Of course, for our blog and the Land Rover we needed an adequate logo as well. As we did and do with many things, for this process we invested quite a bit of time. The plan was not to make "just some logo", but really "our own logo"! The logo was supposed to really fit to us as single persons and personalities, to us as a traveling family, to our Landy, but also to our name "4-wheel-nomads". Not easy at all!
We made first real steps into the direction of an idea for the logo when we looked at the impressive cave paintings ancient nomads left worldwide such as in the cave of Lascaux in France. In many stone-age caves, these peoples left "negative images" of their hands such as depicted in the following photos from Argentina and Australia ...
So, this was the basic concept we started working with. The logo should show four hands, one from each of us.
Our artist-friend Edgar didn't make it easy for Mischa when he appeared in one of Edgar's workshops and within seconds he destroyed every single bit of hope that the creation of a logo would be something easy and fast. All, really all processes - from spraying the hand-images using a paint-deposit in the artist's mouth according to the ways of the ancient cavemen to modern painting using acrylic paint, spatula, sponge and brushes including the blending of the colours - were expected to be "hand-made". Artists! The construction of the logo thus finally took several months, but certainly was an important part of the travel preparation, little short of "therapy" for Mischa. Maybe this was the beginning of a new hobby for Mischa as well! Here is the link to the post we published about the process of the logo-creation in the spring of 2015.
Apart from the cave-hands another association in our logo-reflections were the lines and angles and the complete arrangement of the "sea shells" of the Sydney Opera House. The following video from Youtube is absolutely "magic"!
In 2008 and 2009 we had made our first overlanding-experiences during two travels to Australia (a "loop" through Western Australia and a west-to-east-crossing of the continent from Perth to Sydney) and had discovered that this way of traveling was the only means of traveling really "matching" us which was extremely rewarding at the same time.
One of the most fascinating aspects during these travels was the culture(s) of the First Australians ... culture(s) and (hi)stories of the people(s) were and still are the most important aspect of traveling for us. The most special "souvenir" we brought home from these trips were two acrylic paintings created by Lance Chadd, a First Australian artist from Western Australia, which were far too expensive for us at that time.
For sure one part of our overland-dream came into existence somewhere there in the barren but beautiful Australian outback. Because of that this aspect was to be included in the logo as well.
On our overland-adventure through Europe, across the Balkans and through Africa it was a regular thing that people asked about what was behind our logo. Obviously it really suits or matches us and seems to be addressing people from different cultural backgrounds. Often our two daughters were asked to put their hands onto their "old" prints. Of course, their hands by now were larger than the prints.
Finally and unexpectedly, in Cape Town, South Africa, at the "official end" of our Transafrican adventure, our "logo-(hi)story" becomes "rounded": we receive an original handprint of Nelson Mandela directly from the hands of his arts publisher as a present for having successfully reached the "Cape of Good Hope" ... 34,126.00 on-road-kilometres away from our sandbank-home in the North Sea.
Nothing of this we had planned in any way - Ross, Mandela's arts publisher and fellow Land Rover owner, had been following our blog since we started planning Transafrica in early 2015 and had just very recently contacted us via email and had invited us to stay with him and his family in Cape Town. What a coincidence! What a most precious gift we had been given!
Just as in our logo Mandela's piece of art consists of four handprints - his are shaded with colours instead of being "filled-in" as in our logo. One of Mandela's handprints shows the shape of the continent of Africa in the palm of the hand; this was something that Juliane had discovered in one of our handprints as well in the process of creating the logo ... but we did not follow this "trait", as it was supposed to be a long-term-logo not restricted to this one overland-travel through Africa only. A quite special aspect with Mandela's print is that even the colours he used - as Mischa he had blended them himself specifically just for this piece of art - are absolutely matching the ones in our logo ... only the "blue" of the water is missing in our logo! Is that a small hint at our further travels by boat as "Ocean Gypsies"!? Here is a link to our new idea for future travel plans.
Was all that "pure coincidence" or did the "secret cogs in the gearbox of Transafrican aesthetics" connect arts, interests, characters, challenges because we were just open minded enough for this?
How entralling and fascinating this life and traveling is! How unpredictable and yet deeply touching unexpected encounters can be! This is the essence of travel!