Last year I wrote about the #mermay phenomenon on Instagram, a great inspiration that was started by Tom Bancroft, a Disney animator veteran. Mermay prompts can be found on his website, though there are many illustrators who simply post mermaid-themed illustrations all month long, regardless of prompt. Here are some of my favorites from this year, all posted with permission.
I've been admiring Vashti Harrison for a while now. In case you don't know, she is the author/illustrator behind the Little Leaders series. Book 2 will be released this fall and features women from around the world. If you have a little one, she also has a coloring page in which you can draw your own favorite inspiring hero. I had a big plan to showcase all three drawings by me, Mini Me and Little Lion. But while we are all three writers, we are timid illustrators. I still plan on making one anyway because I want to illustrate my Lola.
Below is one of my absolute favorite illustrations from #Mermay this year. Though in reality I could have posted any of Harrison's illustrations and called it my favorite. As a side note, she also illustrated an amazing pic of Megan Markle on her wedding day.
Of course I'd be remiss if I didn't at least post one merperson with some kind of wizardry powers. I love crossovers and #Mermay is the perfect creative grounds for mixing storylines and fandoms and animals. I've seen a bunch of merdogs and mercats.
Chibi Axolotl , a graphic designer and illustrator, painted this fabulous wizardry one below:
I'd especially be remiss if I didn't tell you that there were some fantastic Star Wars mash-up mermaids too, especially on May the Fourth. Silvia Flores, a graphic artist and illustrator, has some fantastic contributions to Mermay. In actuality, I wish I could have posted all of her illustrations because she has some that have such great movement and some of the mermaids look like their hair is actually floating in the water. Or that they are mid-swim. She has many Disney-inspired merpeople, and though I don't consider Star Wars as part of Disney per se, posted below is her rendition of Padme and R2D2.
I have to include another Star Wars mermay mash-up because Ewoks. And also because Taylor Maw has a knack for creating cute illustrations but can also mix it up with the edgy. The Ewok one is below but Maw has also done an intricate Labyrinth one and Harry-Ron-Hermione one as well.
There are also some food artists on Instagram that get in on the fun as well. One of my favorite food artists is Luxe and the Lady and she doesn't disappoint with this mouthwatering Pusheen mermaid cake. Her food designs are whimsical and inspiring and, let's face it, a bit too cute to eat! Though I love that she cuts up her creations and shows the 'imperfect' form in her posts.
Finally, I'm excited to say that though I don't draw, I decided that I would utilize this fabulous inspiration to write a mermaid picture book. This may be partly because I was dreaming about mermaid hair mixing in with the seaweed, and a story instantly formed in my head. It is also partially inspired by the illustration I shared last year by Benson Shum. I think I have a new May tradition: writing about mermaids. :D
Thank you to Tom Bancroft and all the #Mermay illustrators, especially the ones who gave me permission to share their artwork here.
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Do you have a favorite mermaid book for kids?