I think it might be every illustrator’s dream to draw a children’s picture book. Although it is a bit outside my usual range of work, I love magical illustrations, folktales and fairytales. This year I dipped a toe in by participating in Folktale Week, a yearly instagram challenge that attracts a ton of awesome artists and a huge range of work. The creators release a list of prompts for each day of the week, and illustrators interpret them in any way they like. The prompt for the image above was “home” and I envisioned a coyote in her den.
The prompt for day two was “secret.” Here the owl is a being who can see the hidden things.
This prompt was “path.” These twin trees I saw on my morning walk reminded me of when I was a kid and the path between two trees in my yard was a portal to another world… one that was populated by talking horses and ladybugs!
The promt for this drawing was “smoke,” and all I could think of was the horrifying wildfires all around the world… five times more than last year, made so much worse by climate change. This drawing is based on a story I read about endangered baby California condors, and one that escaped the wildfires with singed wings. Some scientists are calling the current age the pyrocene, age of fire, created by humans. Time for a new human story, I think.
This was for the prompt “darkness.” I saw this as a healing space after the violence of the wildfire image, floating under the full moon, suspended like the hanged man in tarot. I’d love to turn these drawings into a story about climate change and how people can change our culture to one that is not only sustainable but regenerative and resilient.
Check out the rest of the Folktale Week entries here!