Folk folk

20 January 12

One of my favourite things to draw, look at in museums and hoard pictures of on my hard drive is a good old national costume. Obviously I have a particular affinity for the Ukrainian and Russian ones, but I'm an equal opportunity enthusiast. I particularly love the Hungarian and Serbian ones (this one is actually genuinely stylish!). These are two quick costumey paintings from my sketchbook.

Flickr is an absolute treasure trove for this kind of thing, here are just a few good ones I've found:

Czech by josefnovak33 - one & two

Polish by włodi

Czech by josefnovak33 - one & two

Swedish by YlvaS

Czech by josefnovak33 - one & two

Greenlandic by  ilovegreenland

Czechoslovakian by josefnovak33

Polish by włodi

Swedish by YlvaS

Swedish by YlvaS

Greenlandic by ilovegreenland

Spanish by Von Aisaider

Turkish by ali eminov

Polish by włodi

Bonus photo of me at 2 years old decked out in a Ukranian headband and matching dolls ;)



I just love those illustrations! I have a great gran who came from Sweden, so these are slightly reminiscent to me. It’s great to see when others take pride in the nostalgia of where they came from!
Cool beans!

Megan K. replied over 9 years ago.

GORGEOUS post. I especially love your paintings.

Melwa replied over 9 years ago.

thank you! x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

So lovely! Some of the swedish costumes is derived from the place I grew up. Almost makes me homesick, haha.

Amanda replied over 9 years ago.

Gorgeous illustrations :) Both sides of my fam are from Ukraine and I have similar photos of my sister and myself in the folk costumes as kids. Matching dolls and stuffed animals wearing Ukrainian vests and all! I didn’t appreciate them as a kid but I see the beauty in the patterns and tradition much more now (especially as a graphic designer). I imagine it must be much more inspiring for you now as well?

Natalka replied over 9 years ago.

Hi Kris,
I love your drawings! Since you like folk costumes, I thought I could point these to you… from my country, Chile.
Mapuche women (south of the country):, and old picture of machis (religious authority -always women) Men’s costumes are also quite interesting.
La Tirana (a religious carnival), north of the country:,, again both women and men’s costumes are fantastic.
Two very distant ends of a long country…

gabi replied over 9 years ago.

Wow, thank you very much for the links. So interesting! x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

cracking drawings, really liked this post

mat replied over 9 years ago.

thanks Mat! Nice blog you’ve got there. x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

Awww you look so cute! I love seeing native costumes too, I still have my Norwegian one from when I was little. :)

Trude replied over 9 years ago.

Ah, I love this! I’m starting my senior project soon, and most of it is about folk arts/costume/embroidery.

Nicole replied over 9 years ago.

Ooh that sounds great, I hope you’ll put it on your blog when you’re done? I’d love to see it! kris x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

This is fab! I love all the colour and pattern. Also, one of my friends is Danish but also has some family in Sweden; I was always so jealous of St Lucia Day which they celebrated there, with the big crown and all the candles.

Libby replied over 9 years ago.

Wow, I hadn’t heard of that! Googling it also lead me to this amazing photo

wow! x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

I adore all of this. The colours and vibrancy of the costumes and ceremonies that surround them is wondrous! Irish peasant dress is nowhere near as exciting, but then again we didn’t have the same ceremonial practices. I love how these costumes are inspired by their landscape, heritage and culture. Unique and colourful.

Zoe replied over 9 years ago.

(Sorry for the name and email ;)

Have you looked into Sami dresses? Samis can be found in the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish lapland, and in Russia as well :)

ano replied over 9 years ago.

I’ve seen some of those in a Museum when I was in Norway I think :) Thank you for the suggestion though, I didn’t know the name. Kris x

kris atomic replied over 9 years ago.

Thank you for sharing this inspiration, there is also a special place in my heart for
folk costumes! Your paitings of them are wonderful!

Angela replied over 9 years ago.

this reminds me of doing the may pole!

Charlotte replied over 9 years ago.

Such lovely inspiration. Your illustrations always make me smile! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos too! :)

Meredith replied over 9 years ago.

I made a post with my traditional folk cloths, you can see it in my blog.

Serea replied over 9 years ago.

Love you illustrations Kristina!
I am from Ukraine too. On my last trip to Kiev I got some stamps with traditional Ukrainian head dress illustrations. They are really beautiful. I’ll Instagram you a pic!

Elena replied over 9 years ago.

The illustrations are great! Have you ever seen the costumes of the tribes of Northwest Pakistan/Northeast Afghanistan? I’ve seen photos of the Kalash tribe and their costume is one you may like!

Rachel replied over 9 years ago.

Aw I love this post

Gracie replied over 9 years ago.

You might like these:
From island Susak in Croatia. That must be one of the shortest skirts on a national costume that i’ve ever seen. And the colors are almost neon

Ana replied over 9 years ago.

hey, i see you like Serbian folk clothes, so I thought i would share this with you just click on prats of the map to see different outfits… We have really great woven bags with geometric designs..and also flower embroideries on on skirts.. i hope you’ll like it..

Nina replied over 9 years ago.

Ой, ты такая милая на фото :) к тому же иллюстрации восхитительные! Умница :) Привет из Украины!

Anastasia replied over 9 years ago.

This is beautiful!

Love the very last pictures, so cute!

Sweet Harvest Moon replied over 9 years ago.

It’s a very beautiful post, your illsutrations and inspirations are gorgeous !

camille replied over 9 years ago.

I looooooove this post ! I’m a lot into east and north europe folk costume inspiration right now… I couldn’t dream better of your finds !
also, your doll’s face reminds me the girls you draw… (or the contrary) any unconscient (or conscient) inspiration ? ;)

Lazy Lisa replied over 9 years ago.

[…] Folk Folk post by […]

Currently loving… « Lazy Lisa replied over 9 years ago.

Try the Romanian too ;)

Anda Alexandra replied about 8 years ago.

Україночка))як тебе занесло так далеко? Дуже гарні ілюстрації, своєрідний стиль)

Kate replied almost 8 years ago.

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Hi, I'm Kris. This is an archive of my blog as it was from 2007 to 2014. It's no longer updated but feel free to browse through the past.


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