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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

The joy of Illustrators’ Fair, and a little hint of the flamenco portrait

It’s already December and, if you like it or not, Christmas time. If you’re missing the festive feel of the Christmas market this year, why not cheer yourself up by visiting the online market of Illustrators’ Fair?

Online festivity

(Flyer of Illustrators' Fair by Mykadelica)

Produced by Michael Czerwinski and Holly Burrows, Illustrators’ Fair is held as an online event from 1st to 14th December on social media, including Instagram and Facebook. You can even spot a cheerful message from Sir Quentin Blake, one of the most celebrated illustrators in British history (and my favourite).

While many event organisers inevitably shifted to online platforms this year, illustration is probably the art genre which is relatively suitable to such an online form of exhibition. Not having to stroll among the stalls and wade through the crowds, we can calmly scroll down the feed on our devices to enjoy so many inspiring artworks and artists. It’s peaceful, but the visual fun is still there.

There are many creative illustrations from hundreds of artists in different styles. You can even find stylish Christmas card designs for your loved ones, very different from those sold in high street shops. As you can see, this event isn’t only for fun but also for supporting local artists during the difficult times.

The flamenco portrait

If you saw the portrait on the homepage of my site, you don’t have to guess who the model is, but you might wonder who painted it. Mykadelica is the artist name of my husband. He’s one of the participants of this online festivity of Illustrators’ Fair, and his submission includes this portrait ‘La Yumi’.

Though it’s apparently personal to me, this picture also has a universal motif of flamenco: the moon. Unfortunately, the trimmed picture posted on social media isn’t showing the moon on the right top corner, but you can hopefully see it here:

('La Yumi' by Mykadelica)

It’s believed that gypsies who left India to travel to the west had to wait until sunset, in order to avoid heat at daytime. Travelling through the cool nights, they relied on the moon and stars shining in the dark sky as their navigation system. It’s reputed that the moon subsequently became an almost religious symbol to the gypsies.

While the moon is called ‘la luna’ in Spanish, the famous flamenco dots are called ‘lunares’, the plural form of the word. It’s said that the traditional design of dots on flamenco dresses originated from the gypsies’ symbolic view on the moon and the respect to such gypsies in the flamenco culture. Instead of conventional flamenco dots, Mykadelica painted my top with psychedelic colours in his own style, but the image still captures the flamenco-ness with the contribution of the little moon.

Connection through arts

Each illustrator communicates their message through their artworks. If we didn’t have the pandemic, Illustrators’ Fair would’ve been held in a big venue full of real stalls behind which those many friendly artists would’ve greeted us. At the online version of Illustrators’ Fair, we can relax and relish their images, inspirations and hopes through the lovely illustrations. In this way, we can still touch their personalities online.

Let’s take delight from this festival not only for discovering your new favourites but also for connecting with them through arts.

@Illustratorsfair on Instagram

Illustrator’s Fair on Facebook (private group - you can send a membership request)

@Mykadelica on Instagram

Mykadelica - website

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