Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"The White Snake" Illustrated by Megan Kelchner

In prepping to chat later in the month about The White Snake with Tales Of Faerie, I found this set of illustrations done by Megan Kelchner. Megan is currently studying for her BFA in Communications Design, focusing on Illustration. The point of the project was to take a fairy tale and change both the time period and geographic location.

Megan chose the Grimm's lesser known tale of The White Snake and set her series in the Yuan Dynasty in Tibet.

Her summary of The White Snake:
"...this story, (is) about a servant who eats a magical snake that allows him to speak to animals, (the ability of) which he uses to show kindness to them, and as a result is rewarded (later).
While I really like the design details and swirls in the clouds, the sun in the shape of the snake is inspired. Eating the snake, opens the man's eyes - well, ears, actually - to see the world differently, and his path changes as a result. Heading in the direction of the sun/snake, mirrored by the golden apple (which is in the story as 'a golden apple', although picked by ravens instead) is a nice visual statement too.

Pretty neat, right?

It's not too easy to find a variation of illustrations for this tale to begin with and is possibly the only interpretation I've seen that mixes things up a little in terms of the cultural emphasis and time. The story is actually pretty positive and bright (especially compared to a lot of Grimm's fairy tales, so it's even more surprising that most of the work you see based on it, is serious, sombre in mood and dark in color. I love that these are so very colorful. Its' a colorful story with lots of talking creatures and recognizable fairy tale motifs so it fits well.

If you're not familiar with the tale and find yourself intrigued, you'll be happy to know you're going to hear a lot more about it near the end of the month! (Probably closer to a week or so away, now.) It may not be set in such an exotic location but it's very magical nonetheless.

You can find more of Megan Kelchner's work at her website HERE.

1 comment: