Posts Tagged ‘red shoes’

Red Shoes

March 21, 2008

First off: Happy Easter, chocolate-lovers! I have no eggs/bunnies/chicks yet, but there’s still time, right?I’m currently working on some illustrations for a cheery little Hans Andersen tale called The Red Shoes (summary: Pretty little Karen wears red shoes to her confirmation, thinks only of her beauty & thus gets cursed so that she can’t stop dancing).

Here is a peak at some of my initial sketches:

Karen & the Red ShoesThe Red Shoes

To be quite honest, the hardest thing aboutbook design seems to be the logistics of it all… pacing, working out what goes where, which bits matter & which bits don’t, and so-on. But now I’ve whittled it down to a reasonable 16 pages of illustration/text, plus cover & end-papers, and made a start of sorts.Also a challenge is getting reference material for a confirmation (I’ve never seen one), and interesting dance poses. Ho hum.

Still, it’s pretty interesting to look into the symbolism of shoes – particularly red ones – in history and folk-stories. Cinderella, with all it’s too-large, too-ugly foot imagery is linked to a Chinese folk-tale, unsurprisingly when you recall their ancient culture of 3-inch lotus feet. Dorothy’s ruby slippers were silver in the original tale, and you may read what you like, as many have, into the change in colour choice.

The red shoes is undoubtedly a morality tale about vanity, but the shoes – and the confirmation – symbolise leaving childhood behind, sexuality and so-forth.I’m not a shoe-person (I buy a pair, wear them til they fall apart, and buy a new pair…), but I think that’s pretty interesting.