One of my favorite art to do is illustration for books. When I was little I use to write & illustrate mini books about the imaginary adventures my toy animals or my cat Fluffy would go on. And I would tell people that when I grew up I wanted to illustrate children’s books. I wish I still had some of those books, I wonder what happened to them…
I’ve kind of fulfilled that dream by illustrating a handful of children’s books for the Naskapi community these past couple of years (the grandmother book, the Christmas book, the counting book…), though I don’t think I’ll really feel like I’ve fulfilled it until a book I’ve worked on is for sale in a Barns & Nobel or something (how cool would it be to see that?!)
Anyways, while on this past tour recently I finished up another big set of illustrations for another Naskapi book. This one will be more in novel format and is a collection of short legends about the Wolverine. The Wolverine in Naskapi culture is… I guess the best way to describe him would be as a mischievous and sometimes silly god/creator. In these legends there is talk of a world wide flood and Wolverine gathers up all the animals onto a raft he makes (like the Biblical story of Noah). And he recreates the world by gathering bits of mud from under the water (which reminds me of the creation of the world in the Japanese Shinto mythology). He is also the father of all humans, with his wife Muskrat Woman, and he is the one who mixes up everyone’s skin colour and language. It’s pretty fascinating.
I drew 36 illustrations for this book, in ink. Here are a handful of some of my favorites:
If you’d like to see all 36 of these illustrations, please check out my Facebook art page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150840830076218.405666.139428336217&type=3
And I’ll post again once the finished book is up and available for sale on-line.