In my last post I looked at inspiration from Ancient Greece, one of the ideas I liked in particular was Centauresses and Pegasus. Following on from that train of thought another connection is the book Fairy Foals by Suzanna. This book is illustrated in a hyper realistic style and is a great example of the juxtaposition I am aiming for.
In the book the story of a group of fairy foals is told by Suzanna who writes her observations of their life through art, poetry and journaling. In particular I love how she gets so much expression from the foals even though they cant speak and are still lovable characters with a well rounded personality. When I think about how Suzanna achieves this the first thing that comes to mind is that she has made each character instantly identifiable.
For example, in this picture the reader can tell which foal is which because of their wing shapes shape and how they hold themselves, their body language expressing each individuals character.
The individuality is highlighted further in poems and character profiles that describe the foals brilliantly and present them in situations unique to their character traits.
For example, Dancer and Fuzz are complete opposites visually and in terms of personality. Dancer is a very elegant foal, this is shown by the use of long and flowing lines included in most depictions of her. Whereas Fuzz is drawn with shorter and freer lines which creates a messy and care-free impression for his personality. In the pictures above you can see Dancer balancing on flower petals portraying her in a delicate and nimble light. On the other hand Fuzz is shown sticking his tongue out and with a scruffy mane which suggests to me a more cheeky and boisterous character.
Above are the foals houses, the main character gets inspired by birds weaving their nest, this piques the curiosity of his fellow foals and they all under go a home building project. As you can see Dancer’s house is neat and decorated with flowers and leaves, this supports the idea of Dancer being very vain as well as elegant and also hardworking . In comparison Fuzz has found a hole in the wall reinforcing the image of him as a laid-back character who enjoys the easy life.
In regards to Suzanna’s style, this is my favourite page. The drawings tell a short story of how Fly got a strawberry, the strawberry being his focus is in colour and when he achieves his goal he is in colour as well.
Pages like this are visually appealing to me because of the simplicity of the layout, I’m not overwhelmed with information so I can focus on and appreciate the detail in Suzanna’s work. (Sorry about the quality, I’m still getting used to using my scanner!)
I guess this connection and understanding between animals an humans is similar to the relationship experienced by people who have pets. I have always wanted a dog, my grandma had three dogs when I was growing up. My friend has a cat who has a strong character, very regal and demanding. One of my favourite places to visit with my friend is the cat cafe in Bristol. From this thought I began to wonder about the history of cats and dogs, I know there are a lot of legends around wolves and spirit animals and cat’s in Egypt I think. I’ll be looking into this next, I’ll look at legends from all over the world but I’ll only mention the one’s that I find most relevant to my creative process in my post.