Sunday, June 27, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood : A Lesson in Questionable Parenting.

Sending a six year old through the woods by herself to deliver bread and jelly? What was her mom thinking?

No wonder bad things befell her... in modern language that would be like me asking my 5 year old daughter, Alex, to go into the supermarket and get us the ingredients for lasagna while mommy sits in the car and updates my facebook page on my blackberry. (Too much responsibility for those who can't even tie their shoes yet.)

All that aside, I've started the sketches for Little Red Riding Hood and she is a cutie if I do say so myself. I was getting ready to give her a drab little brown dress since LRRH always struck me as the middle-class cautionary tale of the era. She wasn't a princess with a witch mad at her... she was just a kid being followed by a wild animal. However... I don't particularly do "drab and brown" all that well so I consulted the book my mother gave me "The Grammar of Ornament" by Owen Jones which is a nifty little compilation of patterns from around the world and through the ages that you can borrow (steal) from without guilt since the originators of all the patterns have been dead for several hundred years.

No need to reinvent the wheel, or sit there and try to figure out how to make your abstract flower pattern repeat off into infinity because someone somewhere has already done it first (and better). Standing on the shoulders of giants isn't just for scientists trying to genetically clone dinosaurs... it's for artists as well.

So I added some pattern to her dress... it'll probably still end up being brown, but now it'll be brown with a very snazzy, patterned waist-wrap inspired by Indian Hookah engravings from the 1800's.

Did they have hookahs in the woods of Europe in the 1700's? Doubtful... but why let that stop me? Everyone should laugh in the face of historical accuracy once in awhile... especially if it means little girls get cuter dresses.


  1. of course they had hookahs in 1800's Europe. England had already occupied India bringing back all that fun for the continent. Not historically inaccurate!

  2. So you're saying I should stop while I'm ahead in the 'historical accuracy' department and not give her an iPod and a Taser in her basket?