From a photograph to an illustration, there's just a stroke of the pencil.

Every year, we love organizing a contest to celebrate the magic that fills the misty October air. While 2022 saw the most creative writers competing, for 2023, we decided to hold an illustration contest. But this time, we wanted to go even further. To provide the best possible inspiration to budding artists, what could be better than challenging our own artistic senses?

That's why we reached out to Helena Aguilar Mayans, a talented photographer whose almost supernatural ambiance was perfect for the occasion. Armed with her analog camera, she managed to capture what our whimsical minds had dreamed of through simply astonishing shots. As a muse, the beautiful model Violette, with her porcelain complexion and jay-like hair, perfectly matched the timeless and mystical backdrop of an abandoned chapel discovered during a random walk around Troyes.

It goes without saying that it was challenging to choose among all of Helena's photographs the one that would be featured in this contest. We will, of course, share the others throughout the month, as such beauty deserves to be appreciated.

In any case, the selected photo awakened the creativity of many of you. We were surprised to receive dozens and dozens of illustrations, each more fantastic than the last. It was a real torture for Helena, Violette, and our team to choose three artists from all the participants!

Ultimately, our choice was three illustrations with very different universes that reminded us of all the facets of Voriagh.

The winners this year are Wiktoria Odziomek (@victoria_veil), Carolina Roa Sitjes (@carolinagrinn), and Bruna Fedeli. Congratulations to all three for their breathtaking illustrations!

And, of course, we wanted to thank all the one-day (or more?) illustrators who took the time to add their artistic touch to this contest. Thank you for making us dream through various techniques, from paper cutting to gold leaf, through charcoal and watercolor. You were all incredible, and we hope to see you in our future Samhain contests!