illustration friday: a bit of canadiana

last friday, i sat down with the kids to watch “the sweater” on the national film board app (it’s available on their website as well). this animated short was made in 1980 and is based on a short story written by canadian author, roch carrier. it was originally published in french as “une abominable feuille d’érable sur la glace” — an abominable maple leaf on the ice. best title ever.

if you’re not familiar with this story, it is about a young boy living in quebec in the 1940s. this boy eats, sleeps and breathes hockey, mainly in the form of the montréal canadiens. his hero, and the hero of all the local kids, is the great hockey player maurice richard, who played for the canadiens from 1942 to 1960.

through a humorous narrative, you hear about how this young boy’s mother mistakenly orders a maple leaf hockey jersey by mail-order catalogue (from eatons, for those who remember it) instead of the beloved canadiens jersey. his mother refuses to return this “perfectly good sweater” for fear of offending mr.eaton, a leaf’s fan. mortified, the boy wears it to the rink where all the neighbourhood kids only wear the canadiens sweater.

moments after watching this film, i received an email from illustration friday announcing the topic for the week’s illustrations: sweater.

what a funny coincidence.

the idea for an illustration came to me immediately, but with a busy few weeks here, i knew i wouldn’t have time to finish the drawing as i pictured it in my mind. i did have the chance to sketch out my idea though.

the young boy and his hero reflected on the ice, maurice richard…

i know i will come back to this and complete it properly one day.

in the meantime, do check out the national film board website, and the very canadian, funny and endearing animation, the sweater

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10 Responses to illustration friday: a bit of canadiana

  1. Victoria says:

    This is so funny – I remember reading this story (and probably watching the film as well) when I was small… I had forgotten about it, but this post completely brought me back. I loved the ending too – no unrealistic scene of the boy finally accepting his sweater. :)

    And your drawing is wonderful – love the look on his face!

  2. Jo Bozarth says:

    I’ve not seen the movie, but your illustration makes me want to watch it!
    I love how the boy sees his idol in the reflection!! Very cool!

  3. googiemomma says:

    i dunno…there was a lot of canadian(en?)/hockey speak in this post…two languages i don’t speak. i can get by in a pinch (“where’s the bathroom, eh?” “what period are we in?”)…you know, the basics.
    but i love your drawing, as usual. and i love the mental image i get from “the abominable maple leaf on the ice” :)

  4. Alyssa says:

    Nice illustration. I hadn’t read the book, but the illustrated short is charming. Those {animated shorts} have always been some of my favorite forms of cinema. Probably because of growing up with schoolhouse rock videos.

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  6. e l l a says:

    Very cool illustration and thanks for the interesting history lesson about our beautiful Canadian heritage ;P I’m not much of a hockey girl but I did have a crush on Cujo when he was our goalie years ago – and my sister was in love with Sundin – brings back fun memories. lol. xo

  7. Sheri says:

    Great illustration, very cute.
    And your timing is excellent as well. It’s National Sweater Day!

  8. imadeitso says:

    wow sheri! i mean, i meant to do that ;)

    thanks for sharing in my fun everyone!

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