I love fairy tales. Or no,…… actually, I L♥VE fairy tales!

I believe what Einstein said about them:

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

The thing with fairy tales is that they ask you to build worlds in your mind like none you knew before. Fairy tales mould a sense of what it is to be human, to be humane, to be just. And fairy tales appeal to all aspects of our human selves, because we have each and every character inside of us…the witch, the princess, the frog, the evil stepmother, the spineless king, Rumpelstiltskin, the obedient good girl and the brave dwarves and many, many more…  And it’s just downright wonderful to see how fairy tales have roamed around the world, growing in different places, weaving themselves into one another into this huge carpet of imaginative tales that entice us to this day.

Two years ago I took a Fairy Tale illustration class with Carla Sonheim. A chunky, but really good class. I never got round to finishing the assignments, though. I always intended to finish them in my own pace, but as it often goes with courses, once the teacher was out of sight, it gradually slipped my mind and got burried under what’s called ‘life’. Then two months ago, I found an invitation for all Fairy Tale students to join the second round…I didn’t need another second to decide. What a great opportunity to finish my exercises! And to anyone who loves drawing and who has a secret fantasy of illustrating a book one day, I highly recommend Carla’s course when she runs it again!

I almost finished my exercises for the course, but also got sidetracked almost immediately to work in my own style. Baba Yaga wasn’t part of the course, but as a fairy tale I discovered in Rebecca Dautremer’s work recently, I find it especially enticing. I just had to do something with it…

A fairy tale that was in Carla Sonheim’s course, was The Frog Princess, a really charming tale that I eventually worked into the following illustration:

And weeks before Carla’s invitation I did an Art Journal page linking a situation in life to a fairy tale, when flipping it around… “What if Little Red Riding Hood wanted the Big Bad Wolf to find her?” Whoa, the discovery! Flipping fairy tales around opens a whole new dimension! The levels of darkness on characters shift…just like in real life!

All in all, I feel fairy tales are here to stay in my work. I can’t wait to explore my very favorite ones on my drawing table. And I wonder if there are many fairy tales I don’t know about yet….

Which one is YOUR favorite fairy tale?
Which fairy tale character do you find scariest?
Which fairy tale character would you like to be?