Gerda & the Reindeer. The Snow Queen lllustration by Lili Cabena
I wanted to create a drawing that evoked that other worldliness depicted in the fairytale books I had growing up. At least that’s how I remember them – marvellous and magical – children can get so much more from the illustrations in a book than an adult can, and sometimes years later, just seeing that illustration again can take you back to how you felt when you first read that story.
My favourite fairytale was The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. This is one of Hans Christian Anderson’s longest tales, unusual in that almost all of it’s main characters are female. It’s a story that has been illustrated beautifully many times by Dulac, Rackham, Milo Winter, Eleanor Vere Boyle etc. Those are some of my favourites. But who were the illustrators of the humble fairytale books we read growing up… they probably weren’t well known at all and yet would have approached this subject in their own way despite the many great artists having covered it already in their own style. The Snow Queen is topical at the moment with the release of Disney’s Frozen, which I am excited to see.