Hello, my name is Vanja Todoric, and this will be a quick overview of one of my recent illustrations. This illustration was drawn for the second tome of Serbian Mythology â€" Banned Demons, and the demon we have before us is called Babica or Midwife.
Here is part of the text description I received from the writer of the book, before I started with the sketches:
â€œA Midwife is a restless shadow of a woman who dies during her pregnancy or labor. She wanders around furiously, always reconsidering and evaluating from all points of view her one and only thought: how did it happen that life had been taken away from her at the very moment when she was supposed to give new life? When she had bonded with that new life; when she had fallen in love with it while it was still unborn?
Midwives are, as we have said, furious, and thereâ€™s no peace in fury. That is why they are intent on revenge and venting their rage upon the most vulnerable. On those who are just the same as they used to be, exhausted by labor pain, loosing blood and strength, on new mothers and the most unable, the weakest creatures in the world - upon babies.â€
These are the preliminary sketches I did (Fig.01). The second and third one received good reactions but I chose to go with the first sketch, even though it didnâ€™t look like much at that stage.
This is the part where I tried to get the look of the character, following the guide lines Iâ€™d received from the writer, and at the same time trying to include some of my ideas in the concept.
For instance, in the description there was no word on how the Midwife devoured the babies, so I thought it would be kind of cool (since she was once a pregnant mother too) to turn her belly into a horrible beast mouth (Fig.02).