Client: Escrita Fina Edições | AD: Aline Haluch, Studio Creamcrackers | Date: APR 2013
Illustrations for the book A Donzela sem Mãos e outros Contos de Fadas (The Girl Without Hands and Other Fairy Tales), written by Helena Gomes and published by Escrita Fina Edições. Donzela is the first of three books we plan to deliver in the next few years and contains 5 tales: The Queen Who Came from the Sea, The Girl Without Hands, The Wild Swans, The Enchanted Pig and The Love for Three Oranges.
It took me a lot of time to finish this book, way more than one could expect. Tough times. Donzela was conceived amongst many doubts about my work and profession, surviving the ups and downs of this crazy market and submerged in long periods of stress and exhaustion. Each line was a little victory and each victory was shared and cherished with the ones close to me. Many others cheered me up whenever I showed some WIP in my Instagram feed (Thank you all!). And in this whole process I could always count with my dearest friend and publisher Laura van Boeckel, who supported me since the first of my many "I won't make it thru this" calls.
The book was a huge experiment in order to find something fresh, one of my attempts to break away from my style and breathe new air. Inspired by letterpress printing and limiting myself to the use of only four colors with no variations, this book led me to a more careful kind of planning, thinking ahead all the compositions, layers and contrasts, and looking for new colors by creating line patterns, using a fixed grid and mixing them on top of other colors, a big colored puzzle. I've gathered everything I know about art nouveau and the 19th century fairy tale illustrations, and let some of my main inspirations come out without restrictions, combining Alphonse Mucha with Ivan Bilibin and sprinkling some Mike Mignola on the mix to give an edge to it all.
As for concepts, I wanted to place all heroines and princesses far from what we are used to regarding fairy tales. I wanted new homes for them, placing the girls from Eastern Europe to the far Mongolia, because I really believe fairy tales belong to the whole world and that these stories could have happened anywhere.
Donzela's illustrations have already been traveling around the world since their birth, being published in annuals such as New Illustrators File vol. 11 (Japan), AIAP Latin American Ilustración 2 (USA) and Visual Arabia 2013 (United Arab Emirates), and also being exhibited at Ilustra Brasil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing and Hanoi) and at the Impredecible Gráfica Brasileña (Bogota).
edit: For those who asked, the book was only published in Brazil, but if you wish to buy a copy of the book feel free to send an email to the publisher. We might also make some prints in the near future, so stay tuned.