The story behind the name and logo for Savage Mountain Art & Design started as a joke about changing my last name to “CraigMountain” and progressed into the nickname “K2” after the notorious mountain bordering Pakistan, which is both the second highest in the world and the most dangerous to summit. In a 1953 expedition, mountaineer George Bell said of K2, “it’s a savage mountain that tries to kill you“ and so the nickname “Savage Mountain” stuck.
I felt that K2 symbolized a wildness and force of nature that both inspires my artwork and is a part of who I am as a human and artist. In Walden, naturalist Henry David Thoreau describes this sense: “I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive, rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.”
And so I adopted the name for my artwork and designed the logo myself, which is a combination of the letter “K” and the Roman numeral “II” and also looks like the snow-capped mountain turned on its side.
This is a neat little history, but I would like to acknowledge that so much of the current perception of “wilderness” and humanity’s sense of place in nature has been recorded and determined by white men, and stems from a place of privilege and oppression of, most notably, Indigenous voices and relationships with nature. With this in mind I would like my name’s narrative to embrace and elevate those voices and relationships as well. Are there writers, stories, histories, art, quotations, narratives that you think should also inform and inspire my art and name? Questions or concerns? Thoughts?