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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Carlos

Folktale Week 2021

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

Have a look at the pieces I created for one of Instagram's most beloved art challenges, Folktale Week.

Folktale Week 2021 Announcement | Watercolor, acrylic gouache and digital collage | 2021

This year has been hectic but great! Would you believe that I am working on three children's books right now as I write this? Hence the delayed blog post. Did I not just write about the importance of blogging? (Eyes rolling here.) Anyway, I have some time to spare before bed and so I decided to share with you my Folktale Week 2021 pieces.

It took me a while to find a story to feature. It seemed that all of the folktales have already been illustrated. If not then there are just too many out there from which to choose. I was fresh from our MATS My Kidbook Pitch course and so I thought I would just freestyle my tale based from my Folktale Week announcement artwork. It is one of those pieces that just came together in the right places and was also one of my popular posts. I cannot remember anymore what inspired me to create this character but somehow she came alive. Plus that coat was a character on its own.

“Birdie” is an original story about a girl who went into a quest to find answers why she turns into a bird once every blue moon.


As always, I create a mood board for inspiration and the choice of color palette. When I was contemplating about the character of Birdie, I am reminded by Howl's Moving Castle so much and rewatched it to get that feel and understand his transformation into a bird. I also had to look for a bird that will match the statement coat and it so happened that there is a pheasant specie in northern India that fits the part, Temminck's tragopan (Tragopan temminckii). The orange plumage is that of a male bird, but I only wanted to understand the formation of the wings when Birdie transforms. In the mood board, you will see the dominance of dark blues and pops of vermillion and pinks in the resulting artworks.

"Birdie" mood board


"Change comes once in a blue moon and she can do nothing but wait."

"Blue Moon" | Watercolor, acrylic gouache and digital collage | 2021


“The wild porker dreamt of flight and cake.”


She woke up not knowing where she was or who she was. All she knew was that she was cold and all alone.

“Where’s my coat?” She wondered.

"Alone" | Watercolor and digital collage | 2021


“Critters and beasts, make way for the mushroom feast!”

"Mushroom Feast" | Watercolor and digital collage | 2021


“The ground underneath her shook and detached from her disappearing limbs.“

"Birdie" | Watercolor and digital collage | 2021


“And so the odd pair followed the snaking waters through strange lands in search for answers or a cure.”

"River" | Watercolor and digital collage | 2021


“Birdie raced to beat the darkness and win the day.”

"Dawn" | Watercolor and digital collage | 2021

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