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Registered User
(12/3/03 2:50 pm)
Contemporary fairy tale artists
I'd like to start a thread where we can recommend the work of contemporary artists who are creating fairy tale and myth related art.

In the Upcoming Publications thread above, I recommended the work of Virginia Lee, who is the daughter of the English illustrator Alan Lee and Dutch artist Marja Lee Kruyt. She's a young, enormously talented painter and sculptor, and her new web site is a delight. In addition to her own work -- rooted in myths and fairy tales -- she has also worked on some of the set sculptures for the Lord of the Rings films. Her web site is: I think she ought to be doing children's books. (I hope any children's book editors visiting this board will take a look.)

I'd also like to recommend the charming Muse Hill web site, created by a 17-year-old Australian art student, Oliver Hunter. His work is bears the clear influence of Brian Froud -- yet it's quite accomplished for own so young, and will no doubt take on more and more of his own style as he matures. (I shudder to think what I was drawing at that age.... Nothing half so good.) The URL is

Third, I want to recommend a *fabulous* new book of graphic works by the great Paula Rego, which includes her drawings based on Peter Pan and nursery rhymes. Rego is a Portugese-born artist who now lives in Britain (where she's close friends with fairy tale scholar Marina Warner); I tend to think of her as the visual art world's answer to Angela Carter -- her work has that same sly, dark, sensual, fantastical edge. You can view some of her work at Information on the new book, Paula Rego: The Complete Graphic Works, can be found on the Thames and Hudson web site: The book is on the pricey side, but worth every penny.

Edited by: Terri at: 12/3/03 3:03 pm
Heidi Anne Heiner
(12/3/03 4:24 pm)
Re: Contemporary fairy tale artists
I stumbled across this site when looking for something else today. Not all of the pieces are folklore related, but I enjoyed the vibrant colors.


Registered User
(12/3/03 11:45 pm)
Here are a few ...
Christian Birmingham has a fab version of Sleeping Beauty out now
Check out Art Face for his profile and studio

Peter Malone's gorgeous musical works ... he is the Master of Light
Check out Art Face for his profile and studio

Maxine Gadd's work is lovely

Sarie Tardif - unusual and interesting

Oh ... and there's me, of course ...
I'm not in their league, but I hope to get there one day ...
I'm currently working on a picture book about a princess and a talking cat.

aka Greensleeves
Registered User
(12/4/03 12:12 pm)
Re: Here are a few ...
Oh! Finally a place to gush over how much I love the work of Kinuko Craft! She has a calendar out this year (which includes an unbelievable portrait of Eleanor of Aquitaine), so if you've missed any of her book covers, here's your chance!

Stephanie in the prairie

Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(12/4/03 7:22 pm)
A few more...
I'll have to chime in here with mention of the work of Larry MacDougall and Patricia Lewis, who both do splendid work.

Then there is Omar and Sheila Rayyan. Omar is a brilliant colorist and paints sublime animals.

And we musn't forget Ruth Sanderson's lovely work.

Does anyone on this board know if P.J. Lynch has a website? I love his edition of E. Nesbit's MELISANDE as well as his various fairy tale collections. Lovely watercolor paintings.


PS: And then there is my work:

Registered User
(12/4/03 10:26 pm)
Christian Birmingham's "Sleeping Beauty"
Speaking of Christian Birmingham's work, a nice selection of art from his new "Sleeping Beauty" book (with whom Adele Geras is the author) can be found at, and I must say that it is absolutely amazing. Although he has done some pretty awesome work previously, the pictures in this book really take the cake for me. His interpretation of this classic Fairy Tale is simply breath-taking. Unfortunately, it isn't released until April of 2004. It'll be hard to wait, but well worth it!

Registered User
(12/5/03 8:11 am)
Re: Tony diTerlizzi
Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi have just moved into our area and I love his work.


Unregistered User
(12/6/03 10:58 am)
Re: Kinuko Craft
I also adore Kinuko Craft's artwork-- the cover art for Patricia McKillip's forthcoming Alphabet of Thorn is beautiful! The combination of Craft's artwork and McKillip's lush prose is splendid to behold...

Registered User
(12/6/03 3:43 pm)
Re: Here are a few ...
Okay, I'm impressed. It bothers me tremendously to see this kind of fantastic work out there, when so much lousy work gets published. I have been a bookseller for close to two decades now (with a strong interest in childrens books) so I have had a front row seat for what the publishers offer and sometimes I have to wonder who is this illustrator sleeping with to get this book published? The sad part is that even the worst dreck will sell if there is enough publicity money behind it. Several "celebrity" kids books come to mind.

These websites give me hope. Personally, I would love to see more of the Australian artists getting some real exposure in the US.

And, Celeste, I would order books illustrated by you in a second.


Registered User
(12/7/03 2:22 am)
Here are a few ...
Gosh Lisa, thanks for the kind words. The book i'm working on is very special to me and it's taking about a month to paint each pic ... individual hairs on the cat, luxuriant brocades etc ... so that's encouraging ... lol.

Artsfan, regarding Chirstian Birmingham's Sleeping Beauty, it's quite a lovely edition as the spine is linen and the title is gold embossed. CB's agent Allan Manham told me that they had an exhibition of the original artwork when the book was launched in the UK in October and that they sold all but 2 of the pics at the launch, so it looks like CB is getting himself quite a reputation with investors and Art collectors. Of course, this isn't just good for him, it's good for fairy tale books too.

Registered User
(12/7/03 9:36 am)
To Celestial
I hope everything goes well for you. I am an aspiring illustrator myself, so to be able to chat with people like you is an honor. I was wondering how you go about getting a book published. Do you send some sample art to publishers and they tell you what story they want illustrated, or do you propose illustrating a certain title to them and they approve it? This is all new to me, so I apologize for sounding clueless.

Registered User
(12/7/03 12:03 pm)
I like the art work of Paul Owen Lewis. He often writes and illustrates Northwest "folktale" style tales:


Part of the pleasure of coming to this discussion site is to "discover" all the wonderful works by its participants. Your work is beautiful. Let us know publication dates.

Registered User
(12/7/03 6:10 pm)
Getting started
Artsfan, I am by no means in the class of some of the other illustrators mentioned earlier. I don't get paid much and i'm not always busy, but i try to create quality work. I have a Masters in Illustration, though I don't think it helps getting work, it's just something I did because I love study.

Getting started is easy ... and hard. Almost any artist can illustrate a book. Whether you can go on and on getting commissions and earn a living from doing it so another matter altogether. It's the same story for artists of all kinds - writers, dancers, actors. It's a tough old world out there and generally a case of feast or famine. There's a saying that it's easier to become famous being an artist, than to earn a living. I think it's very true for Illustration. It's helps to have a backup income.

There are quite a number of message boards on Yahoo for illustrators that can give you a good insight into the life of an Illustrator and the way we do our work, like etc. that can give you endless inspiration.
Also, invest in a copy of the Children's Writer & Illustrator's Market, which lists publishers. This book also contains submission guidelines and will be of great help to you as it tells you who wants what.

Picture Books are a solid body of work that often take a year to illustrate and so many publishers will not consider you unless you have worked on educational projects for a few years. It's a kind of testing ground where you learn about deadlines, working with an Editor, copyright, contracts and so on.

With regards to getting Educational illustrative work, first go to your local book store and have a good look at what kind of books are currently being created. Basically, you will need to build a portfolio that demonstrates the kind of work that you WANT to do (as opposed to what you CAN do). You need to have a definite style, and demonstrate that you can create a large body of work that adheres to that style. About 10-20 pics will usually be ok. Your work should all be recent and it should be your BEST work in that style. Scan the pics in and print out some copies, either on your home printer or with a professional Printer, never send original artwork. Accompany your pics with a cover letter about yourself and perhaps add a CV if you think it might be useful. Alternatively, if you have a website, you could send a postcard of your favourite artwork with your site address. Do your homework and find out which publishers might be interested in what you have to offer ... this takes a lot of time and work! Send your promotional package to the publishers and cross your fingers. Publishers get a LOT of promotional packages sent to them, and they have budgets and plans of their own ... and though they may like your work, most of them will not reply. If you get offered some work, take it, but hold on to your copyright for dear life.

With regards to picture books. Publishers are currently looking for a complete package proposal. They want a quality story and quality illustrations. They don't want lovely illustrations with a crap story, or vice versa. When I say proposal, I mean, 1-3 Finished Art illustrations with 1-2 sketches PLUS the complete story. Do not send a set of complete illustrations as the publisher is going to want to change some details. Send a bio. Do your homework with regards to marketing and which publishers might be interested.

As you can see, it's a bit complicated, as there is a lot more to it that being able to draw or paint, but i hope that will clear up some basics for you ...

Niniane Sunyata
Registered User
(12/8/03 10:49 am)
Re: Shadowscapes
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law is my favourite. She has done a lot of startling and beautiful work on characters from Folklore, Fairytales and Myth from both the East and West. I love her kitsune (fox spirits) paintings the best:

Shadowscapes: The Art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Anita Harris.
Terra Mythogene

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This is an archived string from the
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