Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A Fairy Raised by Wolves
I have another, even more recent Macleans obit illustration out on newsstands right now, I'll share it in a week or two! I did a job for a new client between these two Macleans jobs, so I'll be posting that first :).
Here's another I did for Macleans. It's an obituary illustration for a wild and wonderful woman named Kimberley Ann Blackwell. A real free spirit and tough lady. Born in North Bay, lived in Whitehorse in a cabin she made with her own hands, drove from White Horse to Costa Rica and lived in a tropical paradise after she got sick of the cold. In Costa Rica she started her own organic chocolate business after serendipitously discovering cacao trees on her property. Her friends called her "a feral fairy -- A fairy raised by wolves."
I say this again and again, but I love doing these illustrations. They're often so rich and bursting with content. I love doing research into places and cultures and I try to bring motifs into the image that pay tribute to the subject.
I've always loved Inuit art, so I was excited to have the opportunity to play with some here. The mask on the left is reminiscent of wolf masks that Inuit artists carve, and the fish on the right was inspired by Inuit serigraphs. The wolf calls back to her being "raised by wolves" and the fish refers to her time spent working in mining and fishing camps.
Blackwell had a bit of a mystical side, and visited Stonehenge when she was on holiday. I managed to work that in, too.
The bottom half of the image deals with her time in Costa Rica. She found cacao plants and heliconias, so I put those in there. The fierce cat and the snake are at a stand-off, which refers obliquely to her tense dealings with poachers who would trespass on her land.