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Design step 3: Make your design look "Hawaiian"

What do I mean look "Hawaiian"? I am particular when it comes to creating an element for a kakau. My general rule of thumb is that if I can carve it on an ohe kapala then I will use it. But ohe kapala are for kapa you might be thinking. Ohe kapala help to edit the elements and create a native hawaiian stylized look. I create my design on my computer with software and always keep in mind "Can it be carved on an ohe kapala?" It is so easy to create and manipulate shapes on the computer. It only takes a click to go in the wrong direction and end up with a design of shapes that look stretched, morphed, skewed and unnatural.

Hawaiian Design:
Look closely at the items left by our ancestor and see their mastery of positive and negative space. They lived and interacted with the seen and unseen of their world at every moment. They lived in balance with their world at every level spiritually and physically.

Skewed ...Rotated...Scaled...

Personal Common Sense Rule:
RESEARCH. The Bishop Museum has online photos of many artifacts that can be used for inspiration.

Images courtesy of the Bishop Museum. All Rights Reserved.