'Bonnie Beasts' by Shiron Karbor & Rachel Logan!

'Bonnie Beasts' is one of two shows currently on at Seventeen and features the illustrations of Shirin Karbor Illustration & Rachel Logan Illustration. The pair have created a host of original characters inspired by the old Aberdeen Bestiary (I've written about that here) who set out on adventures across Aberdeen in 6 children's books. That's right, they've written and illustrated a set of 6 children's books set in Aberdeen! Although we've seen a rise in novels based in Aberdeen, crime novels no less, there's definitely  been a lack of any decent child friendly literature. Til now! 

I'd only recently met Shirin as she's one of the Painted Doors artists who's completed a rather cute seal door down just off The Green. A quick trawl through her website reveals a plethora of projects including this cool piece for Brewdog. Rachel Logan is a new face, to me at least and again proves that Aberdeen is full of incredible creative people, just check out her cat and birds animation for evidence! I still think there's a lot of work to be done in Aberdeen around the value of good design and building up these types of creative industries but knowing that both these artists have come from Grays School of Art is a good sign. So what about these Bonnie Beasts?

The 'Bonnie Beasts' are a set of cute animals, some real and some inspired by the bestiary and include The Prickly Lion, The Vratch, The Fitsat, The Dinnaken,  The Affa Kerfuffle and The Howker. Any doric speakers (a dialect particular to the North East of Scotland) will recognise a few of the names above but almost more exciting is that some of the stories are set in Aberdeen. I was amazed to see the Fitsat flying over Union Terrace Gardens while another story found its protagonist heading down to The Tunnels. Along with the books the artists have a set of larger scale paintings and illustrations on display along with a make your own beast 'Monster Mash - up' wall. I think the Vratch poking out of a bin with his seagull pal is my favourite but really all the paintings are brilliant. 

Its really inspiring to know we have creative out there capable of producing work at this level, after all my nephews room is full of books from Flying Eye Books, a side line of Nobrow Press so why wouldn't he want these books too. Although that's a sticking point at the moment, the duo only managed to get a few test copies printed in time for the show but I'm hoping they can crowd fund a print run or maybe there's some council arts funding available that can help them cover the initial printing? Any readers out there willing to invest in a couple of creative kids and their beasts? I know I'd be investing in a set of books for my shelves if they were available. 

As it stands the beasts will be on display until the 15th of December so you don't have long to check them out but please do and if you'd be interested in buying a book let them know, drop an email or leave your contact details and hopefully if there's enough demand well be able to find the Vratch and the Affa Kerfuffle in the central library in no time!

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