I think as an artist and writer the most frequent question I get asked, besides where do you get your ideas, is why the Renaissance? To answer that I have to go back to high school.
The fall of freshmen year my parents took me to the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, MI.
I was instantly enchanted by the language, rich decorations,colors and the feeling of being in another place in another time. I had always felt “out of place” and it was that first visit to the Faire that I realized I also felt “out of time”. I would spend hours in my room or outside reading, living the lives of the characters in the stories the way I never would get to experience life. Drafty castles, shining armour, beautiful clothing, jousting, a falcon on my arm. These were all things I had only experienced previously through books and movies, but I found those experiences at the Faire.
okay, so Faire wasn’t “Real Life”, and I did have to grow up, which I did rather suddenly, but it was a chance to live, if even for a day, the life of a person in another time. To wear those beautiful clothes and carry that falcon on my arm. To live the life of one of the characters in the stories I loved so much.
As a sophomore I was introduced to Shakespeare and I fell in love all over again. Not only does he tell a good story, but the writing and language is beautiful. Yes, he can over describe something so much that you may get lost in the description and forget about the story, but you always get pulled back into his world. Everything seemed more alive, more colorful, more meaningful. People felt things more deeply. Or maybe it’s just that they expressed it more profoundly, with beautiful language, and music and art.
That’s why I write, to pull readers into this world in my head, highly influenced by the Medieval and Renaissance ages. I want to give them a good story and characters that they want to step back in time with. I want to show my readers that life was, is and can be beautiful and full of wonderful things. That if we band together, anything is possible. I want to give them an escape out of this fast-paced world and connect them to a time where some things were a bit more simple and loyalty to friends and family were most important.
As a Faerie artist I strive for connection too. I want a first-time looker to question. Do faeries really exist? Is there magic in this world? In older times there was no doubt of these things. Faeries did exist. There was magic in this world. These days the faeries are harder to see and magic is kept in secret places, both constantly in fear of ridicule and judgement. Most people feel if we can’t see it,hear it, feel it, touch it, taste it or measure it, it doesn’t exist. Well, I say, if you open your mind and your heart to the world around you, you’ll find faeries and you’ll find magic.
Maybe start by opening a good book.
Here’s a few good ones to start with:
For very young readers (and up!), The Errant Knight by Ann Tompert, Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas, the Sir Cumference series by cindy Neuschwander,and The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.
For young readers,Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, I am Morgan LeFay by Nancy Springer, Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke and Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi.
For older readers, Crispin by Avi, The Once and Future King by T.H.White, The Edge on The Sword by Rebecca Tingle, and the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.
For Adult Readers, The Skystone by Jack Whyte, Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, Crossed and Revenge of the Rose by Nicole Galland.
There are many more out there, but these are some of my favorites!