(here it is before I painted it. I searched my blog for "shark" and didn't find it- apparently I didn't like it enough to put it up even though I try to always do that for my reference even if I don't like something)
Andrew introduced him to me by giving me a tiny bronze sculpture of him to hold while I had an anxiety attack. I don't know how, but that Ganesha fell out of my hand without me noticing and we never found him. Andy bought me my own Ganesha at his incense shop, and I ordered him an identical one (they had the same mold at some point in their history) from ebay to replace the one I lost.
Since I am not AT ALL familiar with hindu iconography I started by copying several different stylized versions of Ganesha, then sort of combined the things i liked into one version. Then I checked wikipedia to find out which tusk is broken (i think it's his right but I made it my right) and what is supposed to be in his hands and whether the crown is integral.
After I finished I found a good description of the different purposes for different representations (as opposed to the huge number of different stories explaining each trait that I found before I had Ganesh removing my obstacles) on lotussculpture.com, and it said
In sculpture the position of Lord Ganesha's trunk has a symbolic meaning. If the trunk turns to the Ganesha's left, that is the direction for success in the world. It is a position associated with grihastas, or householders. To his right, the trunk represents moksha, good for renouncing the world. When one chooses a Ganesha sculpture that is proper for their own spiritual path the trunk position is one thing that is good to keep in mind
I was not able to find that information last night, so I just made the decision to turn the trunk to Ganesha's right for visual balance. For the one I make for Andrew, I will point the trunk the other way because I wish him success.