Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fairy Wings

The illustrations below are part of a project I've been working on (and off), for over 2 years. The idea for the illustrations came from looking at photographs of the Cottingly Fairies, which were taken in 1917. The bizarre outcome of the Cottingly Fairies saga was that after many scientific studies by photographic experts, and much money spent, it took until 1982 for someone to declare them fake. 

My original idea was to dream up 30 species of fairies, and make a small booklet to identify them. I would claim them to be genuine and challenge experts to prove me wrong. The 30 species were invented and named in a few days. I could have invented more, including cross species, sub-species and rare sightings, but it was fortunate I didn't. Illustrating fairies is a life long job. After 2 years (part time), work, I've just finished my 8th wing, the Ice Fairy, below.

The illustrations are quite big, 72 inches high. The text is overlaid on acetate for re-positioning so on paper there is just the wing. I'm now wondering if they would sell on their own, sans text. Or, should I continue and publish the booklet.

Thistle Fairy illustration by Tim Irving
Thistle Fairy - Tim Irving

Water Fairy illustration by Tim Irving
Water Fairy - Tim Irving

Air Fairy illustration by Tim Irving
Air Fairy - Tim Irving

Ice Fairy illustration by Tim Irving
Ice Fairy - Tim Irving


  1. What a brilliant idea Tim, go ahead with the book it is sure to sell well, I have come across many people in my work as a medium who are fascinated with anything related to fairies and that includes Marie who has several books on them. These are superb illustrations it would be a shame if they didn't get published, I have a friend who has a publisher in london who may be interested in pushing the book for you. regards.

  2. Sorry to be a task master (crrr-ack!), but I vote for the booklet. I would love to see you let your delightful idea bear fruit. The wings and legends you've shown so far are captivating. And the dramatic 72" originals will be even more desirable with the rest of their "family" added. Having said that, do it only if it's still enjoyable for YOU.



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