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Folk Tale Week 2019

Last year I came across Folktaleweek (an instagram art challenge) on the last day and I was miffed to have missed out, so I put it in my diary/planner and I thought there is NO way I'm going to miss it this year!

The prompts for the week 4-10 November (thank goodness it is only a week!) were:

1. Home 2. Secret 3. Path 4. Smoke 5. Darkness 6. Key 7. Crown

Last week I managed 5 coloured sketches (see above), somehow these were more complicated than the quick ink sketches I did for Inktober. It was a flurry of watercolours, gouache and photoshop layering. If you are on Instagram search on #folktaleweek2019 for thousands of folklorey fairytaley imagery.

My folktale week experience

What I hadn't foreseen is that I would do 31 days of Inktober in October or that the organisers of Folktale week would team up with an illustration duo Illostories that create themed monthly workbooks for budding children's book illustrators. The workbook started in October and while useful and fun... I was on top of things for a short time only.

I got really enthused at one point, when I thought to work all the prompts into one narrative by retelling a Selkie story. By locating it to Rousay one of islands that makes up Orkney I could build images from an exisiting landscape that I once visited (and would love to go back to). I looked at tourism sites, google maps, history and biographical information. I noted down typical flora and fauna and underlined the more rare species. Reality struck, and I realised that producing an illustrated story in such a short time was ambitious. Instead I have done a reasonable amount of prep work and some preliminary sketches.

Consequently I have a ridiculous number tabs open on my browser. Pages and pages of image references, blogs, articles and maps.

In my search for the perfect reference photos I often find out bizarre facts eg: Did you know that Microsoft has an underwater data bank in Orkney waters called Project Natik? And that it live streams all the underwater goings on from an outside camera? Neither did I until I was chasing a better version of this image, unfortunately the footage from the video is rather blurry.

I learned a lot from the week (month), especially seeing other artist's ways of interpreting the prompts. I hadn't expected a simple Instagram art challenge to become so much more but I certainly got a lot out of it.

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