Monday, November 23, 2020

#FolktaleWeek2020 - Day 1 Picks: Birth

This beautiful illustration, created to share and spread the word, is by one of the organizers, Jennifer M. Potter @jennifermpotter (IG)

It's that time of year again: #FolktaleWeek! 
It’s that time of year, time to celebrate the changing season by getting cozy with some great stories. That’s right, @folktaleweek is just around the corner! Are you excited? I know we are! Let us know you’re joining by reposting this image or making your own! (Promo by one of the organizers, Jennifer M. Potter)

What is #FolktaleWeek? (Or #FolktaleWeek2020?)

#FolktaleWeek is a week of creation and expression for artists and creatives of all kinds, inspired by a set of prompts for a whole week that everyone uses (released at the end of October so folks can prepare if they'd like). Everyone is encouraged to create something based on that prompt, with folktales and fairy tale in mind, and post it on social media (Instagram is the main one but also Twitter and Facebook) with the hashtags #FolktaleWeek and #FolktaleWeek2020 so folks can find them via a simple search. 

The prompts are written in the window below (illustration also by Jennifer M. Potter):
While this started as a challenge for professional children's book illustrators from around the globe to join together and focus on something many of them loved, rather than deadlines and briefs (because, if you didn't already know, fairy tales and folktales are very much loved thing among this group of creatives!), it has grown to be a worldwide community event for artists of all types, all ages, all styles, and all experiences. Everyone is super encouraging and the delight shared by everyone discovering other artists, tales they haven't heard of before, and new takes and twists on old tales, is such a magical boost. 
It's a wonderfully uplifting and positive place to be on the internet this week!

It's not just about painting and drawing; every medium is welcome, including writing, poetry, photography, cosplay, baking, papercraft, needle felting, graphic design, cartoons, collage, sculpture, linocut prints and so much more (these examples are just some of the media used to date over the past couple of years and new folktale expressions and creations appear all the time!).
Most folks do something different for each prompt but there are a growing group of folks who are taking the challenge to the next level (like the artist below) and finding a way to link all of the challenges into a story through the week. It's all quite amazing.
Ideally, we would just take the week off and scroll all social media hunting for lovely art and tales, and discovering new and emerging artists, but reality is unlikely to let us do that. (Last year there were tens of thousands of entries for the hashtags (!!) - which was awesome but impossible to keep up with.) HOWEVER, we had to at least prompt you at the beginning of the week, to go hunting yourself and revel in the lovely fairy tale and folklore creations appearing this week as we count down to a very bizarre zoom-based Thanksgiving. (And if we get to post some more pics on another day, we will be thrilled!)

Today's prompt is BIRTH. 
(Click to enlarge - any info re the tale included by artists is also below their name)

 @hlebojarka - GIRL WITHOUT HANDS
Emily Ursä
@emilyursa_ - MOMOTARO/PEACH BOY
In a fun tall tale about Paul Bunyan, S.E. Schlosser writes: “His first bed was a lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. His father had to drive the wagon up to the top of Maine and back whenever he wanted to rock the baby to sleep.”
The traditional Scottish midwife was known as a Howdie (handy woman), and part of the midwife's duty was to open the windows & doors to let the soul of the baby into the room (and also later putting whiskey into baby's mouth after birth)
Imogen Joy Illustration
I have written my own folktale, “CORVELLO & THE BIRD QUEEN” for folktale week. Please bear with me as this is my first attempt at one! It takes reference from two folktales I love, Hans Hedgehog, and the Seven Ravens both from German folklore. But actually the inspiration for this tale first came from a line from Seamus Heaney’s poem Sweetpea: “Stuck a feather in the ground and thought it would grow a hen”
Shawna J. C. Tenney Illustration
This is a scene from The Snow Maiden, a Russian Fairy Tale. An old couple who have never been able to have children, make a snow maiden that comes to life. In the original fairy tale, she is a young woman. But I grew up with a book called “The Snow Child,” by Freya Littledale and illustrated by Barbara Lavalee- an adaptation of the original tale, where she is a child. I always loved this version, and incorporated it into my version!
Sabine Waldmann-Brun
The Tale of Zabiba and Phoenix
Once upon a time in a deep forest, where she had fled from the rebels, a young woman gave birth to her baby and died. So the animals and plants cared for the little girl.
Cathy Rowe Arts
There are so many great folktales about a child being gifted to a sweet couple by some miracle of nature. Like finding a thumb sized baby in a flower.
Moving Doodles
Story of Amalbiso. Which was a story generated orally in ancient Sri Lanka. (story is here)
Laura Irrgang Artist - original story
Amy June Bates
Lucia Spinoiu
All artist's names are below the work and are linked to their page or post as we could manage. Note: the images included are the ones that caught our Newsroom's eyes for multiple reasons but we have not been able to see everything posted so can guarantee we're missing some gems (in other words, go look for yourself to find even more!)

Another illustration made to promote #FolktaleWeek2020 by Renske Karremans @rfgka (IG)

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