Waif book cover illustration by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, 2016.

Personal Work: Waif

Hello! If you are following along on Instagram you will have seen this illustration come to life. Nonetheless I’m excited to finally share the final with you.

Waif is a concept illustration for a story I have been wanting to write that takes place in old Scandinavia.

In short Liv (Danish girl’s name, also means ‘Life’) lives in an orphanage with her younger sibling, over time more and more of the other children start acting in most peculiar ways, they seem tormented being in this world.

Liv discovers they are changelings, she must obtain the lost knowledge of the old world and venture across the world-borders in order to restore the natural order and rescue the other children and the changelings before they all go utterly mad from the displacement.

Waif is an adventure into Scandinavian folklore that I have long been wanted to write, the write up above is just a small bit of what I have in mind, now that I have painted the main character, maybe she will guilt me into telling her full tale.

What do you think?

Does this sound interesting to you at all?

Kiri Østergaard Leonard

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.


  • suzanna leigh

    05.05.2016 at 15:47 Reply

    I love the idea of changelings feeling uncomfortable in this world and wanting to get back to a place where they belong. Who hasn’t felt, at times, like a changeling, like we don’t quite fit or belong in this world?

    • Kiri

      12.05.2016 at 10:17 Reply

      Thanks for much for the comment Suzanna, that’s very encouraging and makes me want to develop this story further. I know exactly what you mean with feeling out of this world at times.

  • Lori Hamilton

    03.05.2016 at 14:04 Reply

    I love the painting and would surely like to read the story. Looking forward to it!

    • Kiri

      12.05.2016 at 10:18 Reply

      Thank you Lori, that’s really good to hear! <3

  • Alexandra Rena

    02.05.2016 at 17:51 Reply

    I am very interested in this story!! I really love old Scandinavian culture, so this really speaks to me! On another level, I think your story would be very positively influential to a younger audience!

    This turned out beautifullly. I can’t wait to see more from you from this world 🙂

    • Kiri

      12.05.2016 at 10:20 Reply

      That makes me really happy, I’m so intrigued by Scandinavian folklore so I’d love to develop this further and knowing there are others interested in it like yourself Alexandra, makes it all the more viable. Off to the drawing board to create more for this world!

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