Folktale Week - 2019
Folktale week is an annual event in which creators are given a series of prompts to respond to with folktale inspired illustrations. The themes I illustrated for the 2019 challenge were Home, Secret, Path, Smoke, Darkness & Key.
Home / Hansel and Gretel
After being abandoned in the woods by their father and stepmother and searching for the way back home, Hansel and Gretel come across a cottage made of gingerbread, cakes and other delicious confectionary. They are subsequently kidnapped and almost cannibalised by the witch residing there but manage to trick her and escape with their lives as well as many treasures and precious stones. Eventually the siblings find their way back home to a remorseful father and they all live happily ever after.
Secret / The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Each morning, the king finds his twelve daughters' shoes all worn through as if they had been dancing all night. Perplexed, he promises his kingdom and daughter of choice to the person who can uncover the secret. A soldier takes on the task and with the help of an enchanted invisible cloak he follows the princesses on their escapade as they meet with twelve princes in a secret location and dance throughout the night. The soldier collects a twig from trees made of gold, silver and diamond, as well as a golden cup as evidence and tells the king of his findings. The princesses confess and the soldier is allowed to marry the king's eldest daughter.
Path / Jack and the Beanstalk
When his mother sends Jack off to sell the family cow at market, he exchanges it for some magic beans instead. Upon learning this, his mother throws the beans out of the window in anger. The next morning Jack awakens to find an enormous beanstalk growing outside his window. He climbs up to find a castle high in the sky and sneaks in, stealing many treasures from the giant who lives there including a magic harp. After several journeys up the beanstalk to steal from the castle, the giant discovers Jack and chases him. Jack manages to cut down the beanstalk before the giant reaches the ground causing him to fall to his death, and Jack and his mother live happily ever after with their many acquired riches.
Smoke / The Blue Light
This story features a man who while helping a witch with her chores is asked to go fetch her blue light from the well. Whilst down there the man realises he is being tricked and so decides to use the blue light to have one last smoke of his pipe before he dies. Surprise! Out pops a magical gnome from the smoke who grants the man many wishes and eventually leads him to marry a princess and become king.
Darkness / The Little Match Girl
This is a sweet but sad tale of a girl warming herself on a cold, dark New Year's Eve with her matches, seeing visions in each one she lights. Her final vision is of her beloved dead grandmother, who she goes off to join as she dies in the cold street.
Key / Bluebeard
Bluebeard, a wealthy nobleman, leaves the country for a while lending his new wife the keys to the chateau, including a key to the mysterious room she is forbidden from entering. Of course curiosity gets the better of her and she goes to investigate, finding a room full of Bluebeard's murdered former wives hanging from hooks! She drops the key in their blood and flees. Bluebeard then returns unexpectedly, sees the bloodstained key and tries to kill his wife in a rage. Fortunately her family come quickly to the rescue and kill Bluebeard, with his wife inheriting his chateau and fortune and living happily ever after.