I have always been drawn to myths and legends above all other forms of storytelling. They’re the oldest answers to all of our questions. They speak to people across cultures and generations. They say something vital, strange, and deep about what it is to be human. They are in our blood, deep within our veins, moving like so many slow growing roots, connecting us to our most primal fears, most archaic yearnings.
Over and over, artists have tried to capture the otherworldly nature of these stories, and I never get sick of seeing them. But these images, by illustrator Jillian Tamaki, strike a powerful chord in me. Her style is both precise and free-flowing. Shadows of horses rush from a dark cloud, swans beat their wings into a frenzy of feathers. The style reminds me of woodblocks, but there is something wonderfully modern about each piece.
In addition to this series, which was created for a new printing of Irish Myths and Legends (available through The Folio Society), Tamaki has worked on several more mundane projects. But though they may be company commissioned, her talent elevates even ads.