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Foundation Studio: Creature Research

This guide is intended for Foundation Studio (ARTS 105) sections taught by Heather Mekkelson.

Research Your Creature

Once you have selected a creature on which to focus your project, you will need to learn more about that creature including finding images and cultural context. We recommend searching the library book collections, article databases, and image databases.

Search Tip: If you select a very specific creature, your library searches may return very few if any results. In that case you may need to broaden your search. For example, Mizuchi is a type of dragon, serpent, or water deity from Japanese mythology. Instead of searching for Mizuchi, you could instead search for "dragon in Japanese mythology." 


Find Images

For finding high-resolution images from museums and cultural institutions around the world, use the Artstor database: 

If you haven't used Artstor before, following the instructions in our Artstor: Creating an Account video. The video below provides instructions on how to find, cite, and download images.

"Artstor: Find, Cite, and Download Images," recorded November 2020, 5 minutes.

Find Books

Follow the instructions in this video to locate books and e-books in the library collection. Search for your creature by name (and/or alternate names). If you aren't finding books on your specific creature, try searching for books on the cultural mythology it is from (like Egyptian mythology, Norse mythology, etc.). 

Finding Books and E-Books

"Finding Books and E-Books," recorded September 2020, 4 minutes.

Find Articles

You can do a search across many of our article databases by using the main library search on the library homepage. Follow the instructions in the video below. 

"Finding Scholarly Articles," recorded September 2020, 2 minutes.

Or you can search in specific databases. Try searching for articles about your creature in the following databases: