What can I say. Talk to me about faeries and you’ve got my attention. Add a few trolls into the mix and I’m really engaged. Top it off with a couple of elves and a side of mushrooms and I’m yours! So when something as delicious as “Shitake’s Adventures In the Lower Troll Forest” came along, I couldn’t resist.
I received the manuscript from Yael Shhachnay of Rimonim Publishing house and read it over night. The novel was humorous and full of magic. Just what I would have loved to read when I was a little girl. I enjoyed it no less as a grownup.
After the first sketch of the very first illustration the remark I got from the talented author Eshkar Erblich-Brifman was: “Can you please make them uglier”….
Well I have to say I have never enjoyed a client’s remarks more. I loved making noses longer and adding a few extra pounds here and there! It was so much more interesting.
First pencil draft: Press the “Ugly” button please.
Final Draft: Ready for coloring.
Not ugly. Just less Hollywood.
My inspirational wall for the next couple of months was full of fantasy art, but I was also inspired by classic artists such as Norman Rockwell, who’s work I absolutely adore. I admit the doctor in the following illustration was highly influenced by Norman’s “Optometrist”
But the most enjoyable drawings were of the lower troll forests.
Character descriptions: “Tall Troll female. Her name is Betty, with thin wispy hair, a swarm of flies hovers over her head. Her eyes are black and murky. Dark patches cover her entire skin .The male troll is busy courting his beloved Betty. He is shorter and wider than her. Belly flaps overflow in tire like fashion. His nose is leaking and strands of hair grows out of his ears.
The fun I was having is unimaginable. Seriously. I was dancing in my chair.
And then came the Goblins…
This particular scene had us in a conundrum. On the one hand the description in the scene clearly stated a male Goblins blowing up a rubber beetle vehicle using a chicken. On the other hand the Author Eshkar is a sworn vegetarian and we finally settled on a chicken which didn’t seem to be in pain but rather proficient and happy to do it’s duty as a professional air blower. I hope no one takes offence. No harm came to the chicken. I assure you.
All’s well that ends well.
If you are proficient in Hebrew and are aged 8-12. This book is available here.
May there be Faeries and elves around your corner.