Sunday, November 19, 2023

Art Contest – Midwinter 2023

Art by Ayu Putri Kenyo Jati (Indonesia), Teen First Place Winner, Midwinter Art Contest 2014


Ten years after The Norse Mythology Blog's first art contest, the theme for our tenth art contest is different than it has been in the past. Be sure to carefully read the entire Contest Theme section so that you understand the assignment.

During the winter solstice on December 21, those of us in the northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day and longest night of the year. This may seem early in the season, but it’s really the middle. From this point on, days will get longer as we slowly move back towards summer.

Throughout Northern Europe, there are local traditions that celebrate midwinter. Some of these practices preserve very old rituals. Your original piece of visual art should capture the midwinter spirit.

I strongly suggest doing some reading and research on myth and folklore before you begin your artwork. What characters and concepts can you discover? Can you think of a way to relate them to the contest theme?

If you need some ideas about mythology, browse The Norse Mythology Blog Archive. You can also click here to check out the past Midwinter Art Contest winners in the three categories: kid, teen, and adult. Most importantly – be creative!


Your artwork entry must somehow relate to the character and legends of the Norse gods and goddesses and the celebration of midwinter.

There are many gods and goddesses in Norse mythology, and most have complex characteristics. Your job is to find something about some of them that speaks to you and inspires you, then combine it with some aspect of midwinter and create your own original work of art.

Art by Levi Simpson (USA), Adult First Place Winner (Tie), Midwinter Art Contest 2014

Norse gods and goddesses have connections to magic, prophecy, runes, wisdom, poetry, song, inspiration, creativity, performance, travel, hospitality, gifting, community, parenthood, childhood, friendship, relationships, religion, ritual, nature, culture, teaching, learning, ravens, wolves, goats, falcons, trees, peace, war, life, prosperity, death, standing against evil, and much more. There certainly is a lot to draw on for your entry!

There are many tales of Norse gods and goddeesses hat you can read to inspire your entry. A good place to start is by reading Children of Odin by Padraic Colum, which retells the major Norse myths and legends in family-friendly form. You can download the book for free from The Norse Mythology Online Library; it can be found in the Retellings and Reinterpretations section.

You can do any of these things:

1. Illustrate some versions of some Norse gods and goddesses and some aspect of midwinter
2. Illustrate the feeling of Norse gods and goddesses and midwinter
4. Create something inspired by Norse gods and goddesses and midwinter
5. Draw something connecting Norse gods and goddesses and midwinter to other characters or concepts from Norse myth and Germanic folklore

You must do this one thing:

Include a short explanation with your entry detailing how your work relates to Norse god and goddesses and midwinter


In this contest, Marvel Comics characters are NOT considered part of Norse mythology or folklore. Art with imagery from comic books or movies will NOT be accepted. Do some reading and research on myth and folklore, then base your imagery on what you learn.

This year, we're also taking a stand for the inspired creativity of human artists and NOT accepting any entries created using AI (artificial intelligence). Please embrace your individuality and do your own work.


I am extremely proud to announce the guest judge for this year's Midwinter Art Contest. I really love his work, and I'm very happy that he agreed to participate this year. The two of us will judge the entries together.

Lee Carter

I became a fan of illustrator, comics artist, and concept artist Lee Carter through his amazing work for the legendary UK weekly comic 2000 AD and the associated monthly Judge Dredd Megazine. His work is often terrifying and always makes a powerful impact through his cinematic design and detailed linework.

In-process art for cover of Judge Dredd Megazine issue 439 by Lee Carter

For 2000 AD, he's drawn both iconic series and new titles, including Dead Eyes, Durham Red, Grey Area, Indigo Prime, Judge Dredd, Necrophim, Rogue Trooper, Tharg's Terror Tales, and Tharg's Time Twisters. Whether the genre is science fiction or fantastic horror, Lee's artistic vision and brilliant craftsmanship pulls you into the weird worlds his work inhabits.

Over at the Judge Dredd Megazine, Lee and legendary Scottish writer Gordon Rennie's Angelic tells a disturbing tale that may or may not be the backstory of the notorious Angel Gang that Judge Dredd first tangled with way back in 1980. It's innovative and intense.

Lee has also done art for 451's Sunflower, Top Cow's The Darkness, and Boom! Studio's Mr. Stuffins. He's contributed to The Dead Roots Comic Anthology, DK's The Most Important Comic Book on Earth, Mam Tor's Event Horizon, Ahoy Comics' Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Terror, and Boom! Studios' Cthulhu Tales and Pirate Tales.

I've long followed Lee's social media posts detailing the in-depth process he goes through to create his work, and I think's he's the perfect person to judge the contest this year.

You can learn more about Lee by visiting his official website and following him on Twitter.


There will be three winners in each of the following categories:

Kids: Age 12 and under
Teens: Age 13-19
Adults: Age 20 and up


1. Art must be done with crayon, marker, paint, pen, pencil, or digital materials.
2. Original art only; no photos, collage, or work created using AI (artificial intelligence).
3. Art must be kid-friendly; no nudity or violence.
4. No copyrighted characters. Let’s leave the Marvel Comics to the professionals!
5. One entry per person, please.


Send an email to that includes the following:

1. Your full name (kids can give first name and last initial)
2. Your age (as of December 23, 2023)
3. Your location (city, state/province, country)
4. A short description of your artwork explaining how it relates to Norse gods, goddesses, and midwinter
5. Your scanned artwork (as an attachment)

Seriously, don’t forget to include your art as an attachment!


11:59 p.m. (Chicago time) on December 23, 2023


Lee 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!

Contest winners will be featured on sites and pages of Norse Mythology Online

The three winners in each age group will be featured on the many sites and pages of Norse Mythology Online:

The Norse Mythology Blog

The Norse Mythology Facebook Page

The Norse Mythology Twitter Page

The Norse Mythology Pinterest Page

Your art and your description of it will be posted on all of the above outlets and will remain permanently in the The Norse Mythology Blog Archive.

December 29: Kid winners announced
December 30: Teen winners announced
December 31: Adult winners announced

Good luck to everyone!

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