Here’s the cover I illustrated for a Slovakian publication.
(Click for larger image)
Mikulás is sort of like the Slovakian version of Saint Nicholas. On the night of December 5th, children in Slovakia traditionally place a boot on their windowsill for Mikulás to fill with treats. The boots must be polished, because he won’t fill boots that are not shiny and clean. While “good” children receive gifts such as fruits, candies, nut and toys, “bad” children can expect nothing more than a wooden spoon, an onion, a lump of coal, or a willow switch. But, with the implication that no person is either completely good or entirely bad, most children get both sweets and a switch.
As you see here, Mikuláš is often accompanied by an Angel and a Devil. On December 6th, the older boys of a village might dress up as St. Mikuláš, accompanied by his angel and devil. The boys dressed as angels wear long white shirts, while the devils wear long black coats and paint their faces black, chains and bells tied around their waist. They roam about, visiting families with small children. If the kids improvise a poem, a song or a prayer, they might receive additional gifts. Those who misbehave can expect coal, rocks, or perhaps a raw potato. Yay!
Welcome and thanks a bunch for peeking at my blog!
Moved by a fascination with magical thinking and hidden narratives, I work both traditionally and digitally. The mingling of the endearing and the dreadful is in much of my work, although I tend to make an attempt at subtle humor in my more gloomy concepts. I'm easily distracted by picnics, bike rides and naps but I love to get ink under my fingernails.
I've shown in galleries in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina and frequently undertake commissioned pieces. Let me know if you'd like to chat about a personal piece!
I graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL and am currently working as a Designer/Illustrator at American Greetings World Headquarters in Cleveland, OH. I draw stuff all day!
(PLEASE NOTE: ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT OF CLAIRE MOJHER).