The theme for the first-ever Norse Mythology Blog art contest is midsummer. During the summer solstice on June 21, those of us living in the northern hemisphere will experience the longest day and shortest night of the year. This may seem pretty early in the season, but it’s really the middle. From this point onwards, the days will start getting shorter as we slowly slide back towards winter.
|Midsummer bonfire in a painting by Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup|
Throughout Northern Europe, there are local traditions that celebrate midsummer. Some of these practices preserve very old rituals. Your goal with your original piece of visual art is to capture the spirit of both midsummer and Norse mythology. Will you draw elves feasting in the forest under the summer sun? Thor lighting the Midsummer bonfire with lightning? Freya taking her cats to the beach for a picnic? It’s up to you!
I strongly suggest doing some reading and research on midsummer celebrations in Northern Europe before you start working on your artwork. If you need some ideas about Norse mythology, browse the Norse Mythology Blog Archive. Most importantly – be creative!
As soon as I thought of finding judges to help me with this contest, I thought of Judge Dredd – so I asked two of my favorite artists from long-running Dredd comic books in England. I have been a huge fan of the work of both of these brilliant illustrators for many, many years. The three of us will judge the entries together.
Boo Cook is a British artist whose work has long been featured in the UK comics 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine. More recently, he’s broken into the American comic book market with stunning work on Captain America, Elephantmen, Hulk, Wolverine and X-Factor. In addition to his great work with pencil and pen, Boo’s use of computer coloring techniques has set new standards in the field. Boo and I collaborated for a performance on the Chicago Calling Festival in 2008; I played improvised string bass onstage in Chicago while we projected visuals from Boo’s customized “pen-cam” as he drew live in England. He also did the awesome cover art for my Portrait of Jack Johnson and Of Alien Feelings albums. You can explore the wonderful diversity of his work at his official website.
|2000 AD's Wulf Sternhammer by Boo Cook|
Richard Elson has been at the center of the British comics scene for twenty-five years. He was one of the first artists in 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine whose work really turned my head with its originality. In England, his art has appeared in The Beano, Sonic the Comic, Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Toxic Crusaders. He has now become one of the go-to artists in the United States for Marvel Comics; he has drawn Avengers, Hulk, Marvel Zombies, Morbius the Living Vampire, Spider-Man and Wolverine. Most exciting for me, personally, is the fact that he has been the artist for both Thor and Journey Into Mystery, the latter of which features the new adventures of Loki. I’m planning on interviewing Richard about his work on Marvel’s Norse myth comics – as soon as I can catch up on reading all the many issues he’s already done!
|Richard Elson's art from Thor #611|
There will be three winners in each of the following categories:
Kids: Age 12 & under
Teens: Age 13-19
Adults: Age 20 & up
1. Be on the theme of midsummer.
2. Contain at least one element from Norse mythology.
Note: For the purposes of this contest, Marvel Comics characters are NOT considered part of Norse mythology. Any art with imagery from the comic books or movies will not be accepted. Please do some reading and research on celebrations of midsummer and the summer solstice, then base your imagery on what you discover about these holidays and Norse myth!
DESCRIPTION OF PICTURE
You must write a short description of your artwork that explains how it portrays midsummer and what element(s) you have included from Norse mythology.
1. Art must be done with crayons, markers, paint, pen, pencil or digital materials.
2. Original art only (no photography or collage).
3. Art must be kid-friendly (no nudity, no violence).
4. No copyrighted characters. Let’s leave the Marvel Comics to professionals like Boo and Richard!
|Midsummer bonfires in Austria's Kalkkögel Mountains|
5. One entry per person, please.
HOW TO ENTER
1. Click on the “Ask a Norse Mythologist” tab at The Norse Mythology Blog.
2. Follow the instructions under “ART CONTEST – Midsummer 2013.”
Midnight of June 14, 2013
Boo, Richard and I will be judging the entries based on creativity and relation to Norse mythology. Do some reading, do some thinking and make something original!
|Winners will be featured on Norse Mythology Online sites|
The three winners in each age group will be featured at The Norse Mythology Blog, The Norse Mythology Facebook Page, The Norse Mythology Google+ Page and The Norse Mythology Twitter Page. Your art and your description of it will be posted on all the many sites of Norse Mythology Online and will remain permanently in the Norse Mythology Blog Archive.
June 19: Kids winners announced
June 20: Teens winners announced
June 21: Adults winners announced
It’s time to sharpen your pencil and start drawing. Good luck!