Friday, November 14, 2014

Freeform Friday: Friends, fairies, and inspiration...

So last weekend was FaerieCon. Where else can you surround yourself with your creative tribe of artists and authors and musicians, frolic with the Fae folk for the weekend, sell, shop, and be merry? 
I have posted about this magical weekend before, and Diana showcased some of the exceptional artist/vendors in her Monday post. Today's post is brought to you by: 


This mythic and magical community draws inspiration from myriad sources. Fairy tales. Folklore. Myths.  Fantasy. Dreams. Fairies, djinn, dryads, ogres, unicorns, nixies, fauns, goblins all roam the halls. We draw on the same sparks of inspiration yet fan the flames into our own unique interpretations. Our Muses speak the same language... Its so pleasant when there is room for a variety of offerings, with a similar theme - and no competition, but camaraderie instead! There is a joy in shared and yet diverse inspiration. It's a supportive community, creatives encouraging each other in artistic endeavors. It's a precious and refreshing thing of late. 

SJ Tucker, Kem OM Crampton and me. 
SJ Tucker is a bard. A singer/songwriter, magic maker. A pixie, a firebird, a pirate girl, a force of nature. We have become friends as our paths crossed many times, over many years. I was thrilled to see and hear her at FaerieCon. And I needed to ask her a question...

The first track on her Mischief cd has me thinking. Titled "Ravens in the library"... I want to do a series of tiles - the ravens and their antics in the library. One of a kind, detailed, and I was hoping to use her lyrics in the borders. ( I have her permission, and can go ahead!)

Did I NEED permission? Not to be inspired by her work, not to take that spark and go sculpt.  But as independent artist/musicians doing one's own marketing? As members of the same community? I WANTED to be able to make the connection and give her the credit for having inspired me. And I can credit her on the back of each tile and perhaps send new fans her way...

I had a strong sneaking suspicion that SJ would take kindly to this idea. Her most recent album "Wonders" is inspired by the work of her friend, the author Catherynne M. Valente.
Is it the Wonders that you're after?
S. J.'s 2013 release is inspired, from start to finish, by Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making! Get ready for a wild ride on the back of a big red Wyverary, or a Wild Velocipede, or a Glashtyn-powered ferry, across such majestic vistas as the Worsted Wood, the Barleybroom River, and the Perverse and Perilous Sea! It is our fondest hope that you will return from these adventures better than when you left." 
( from
These amazing women have worked on many collaborations in the past, and I was thrilled to hear them do a reading/singing at FaerieCon. What an opportunity! The words, read by the author, followed by the songs, sang by the songwriter...

And I have a necklace in my head. Fully formed. Designed itself really... a tribute to Key, a character in C. Valente's book.
1. 'Fairyland...' by C. Valente. 2.  "Wonders" by SJ Tucjer. Cover art by Chaz Kemp. 
3. Panel reading with Heath Miller - pix credit C. Orapello
Now - its not about needing ideas, being blocked, or looking for something to do next. It's about being seized and shaken and excited. It's a lightbulb moment, that makes you want to drop it all and dash to the studio. right. now. I have ideas percolating in my head  like an old fashioned coffee pot at all times. Some bubble up faster than others. And its a shared love for the art, the lore, the subject. Its making connections, mutual admiration, magic. 

I am thankful for this tribe, this community and the creativity we nurture in each other. I leave you with a quote by Charles DeLint - in response to my necklace inspired by his story... 
"I like to think of art as a conversation that we're all having with one another. It's especially nice because we can have those conversations across space and time.
That story was originally for an anthology to celebrate Tolkien so I borrowed a shadow of Tom Bombadil, kept Tolkien's essay "Tree & Leaf" firmly in mind... And now you've taken the inky scratches on paper and made a three-dimensional hello out of them. Which is how it's supposed to be. Now perhaps somebody will see "Whispered Tales" and write a song about it..." ( CDL comment on my blog) 
Charles Vess, me, Charles DeLint at Spoutwood. My piece "Whispered Tales" inspired by Charles' story  "The Conjure Man" from Dreams Underfoot. 

Wishing you magic...


  1. Great post Jenny - it's a wonderful thing when one persons creativity sets the ball rolling for others to interpret differently and extend the theme into other media and walks of life. From this our work takes meaning and life and grows in out hearts and minds to create a constant cycle which respects each artists individuality and talent. More power to this type of inspiration.

  2. Thank you for sharing the story of your inspirations. Faerie Con sounds like a fabulous happening. I'll have to look for one in Canada. Love your necklace inspired by Charles de Lint. He's one of my favorite writers....the worlds he creates are wonderful!


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