It began in 2000 when I was asked to design a card for Help Musicians UK. The brief was simple and has remained so; there had to be musical instruments in the image. No notation, just instruments.
The first card I did all those years ago showed three ships sailing. Help Musicians UK sold twice as many cards as they had before and since then every year I have been asked to do a design. 15 designs later it has begun to get difficult. There’s a narrative that runs through them all, a melody I suppose. There is snow, colour, often dancing, animals. This year I struggled to come up with an image until something settled into my mind, like the quiet music of gently falling snow.
Birch trees, subtle colour, peace, a distant tent. Perhaps it is morning, and the party is over? Or maybe she just passes it by lost in her own thoughts. Most years something of the book I have been working on has led its way into the image. This year it is the small hunched hare who sits huddled in the snow waiting for it to cocoon her. She is from The Wild Swans, my most recent book. She has wandered across to this card with her wild hare music.
Although finding the image took so much time as my brain was cluttered, once made, it was like a meditation. And although this time there is only the one instrument, stringed, I tried to weave a quiet music into the colours, the lines, the tones of the piece.
I’m already wondering about next year. I think next year music might have wings.
Jackie's Christmas card and 2016 calendar are available to purchase on our online shop.
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Jackie Morris is an artist and writer, illustrator and photographer. She lives in a small house beside the sea in Pembrokeshire, with cats and dogs.