I'm an Art Director, Designer, Illustrator and Writer who was born and raised (and still pays taxes and plays) in hodag country. As an Art Director I spend my days strategizing and creating visual experiences for the big world of business while my evenings and weekends are spent studying, photographing and drawing all things small. I also create stories and characters for picture books and then subsequently apply those characters and pieces of that artwork to fabrics, paper and products. I call this extension of visual narrative StoryStyle™.
You can see what I'm currently up to over on my BLOG where I post a whole lot of randomness.
Who is Happy the Hodag?
There are many different depictions of hodags in my hometown of Rhinelander, WI and when I was growing up all of these hodags were shown to be mean and scary. I decided to add a new kind of hodag to the landscape and in 2006 I created Happy the Hodag to be a friendly hodag. Is he the most lovable hodag known to man? I like to thinks so ;)
Crafted to exhibit traditional hodag characteristics but in a more accessible style for children, Happy the Hodag stars in my first children's book Tales From The Trees which is an introduction to the hodag legend for children. I published a second Happy the Hodag book in 2007, a prequel called A Monster Misunderstanding, further expanding on and diffusing the legend of this green beast for little readers and Hodag enthusiasts.
Keep up with Happy the Hodag at: facebook.com/happythehodag.
What in the world is a Hodag?
[insert chamber hodag]
The hodag is a fictional monster said to be lumberjack lore from the near turn of the century in Northern Wisconsin. The hodag was made 'famous' by a lumber scout in the late 1800's named Gene Shepard.
Gene Shepard was a major booster of my hometown of Rhinelander, WI as it was becoming established and he was known for his sense of humor. Gene pulled a magnificent hodag centered prank on the locals and is the reason the official Rhinelander, WI mascot is in fact, a hodag.
There is also this other entity, much older than the Rhinelander hodag that looks an awful lot like some of the early carvings of the Rhinelander hodag. Take a scroll through this post on themidwestival to learn more about the pictographs of The Great Lakes tribes hodag-like creature in and around Canada.
Keep up with Happy the Hodag, get free goodies and shop Happy books, plush toys and tees at hodag.myshopify.com
Jill Kuczmarski | Studio JKD