I gave my final design an egg shape and replaced my previous design’s luscious locks with moss, but kept the face relatively the same.


Although inspired by the look of trolls, I don’t think my character fits the description of one enough to merit being called a ‘troll’. Trolls are steeped in highly established folklore history- my character is much too small small and friendly, and there are other aspects of the characterisation of trolls that I do not want to include in my character.

I decided to research gnomes to see if he could fall under that category. Gnomes are far less defined characteristically, but seem to typically be diminutive forest dwelling creatures that live underground. Specific attributes are often redefined in various interpretations. Most depictions (including the most famous Garden Gnome) are of gnomes resembling little old men.

The Secret Book of Gnomes by Will Hugyen, Illustrated by Rien Poortvliet depicts gnomes that look like traditional Garden Gnomes, and describes their lives in detail; from courtship to marriage to how they build their tiny underground houses. I love the way the gnomes are depicted as living in harmony with nature; delivering first aid to the creatures of the forest, and their kindly craggy faces.

Rien Poortvliet


I want to include some of these attributes in my interpretation of Gnomes. My gnomes don’t have any limbs; they move around by rolling. Most of their egg shaped bodies is covered in a fur that closely resembles a blanket of moss. I like the idea that the saying ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ began as a warning against gnomes- if you see a rolling stone that is covered in what appears to be moss, it’s probably a gnome. WATCH OUT. They live in small groups in underground burrows, they are predominantly nocturnal and are not friendly towards humans. Their bites are poisonous and they have long powerful tongues used to pull leaves off low branches of plants; something between that of a giraffe and that of a frog.

This particular gnome is a bit of an anomaly. Somewhat dimwitted, he occasionally slips out of the burrow while the others are sleeping. He has gotten into trouble more than once because of his unwillingness to use his poisonous bite to defend himself. He loves nature and has various collections of oddities he has found during his furtive morning rolls. Pride of place is his collection of buttons and coins which he does not know the difference between.


It is pretty much impossible for my gnome to take photographs so my idea of having a series of photos taken by my main character is out the window. However I still like the idea of physically making him and displaying a narrative through photography.


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