Monday, January 10, 2011

Fox spirit, mid-metamorphosis

Fox Fairy, Fox SpiritGrew up reading Chinese folktales about fox spirits/fairies/demons. In Chinese mythology, practically any animal or inanimate object can, after an extensive period of meditation, acquire the spiritual power to shapeshift into human form.1 Foxes seem to be the most popular subjects of shapeshifter lore.

Saw many beautiful illustrations for these fairy tales done in classical Chinese style, but none of them showed fox spirits in the process of transformation. The fox fairies were either portrayed in fox form or in full human form. (Not counting modern animation/comic book fox fairy characters drawn as humans with fox ears and tails.) Thought it would be interesting to visualize a fox spirit in mid-metamorphosis and in contemporary garb.

The reference used is an Arctic Fox, which has a shorter muzzle than the red fox.

Male fox spirits in Chinese lore