Recently I have been working towards my entry for The Folio Society call for entries, a fabulously exciting opportunity to illustrate the short stories of Angela Carter. Those chosen are: The Bloody Chamber, Puss in Boots, and The Company of Wolves.
I must confess I had never read her work before although I have seen the film adaptation of her short story; The Company of Wolves, which is essentially a beautiful re-telling of the famous fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, but much darker and erotically charged.
Discovering her works has been a joy for me, her writing style is so beautiful, and she describes so immaculately the scenes but most notably the thoughts and feelings of her chief narrating character that you can completely emerse yourself in the moment. The most amazing thing about her writing from an illustrators’ perspective is her ability to visually describe everything, as I read her work my mind races with images and emotions, almost as though I were watching a film.
It’s for this reason that it was fairly difficult to pin myself down to one scene to illustrate from each story, but I based my decision on moments in the stories which focussed on the protagonist, and key turning points in their lives. For example in The company of Wolves, the moment in which Red Riding Hood discovers her Grandmother is dead, for me, was the key in the loss of her innocence and the scene is so dark and charged with emotional tension. I wanted to depict all the various elements that play a part in the overall picture; the mystery surrounding what has actually taken place, the characters’ position with each other and the underlying looming presence of the wolf in the darkness who would change the path of Red Riding Hood’s future forever.
I hope you enjoy my work as much as I did creating it.