A Grimm Art Series

By November 10, 2015Art, Grimm Fairy Tales
Grimm Fairy Tale Illustration

 

Why do we still Love the Grimm Fairy Tales ?

Why are the Grimm Fairy Tales still so fascinating when they’ve been approached by so many artists already?

When a story is retold by so many different voices, it becomes more like a myth. We start to reinterpret it, looking for different meanings and adding in our own. I also like to think it’s because our society has a fascination with darkness (as much as we pretend we don’t). We love to know the deep dark origin of modern fantasy tales. We love these dark stories because, we know that the world is a scary place, and things don’t always turn out as you expected.

 

Grimm Fairy Tales Have a Formula But….

Rapunzel Curly HairIf you’ve read a lot of the Grimm Fairy Tales you’ll notice they have a very repetitive formula – someone is mean, lazy or rude and they “get theirs”, while someone else is humble, hardworking or kind, and things work out for them. Usually this “working out” involves getting just enough treasure to live a humble life, but not too much treasure as to make you lazy and self-righteous.

 

There seems to be a very obvious formula, except when there isn’t… There are those few tales where you finish a story, look up from you book and think “what the heck did I just read?!”

 

They Were Originally Created by Women

What is fascinating about these tales is not just that they are dark, they are also a surreal glimpse into the morals of the culture they came from. These fairy tales started as folk tales, told by women to their daughters, granddaughters and each other. They were warnings and guidance, as well as lessons on how to behave. The two Grimm brothers complied theses oral folk tales into a book. So we have stories that were created by women, but written down and reinterpreted by men. If we look at the Disney franchise we could easily say they have been retold by men again.

But the Internet is a wonderful place for artists, and so many women are retelling these stories in their own way. They are doing this through art, storytelling, costumes, doll making and all sorts of other mediums. It seems so fitting that women are retelling these stories in their own voices and exploring the versions written by men from a female perspective.

 

My Next Art Series

Cinderella PumpkinsThe fascination has caught hold of me too. I have always loved these dark stories, so I’m starting an Art Series inspired by the Grimm Fairy Tales.  I want to focus on the tales that have a female lead, or at least a female who has a strong supporting role. In these drawings I will linger on the darker aspects. I hope to point out the parts of these tales that are so strange, they don’t quite seem to work out well for any of those involved. I hope to be inspired by the original dark tales of the Grimm Brothers, while bringing my cute cartoony style and my female voice into the visual conversation.

 

What Are Your Favorite Grimm Fairy Tale Characters?

Which Grimm Tales do you love the most? Do you have a story or character you’d like to see me tackle? Let me know in the comments section below! I’ll be posting some sketches of my first illustration next week. There will be updates here on my blog, but be sure to follow any of my social media accounts to see sketches, progress pics and the occasional shot of me working hard in my little living room studio. 🙂

 

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