Tag Archives: Folklore

My Competition Entry: Tales of the Misfortunate

24 Apr

As I mentioned previously, I am entering an illustration competition set up by the University of Gloucestershire. They do it every year and each year a different theme is set. For this year’s theme, it is called Tree Time Tales. When I first heard it, I was perplexed as to what to do, as it needed to obviously portray trees in some way. It took me a while to think of an idea, then suddenly it popped into my head: tree spirits.

I looked into it with intense research, and found very interesting information. When I came across the Japanese folklore of tree spirits, that’s what intrigued me the most. The trees that inhabit these spirits, a kodama, are surrounded by a rice straw rope called a shimenawa. The shimenawa is to help identify these trees and are forbidden to be cut down. If they are, however, misfortune will be brought upon those who inflicted such actions.

I portrayed this as a storyboard that only illustrates what is going on, so no words were included. I did it on A4 paper, finelined it and used colouring pencils for the overall outcome.

I’m going to send it off sometime next week, but won’t hear any news if I win (which I doubt) or if my picture gets published in their annual illustration book until September. Even if I don’t win, I’m not gonna mope over it, I’m just glad I tried it out as I’ve never done something like this before, so it’s quite an interesting experience if I say so myself.

Anyways, here it is, Tales of the Misfortunate: