The Eldest

A Stirring Account Of Bravery, Sacrifice, And Sisterly Love.

Digital illustration of a female samurai

Using the popular Inktober challenge, where for 31 days you have to draw a traditional ink drawing, Nona retold her favourite fable from her childhood, inspired by a Russian folktale but embellished and altered to be told like never before. Formally known as The Eldest Sister and Death, now known as The Eldest, the story follows an Onna-bugeisha, which is a female samurai, and her adventures as she travels through unforgiving places haunted by ghosts, encountering trolls, great wizards, demons, and much more! All in the quest to be the best Eldest Sister she can be. But when trouble befalls a Mahārāja which threatens to break her Youngest Sister's heart she'll stop at nothing to protect the ones she loves. Even if that means tricking Death itself, can she ever hope to win against such a powerful foe?

The Storybook

Completed over several months thirty-one hand-drawn traditional ink illustrations were created to accompany a section of the full story that Nona wrote. After completing the Inktober challenge Nona then designed an artbook to encapsulate the project in full. The book contains an engaging story, along with copies of all the thirty-one drawings, as well as a full-colour front cover. The book also contains a more refined and improved version of the story, as well as new and much higher quality scans of the illustrations. These improvements are not available anywhere else other than in the book. 

The Kickstarter

In order to publish her book, Nona chose to utilise Kickstarter, a website that brings together artists and individuals who are willing to help finance creative projects. People who supported her Kickstarter project received rewards ranging from signed, discounted hardback first editions of the book, stickers, and even an opportunity to own one of the 31 original Inktober illustrations. Supporters were able to get unprecedented discounts before the book was printed, as well as gifts and other rewards for their support. Kickstarter allowed the project to reach fruition at a level impossible through traditional publishing. The Kickstarter finished after successfully being funded 220%.