her third “field guide” book for fantasy creatures. Her first two, A Field Guide to: Dragons, Serpents, and Wyrms of the World and A Field Guide to: Unicorns, And Mythic Beasts of Hoof & Horn will be followed with a field guide for Merfolk and other creatures of the seas which will focus on highlighting magical being of every shape, size, color, creed and gender identity.
Khan, who also works as a tattoo artist at Amarok Tattoo Studio in Fargo, says that the inspiration for her third book came partially from “inspiring” experiences she had while living in the Sea of Cortés in Mexico.
“I had a fear of water and still have a fear of water,” Khan said. “So, I purchased a few neoprene mermaid tails and swam with them as a tool to get over my fear of water. While I was in Mexico. I lived pretty rough, but I got to be in a camper that was 30 feet from the shoreline and I got to wake up every morning, watching the sunrise over the Sea of Cortés which was very beautiful. It’s hard not to be inspired by something like that.”
The other portion of Khan’s inspiration for this new endeavor came from her longstanding fascination with drawing mythical creatures. Growing up, she loved the work of Brian Froud, an illustrator who published works such as Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, Trolls and The Faeries’ Oracle. “They were just very beautiful books.’ Khan said.
She turned that fascination into a love for art. However, she didn’t start a career as an artist until she was 25 years old “I was bartending and managing restaurants in the cities,’ Khan said. “At one of my regular tables was a tattoo artist. We had talked about art and he was working at a shop.
In addition to tattooing, publishing and exercise training, Bambi also hosts a Twitch stream with her partner Terry Gartman. In their stream, you can watch Bambi create amazing art live! She even has a fun activity where she draws viewers’ descriptions of Pokémon without ever having seen them herself! The drawings and prints are then available for purchase following the stream.