Illustration for @ekta_space, a stop motion short film based on Karelian & Finnish myths, exhibited at the Juminkeko Kalevala center.
According to myths, the first bear descended upon Earth from the Big Dipper constellation of the Ursa Major (Great Bear).
The bear is also closely connected to the pine tree, as illustrated here. The skull of a killed bear would be hung on a sacred pine, 'kallohonka', from where its spirit could return to the forest.
Bears are among my favourite subjects to illustrate, so if you'd like one, don't hesitate to drop me a message at email@example.com!