Tools & Talismans #33 Anne Carmack

All our “stuff”, those things we save and hold on to — so much of it brings us back to story. I keep a lot of stuff because sometimes I worry I might forget a story — and when I pick up a stone, or a feather, or a dish full of pine cones, the physical reminder of a place, or a person or an event, it comes home all over again. And there, right there. A talisman is born.


1. Recycled tin #1: For reasons I've never known my mom used to call me “One” when I was younger. This always reminds me that no matter how far I fall or go, there are always people at home who love me.

2. Old Baseball: I found this sitting next to home plate on an empty field one winter afternoon in Santa Monica and have kept it close ever since. Something about it seems lucky to me. I guess we'll see!

3. Bronze Bird Feet: These were given to me as a gift. Bird feet are funny because they seem so silly and small but they're really strong, made up of tough tendons and bones. A lot like girls.

4. Sage Bundle: This sage bundle came in a beautiful package from Pixie Campbell many years ago. I’ve yet to burn it because I think it might be laced with her magic so I’ve been saving it for something special!

Anne Carmack • Artist. Writer.

Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Do you have an illustration project that you think my style might be a good fit for? Looking for illustrations for your website, book project or have something else in mind? Please let me know, I'd love to talk about your project with you!