Illustration of a Shetland Pony Unicorn pulling a sleigh with christmas gnomes through the snow. Art by

Personal Work: Winter Wonderland

Done for my annual Christmas Card, 2015.

One of the most beloved creatures of Scandinavian Folklore is the Nisse, also known as Tomtenisse or just Tomte. The nisse is a predecessor to Santa Claus. They are imagined as small, elderly men, standing about 2-3 ft. tall with a full beard and wearing a traditional farmer’s garb from olden times in Scandinavia. The nisse would help out at farms and give gifts if the farmer’s family treated them well, if not they would rein hell upon the farms. In modern Scandinavia they are popularly celebrated during the Christmas season, being regarded as gift bearers.

The strange looking Unicorn is a distant relative to the Shetland Pony, it is easily recognized on the rare curved horn – only found in the most northern parts of the globe. These unicorns can only be tamed by faekin.

Kiri Østergaard Leonard

Kiri Østergaard Leonard is an award winning illustrator and artist from Denmark, currently living in Austin, Texas. She enjoys working on projects within the fantasy and children's illustration genre.

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