I’ve never found it in myself to get excited about bookmarks… until now. Tea Fox Illustrations offers unique “Prism” bookmarks that will hold your page with a dash of sparkle. The artistic mind behind these creations is Sarah Graybill, who uses a cute yet elegant style to bring kitsune and other yokai to life.
Sarah has a BA in Fine Arts and uses traditional mediums to create her art. Her sister originally inspired her to start drawing as a child, leaving doodles of animals and birds in Sarah’s coloring books. Sarah became curious and started copying her sister’s work until she felt confident enough to try drawing without references.
The beautiful colors from Tea Fox Illustrations are achieved solely through traditional mediums, usually involving tea and mixed media with archival inks and paper. The results feel nothing short of whimsical, especially with her focus on Japanese folklore.
Kitsune, meaning “fox(es),” are not simple animals in Japanese tradition. They are portrayed as intelligent creatures with magical abilities, allowing them to shapeshift as they please.
Oftentimes they are shown to be tricksters, but others are faithful guardians and companions to humans. They are also thought to be kami (“spirits”) in Shinto religion.
The recurring character in several of these pieces is named Okina. Sarah describes her as a human possessed by a kitsune, or rather, one who has harnessed the fox’s supernatural power.
“She’s originally a young human girl who had the misfortune of unknowingly stealing the fox’s hoshi no tama [star ball, which holds their power], and faced consequences for her actions.”
Sarah not only offers her art on bookmarks, but postcards, prints, wall scrolls and bags. You can find her traveling along the convention circuit selling limited edition pieces. Keep track of her progress on Facebook and share your support of these beautiful visions!
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