Darin Michelle
Creative Director

Darin Michelle

Made in Maryland

Inspire Me: Kay Nielsen

Inspire Me is a weekly post about people who inspire me. Hopefully they will inspire you as well. Who: Kay Nielsen

Kay Rasmus Nielsen (March 12, 1886 – June 21, 1957) was a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the "golden age of illustration" which lasted from when Daniel Vierge and other pioneers developed printing technology to the point that drawings and paintings could be reproduced with reasonable facility. He joined the ranks of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in enjoying the success of the gift books of the early 20th century. Nielsen is also known for his collaborations with Disney for whom he contributed many story sketches and illustrations. source: Wikipedia

A friend and I took a trip a couple weeks ago to the Annapolis Bookstore on Maryland Ave., downtown Annapolis. We not only discovered a small house made of books in the back garden, but a beautiful display of books, bookmarks and much much more. One of those books was recommended to me by the owner of the store. That book was 'East of the Sun and West of the Moon'. This collection of Scandinavian fairytales is absolutely beautiful. The pages are thick, the type is bold and the illustrations...

...oh the illustrations!

This was my introduction to Kay Nielsen and what a pleasant one it was. I have been a fan of fairytales since I was a child and have recently began to take a strong interest in them again. Kay Nielsen does an amazing job at creating perfect and dreamy visuals for each story.


kay nielsen hansel cottage of cake


Lately, I've been having the itch to draw again. Kay Nielsen's pieces have inspired me to go for it and see where it takes me. To have to freedom to truly express your artistic imagination is a true blessing.