Illustration of the Danish holiday Fastelavn by illustrator Kiri Østergaard Leonard

Client Work: When I was a child / Fastelavn Final

Kjartan and Kiri for Fastelavn, 1990

Kjartan and Kiri for Fastelavn, 1990

Here is the final piece for the Fastelavn illustration mentioned in the previous blog post here. This illustration is part of a series called ‘When I was a Child’ that I have been commissioned to do by the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award in China. It has been so much fun to work on this series and I think I will be adding on it as time permits.

The costumes in illustration was inspired by my childhood. Here is a photo of my brother and I all dressed up! Fastelavn is a Danish holiday, with some similarities to Halloween. In other cultures, it is known as Carnival. The holiday takes place the week before Lent. Children dress up in costumes. There is a game called “Hit the Cat Off the Barrel” – it’s basically a pinata. A barrel is filled with candy and oranges and decorated with cut outs of a black cat. Children take turn to hit the barrel with a wooden bat. The first to break the barrel is crowned Queen of the Cats and the one to get the last board off the string it hands by is crowned King of the Cats.

Fastelavn on Wikipedia
When I was a Child / Fastelavn Sketch

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.

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