I’m sure it will surprise no one to learn that one of the influences on my Hoedkin series of “House Spirits” is the book “Gnomes” written by Wil Huygen and illustrated by Rien Poortvliet. Although to be completely accurate it was actually the Nickelodeon TV show “The World of David the Gnome” from when I was a kid that is the strong influence.
The book is a delightful mix of highly detailed illustrations and clever mix of the “real life” of gnomes. It is a book I think every illustrator, and every folktale fan should own. It’s a Norse Mythology Book you need in your life!
I personally find it fascinating that garden gnomes got their start in Norse Mythology as house spirits. Even as Northern Europe was Christianized and many pagan ways were lost. The tradition of the gnome survived. Originally called Nissen, Nisse, or Tomten, the modern garden gnome traces it’s linage back to true folklore. Modern people still leave offerings to the little spirits at various times of the year.
Sam Flegal is the creative mind behind Fateful Signs. He has been a freelance Illustrator since 2009. He likes to work in oil paint and with brush and ink, focusing on exaggerated expressions and detail. Sam lives in Nashville, TN, with his lovely wife and daughter. He makes art almost everyday and is a very lucky man.