Mardi Gras in New Orleans - not only is it a great party for hundreds of thousands of folks but it also provides wonderful opportunities throughout the year for innumerable local artists. For example, designing, painting and building all those parade floats, creating amazing costumes for Mardi Gras Day and the formal gowns worn at the many balls that occur throughout the weeks of festivities. For me, as a calligrapher I spend weeks creating "royal scrolls" honoring kings, queens, maids, debutantes, dukes and pages; and as a painter, creating the ball invitations. These take many months of painstaking research before beginning the drawing process. Then begin the months of actual painting, all done in gouache. This is the ball invitation I created for this year's Rex Ball, the theme: The Lore of the Ancient Americas. All the panels fold in and out to create a compelling journey through iconic scenes of ancient North and South America. Hope you enjoy seeing it.