One thing I try to do for my own enjoyment and to set myself and my art apart from others, is I like to create short stories that match each of my illustrations and artworks. Sometimes they’re a few paragraphs long, and sometimes it’s just a sentence or two that captures what’s going on and sets up a dialogue and background for the illustration in your mind whilst you look at it. The important thing is that the stories aren’t set in stone, if you have a different interpretation of the artwork and have a story that works well for it I want you to tell that one, and hey, tell it to me too! I always love to hear how other people view my pieces, and some of my story cards are inspired by what others have written in comments on Instagram.
Where it all begins
Interestingly, almost none of my artworks start with a story, most begin with a random idea, or something that’s just come up in a conversation, or maybe a few words that someone said that stood out to me.
I’m a bit of a wallflower, I don’t join in to group conversations much, or go out and about around crowds much at all really, but when I am around people I spend a lot of time listening, and honestly, that can be way more interesting than leading the chat. You can hear about peoples lives, what they did on the weekend, something funny that their kid or friend or whoever they know said, and it might not directly relate to a finished drawing, but these kind of things can spark a train of thought. The train of thought often derails a few times, goes under a bridge, around a few mountains, does a few loops and finally reaches its terminal with a slightly weird, slightly quirky, most likely involving a mythical creature illustration idea.
And other times I just have a weird dream, or a funny conversation with my partner, or our cats do a thing that makes us laugh and I draw whatever that was all about. Not everything has to be that deep.
So what’s with the story cards?
Since everything has a story in the end, I think it’s important that the story is shared. What’s the point in thinking up an elaborate backstory without writing it down and telling other people? The story cards are a way for people to have a print or artwork and be able to imagine the world it’s in. If you are buying the drawing for a kid then the stories act as a great prompt for a bedtime story, or just a bit of magic for them to read or be read and believe in whenever they see the print on their wall.
I love walking into my living room, which is filled with mine and other peoples artworks, and also has a giant mural covering one and a bit walls, and remembering the stories behind everything, or making new ones up. I love looking at my Moon Fairy and Glow Worm illustration (which is also my phones wallpaper) and just imagining being there, in the tall bumpy round grass and shrubs, with fire flies floating around. Just imagine riding a glow worm, or crossing paths with a moon fairy that reflects the shine of the sun. These fantastic and magical worlds bring a bit of wonder and creativity into the room and your life, and the story cards are a great way of building on that and encouraging others to dream a little more, and remember how you used to view the world when you were younger.
So how can I get a hold of one of these little things?
Well, it’s pretty easy. Find an illustration or artwork you like in the digital prints section of the online store, add it to your cart, fill out your address and payment details and submit it all, then when you’re print turns up in the mail you will also have an itty bitty story card to match the print you chose! In short, each digital print comes with a matching story card, so it’s time to get shopping!