hello, spriggan!

art & curiosities by Leigh Ann Gagnon

Meet the Spriggans!

Spriggans are small nature spirits. They are cheerful and always find delight in the world around them!

Spriggans respond strongly to their surroundings and often take on qualities of things that they like. Some prefer plants and will sprout their own leaves and flowers. Others might grow fur, tails, little antlers, or wings. Some Spriggans respond more to stones, with crystals and gemstones being especially popular. Above all, Spriggans excel at finding beauty in even the most seemingly mundane or insignificant objects and environments. 

Spriggans may have physical attributes as well as behaviors that change with the seasons (like leaf color or a desire to hibernate); others might be more changeable, with appearances that reflect their shifting moods or interests. Spriggans will also decorate themselves with found objects– flowers, pretty leaves, shells, woven grass, acorn caps, anything shiny or useful! 

Recurring characters

I’ve been drawing Spriggans for over ten years now, and while I’m always coming up with new designs, I also have some friends that keep returning. <3 See if you can find them around the site!

Poa

+ grassy

+ likes to paint

Eihra

petal ermine +

loves plants +

loves sharing plants +

would you like some plants? +

Sagekin

+ has a tea shop

+ very warm and friendly

+ excellent baker

Vai

homebody +

likes singing +

weaves really nice baskets+

Hazel

+ has a leaf!

+ very excited!

Petalur

nocturnal +

expert finder of delicious berries +

About the name "Spriggans"

When I first started drawing these little creatures, I struggled with what to call them. They’re fairies, nature spirits, sprites… but different than other interpretations I had seen. For a while the closest I could get to the right feeling was “kodama“, which is the name of the tiny bobble-headed forest spirits in Princess Mononoke. That was the first Studio Ghibli movie I saw and it still feels like pure magic to me years later.

At one point, when reading about different kinds of fairies, I came across spriggans. Traditionally, they’re a type of fairy from Cornwall and are ugly and mean-spirited.  .__.  But the name! I loved that it had “sprig” in it, when so many of my little fairies were plant-inspired. That’s the part that really resonated with me, and the reason I still call them that (even the ones that aren’t leafy).