Murder by Numbers

Murder by Numbers

UPDATE: This blog entry was originally published July 2022. You can shop new items from this collection here: Murder by Numbers Collection.

We’ve gone to the birds! 

So, I opened a Threadless store. MAUT Designs/Murder by Numbers Collection: Please check it out and purchase some of my work for yourself. There are many options for apparel, accessories, decor, stickers, magnets, and prints at various price points.

Murder OneMurder TwoMurder Three
The Murder by Numbers Collection started as a class assignment about gestalt design. I drew this crow hundreds of times. Or at least it felt that way. I drew crows at home, in class, in Student Life, and at a Chipotle in Colorado Springs before seeing Aaron Draplin (@Draplin) at an AIGA event ( I drew the crow in lines, shapes, and abstract. And then I drew some more crows.

Murder EvolutionMurder by Numbers

A flock of crows is called a murder, hence the collection name. While in school I found myself returning again and again to what some may consider dark and morbid subjects even when I did not intend to. Crows, like all corvids, are very intelligent and talkative. They were frequently depicted as portents of luck or misfortune, and messengers from the spiritual realm.

Line drawing of a crow
I once spent an easy 20 minutes chatting with a crow at Summit Lake on Mount Evans. He could nearly speak English. I’m sure that the crow just wanted some food, but seemed content to hangout and chat with us event though we had no food to share.

Chatty Crow at Summit Lake

Here is some more fun information that I found about crows:

Line drawing of a crow in flight

One for Sorrow (a nursery rhyme)

One crow sorrow,
Two crows mirth,
Three, a wedding,
Four, a birth,
Five brings silver,
Six takes wealth,
Seven crows a secret,
More I can nae tell.

Shape drawing of a crow in flight

Counting Crows

One Crow — bad luck, loss, death, unpleasant catastrophic change. (It should be noted that seeing a corvid alone would be unusual as they are gregarious species.)
Two Crows — good luck, a major change for the better, joy.
Three Crows — a wedding or celebration, or the birth of a girl.
Four Crows — a birth, particularly of a boy, a new beginning.
Five Crows — money coming in, good business.
Six Crows — major money change, could mean loss or gain, depending on the rhyme.
Seven Crows — a secret, a mystery, or a curse.
Eight Crows — a life-altering experience, usually positive.
Nine Crows — love, positive recognition.
Ten Crows — a complete turnaround in luck.
Eleven Crows — News, surprise, secrets hidden or revealed.
Twelve Crows — Also good luck, completion, fulfillment.

Shape drawing of a crow

Symbology of found feathers:

Red – Passion
Orange – Creativity 
Yellow – Happiness 
Green – Growth
Blue – Communication 
Purple – Spirituality 
Brown – Grounding 
Black – New Beginnings
Gray – Peace
White – Faith
Spotted – Release
Black & White – Change

Another shape drawing of a crow in flight


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