A Month Of Fairies

Published by Nela Dunato on at 20:10 in Art

A Month Of Fairies Art Challenge

I've been itching to do a personal art project that will enable me to work on my technique and style, but I have a difficult time committing to a single project for a prolonged period of time.

In the past few months there were many Twitter & Instagram challenges like #DrawingAugust, #inktober and similar (October was particularly busy).

I sometimes participate in these challenges, but this year I had so many pressing obligations, I felt it was not self-loving to commit to yet another obligation.

I may have missed out on all the group fun, but it doesn't mean I can't make my own!

I was in part inspired by Nicole Piar's project "Month of Cats" that she's been working on this October. Her kitties are gorgeous, and I just adore her watercolor technique.

I've had a few different ideas for what my project could be. At first I wanted just general watercolor + ink doodling, so I could work on my blog illustrations, refine my sketching style, and hopefully create a base of drawings that I will be able to use for months to come.

Another idea was a month of lettering (I still might get back to that one).

Then the idea came.

A Month Of Fairies

I draw fairies occasionally, and they're my go-to motif whenever I need to draw on demand (for example, when a friend's kid asks me to draw something for her).

My love for nature and magic is combined in this elemental creature — a protector of nature and personification of natural forces.

Today's most common portrayal of fairies is one of Disney cartoons — a beautiful young (and good!) girl with butterfly wings, but in old folk tales and legends it wasn't always so.
I want to explore different kinds of fairies, and perhaps discover something new along the way.

So, #MonthOfFairies begins as of today!

For the entire month of November I will be drawing a fairy a day and posting it on Instagram and Twitter.
EDIT: Because people requested it, I'll also be posting it on Facebook!

Here's today's drawing:

Month of Fairies Day 1 - The Fairy Queen

When I sat down, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to draw. All I knew was that I didn't want to just default to a naked woman with wings.

Then I did what I often do when I need to work on a particular theme, but don't know where to start: the active imagination process.
(For those unfamiliar with the term, it's a process popularized by Carl Gustav Jung, you can look it up online. It's basically daydreaming with a specific purpose. I might write a post about that in the future.)

I was sitting with my eyes closed imagining some fairies, but none of them looked "right". I didn't like any of them. One was stiff, like a plastic doll and very tacky. The other one had a weird tall hat on her head and didn't look very pretty, and so on. I felt I wasn't going anywhere, so I just asked "Is there a particular fairy that would like to meet me and let me draw her?"

And then she showed up. She was so tall, towering over me like a tree. I was surprised — aren't fairies supposed to be, like, miniature? Well, this one wasn't, or at least she decided to appear this way to me.

I asked who she was, and she told me she was the Fairy Queen.

I did not expect that.

I wanted to see a form that I could portray, and next thing she was a normal-sized woman dressed in regal attire. She too had a tall headpiece that I thought was rather silly, and why do fairies need clothes to show off their status anyway, aren't they creatures of nature? I figured she probably has a dozen other forms she can choose from, and this is just one that she decided to show to me.

So the very first day I had to draw the Queen. There went my plan to keep it loose and quick!
I wanted to at least try my best to draw her the way I saw her in my mind, so I spent the entire afternoon and evening trying to finish this watercolor painting, and it took way more time than I planned.

So that was Day 1.

Follow the Month of Fairies

I hope you'll stay with me for the entire November and follow my journey on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, whichever you prefer.

If you don't use either, don't worry — I'll post a recap of the entire week here on the blog on Sundays.

Wish me luck!

Nela

Nela Dunato

About Nela Dunato

Artist, brand designer, teacher, and writer. Author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”. Owner of a boutique branding & design consultancy that helps small service-based businesses create exceptional client experiences.

On this blog I write about art, design, creativity, business, productivity and marketing, and share my creative process and tips. Read more about me...


Your comments

  • Vince

    Vince
    2014-11-02 at 05:02

    Hi Nela, I have been a career procrastinator for years, only producing a couple of mediocre artworks per year, I find your information, ethos and willingness to share your journey very inspiring, theres a lot of great stuff on your site, good luck with the fairy month, ......will check them out every day,..... tc Vince

  • Nela

    Nela
    2014-11-02 at 23:36

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Vince!

    I understand how you feel - I too produced only a few artwork a year, and this lasted for quite a long time. It was really difficult for me to get into gear and draw regularly.

    This project is a way for me to start creating more art.
    Maybe you can do something similar? It doesn't have to be a theme, either :)

    Thanks for following! I'll also be adding them to my Facebook page, so if you prefer that route, you can follow me there.

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