My name is Emily McLaughlin. You may know me as Meorow on my social media. At the moment I am a college art student, and over the past year and a half I have dedicated the free time I have now to my dream project - the fully illustrated Celtic fairytale Sionnach Abú: Fox Forever, also written by myself!
I am super excited to have finally finished illustrating all 139 pages of this book, and I NEED YOUR HELP to get it out into the physical world! I want to print my baby, and through this Kickstarter I hope to gather the funds to be able to do so. Plus find new hands to give it to!
Sionnach Abú is an illustrated Celtic fairytale book, intended for all ages - everyone with a childlike heart and an eye for beauty.
Every page is an artistic statement.
The text, art, and story were all carefully crafted to form one cohesive whole, so that every page has a voice of its own, and no element is an accident.
Every part was touched by hand and given careful attention.
If you can appreciate classic fairytales of old, Irish folklore, medieval illuminated manuscripts, the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts Movements, and of course, nature, then it is my hope that you will love this book!
Sionnach Abú is Irish for "Fox Forever." I knew I wanted the title to be Irish, so I looked up the word for "fox" in Google translate, and the rest was history! "Fox Forever" is meant to reflect the theme of the book. The fox in the story never doubts. He always has a plan. His spirit can never be broken. Forever a fox. Sionnach Abú!
I had never cared much for fairytales personally. But after watching the movie The Secret of Kells, and a 2013 family trip to Ireland, I fell in love with the mysterious lore of the country.
It all began in my college library. To pass the time, I casually picked up a book of Celtic fairytales, and thumbed through a story, but it did little for me. The plot was very predictable, and the characters flat and uninteresting. But one illustration of a prince and princess riding upon the tail of a fox, settled deep into my heart.
I couldn't get the image out of my head - the specific detail of them riding upon the tail was so delightful. I went home, redrew the image, and simply fell in love. I wanted to create my own version of the fairytale, where the characters were actually people, with relatable emotions and motives. I wanted the fox to be a mysterious, mythical figure; otherworldly, almost. Most of all, I wanted to attempt to express through art and story my new love for fairytales and Irish folklore, and convey their old magic and beauty through a modern retelling.
I wrote my own version of the story based on what I remembered, and discovered that the version I read was based off of the Grimm fairytale "The Golden Bird." But, mysteriously, I never did find that book again! It had utterly vanished from the library. Of course it did. It had served its purpose; it had cast its spell upon me, and I have never been the same.
Set in medieval Ireland, Sionnach Abú tells the story of one prince among three who ventures towards the ill-fated woods of Craugh to seek a prize to please his power-hungry father. Along the way he encounters a mysterious fox who offers him more than he could have hoped for.
As is the case in most fairytales, things don't go the way they are expected to. The prince stumbles in his quest, by his own folly, yet, through his mistakes, he comes to question what he was really looking for after all.
He is joined by the Lady Aideen, the fairest princess of the land, yet because of her beauty, her father kept her locked in her own chamber all her waking days to guard her from suitors.
And throughout it all, the fox is forever faithful, forever grinning, and forever keeping them from harm. When magic prevails, fear falls away.
The goal of this Kickstarter is to print 100 copies. Most of the money will be going towards the printing of the books. It costs a lot to print a full-color hardcover book!
I will be printing the books through Bookbaby Self-Publishing. Here is the basic breakdown of the funds based off of the quote I received from them, and the additional shipping and Kickstarter fees:
Thank you for your interest so far! Here's a little bit more about me written in the third person to sound official.
Emily is a mixed-media illustrator, with a preference for digital art and watercolor. She is a recent graduate from Montgomery County Community College with an Associates in Fine Arts, and had the joy and privilege of being the Editor-in-Chief of the college’s art and literature magazine, producing the 2019 edition titled “Replications.”
Currently she is in the process of earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Illustration and books are her passion, and her professional aspiration is to be a children's book illustrator.
Sionnach Abú is her dream project, the book she has always wanted to create - and now I will break from formality to say thank you so much for helping to make my dream a reality!
To help express my deep thank you to you for your support, I created 10 exclusive original Sionnach Abú themed drawings that you can receive with your book! Each one is unique and hand-drawn on 5.5x8in Bristol paper. The mediums range from pencil, ink, brushpen, and more. Here are a few examples!
Risks and challenges
All of the artwork for the book is finished, and all I need is your help to get it out into the physical world. As with any project, any number of problems could occur between the printing, shipping, and the book and other items arriving at your door. However, I have published the Art and Literature Magazine of my college as the Editor-in-Chief, and this experience has taught me to be able to adapt to and overcome unforeseen challenges. I am confident that I can deliver this book and other rewards to you as promised!
If the funds for this book are not met, then I will be using another crowdfunding platform that is not an all-or-nothing campaign, so you can be most assured that you can still get your hands on the book early!
- (30 days)