The Art of Yuki Onna - Snow-spirit Designs (Yuki Onna fairytale set in colonial Québec)
The first thing that struck me with potential was the Snow Woman’s ability to turn into snow and move unnoticed, surprising the wood cutters in the hovel. I figured the best place to start would would be to explore the design of winter animals as snow-spirit form for her character.
The Art of Yuki Onna - Mosaku and Minokichi (Yuki Onna fairytale set in colonial Québec)
My approach to Mosaku and Minokichi was different. I had no distinct idea of what I wanted them to look like, other than knowing that one was a fur trapper, and the other a coureur des bois (or ‘forest-runner’). I tried to use the silhouettes to capture different personalities as well as costume designs.
The Art of Yuki Onna - Snowflakemen Designs (Yuki Onna fairytale set in colonial Québec)
In some variations of the story of Yuki Onna she can control the snow and wind, summoning it to kill her prey. I played on that thread by creating little “snowflake men” which would manifest and swirl around, draining the life-force from her victims, at her biding.
The Art of Yuki Onna - Yuki Onna (Yuki Onna fairytale set in colonial Québec)
I had from the start a fairly solid idea of what I wanted Yuki to look like as a character. My very first impression of her in the fairytale was as a self-interested but considerate anti-heroine. So I pictured her as distant, isolated, cold, and perhaps a little melancholy.
When I started working on her design, I began wondering what her dress habits would be like: Sparse, minimum required to ward-off the chill? Or would she bundle herself up in an outfit made of found objects and the clothes of her victims?