Its hard to know where to begin. FaerieCon this past weekend was a reunion, a celebration, and a homecoming. It has taken me all week to write this post. Monday, back at home, I felt cocooned in what I refer to as the “Euphoria bubble” and was unwilling to venture out into the “real” world. Its a feeling of internal warmth, of euphoria and yet bittersweet joy that the time together has come to an end. I feel connected to my friends in a finely spun Internet web, connected yet seperated by miles… After a weekend of mayhem and madness, mirth and mystery it is hard to settle in and grocery shop or stand in line at the Post office.
I have many life long friends that I have met at FaerieCon. Some may think it odd that 2.5 days of a retail fantasy themed convention would yield such closeness. But its not to be measured in hours on the clock. These are people who understand me instantly, no explanations needed. These are poeple who may share similar upbringings, or life expereiences, or challenges and frustrations. But we meet on common ground, with so much shared experience. Attending my first FC in 2009 I instantly felt at home and so wanted to be adopted into the tribe, of these like minded creative people. And I was welcomed with open arms and open wings. So many friendships were of long standing I felt a bit of an outsider – my baggage only… In subsequent years – I feel truly part of the tribe. This year was even more intensely joyous, and thus bittersweet as we left the Realm and headed “home”
In my life – I have worn many hats: awkward smart kid, art student, art teacher, artist… When you are 11 its not cool to have your head stuck in a book of myth. I found Elfquest at age 10 and had a physical reaction to the story and the art. Heart pounding, face flushed, incredulity and love. I read all the mythology i could get my hands on….In High school – it was Arthurian legends, Celtic myth…and the Pre-Raphaelites. My amazement at discovering artists creating with the same inspirations, having read the same materials; that sense of connection through time. When you are an art student in college, so many classmates are all angst and turmoil… I was fabricating sterling penannular broaches and painting surreal compositions with archetypal mythic themes – snakes and apples anyone? As a teacher, I found good friends – but not colleagues who understood the passionate desire to create and express myself through my work. I think life is so often arranged in circles. Some circles where one part of your complicated self is welcomed; other circles satisfy other needs. Can you imagine the joy in finding a circle where you can feel whole? Where all of your interests and attributes are recognized, welcomed, and appreciated? Thats how this Mythic community makes me feel. Green Men handing out acorns and blessings, discussing Waterhouse and Burne-Jones over a glass of wine…discussing kitchen witchery and runes, living with intention.
I have the good fortune to be a working artist. I do teach part time, but my days are split between creating in the studio and the chores of running one’s own small business. I can keep living in this creative space as I work and travel to shows. At times I feel like a Mythic Ambassador – setting up at a regular fine arts festival… with my mermaids and dryads, Celtic dieties, totem animals… Its lovely when your work resonates with people and they stop to talk, ask questions… and perhaps make a purchase. And it is interesting to see the mythic icons spark interest anew, speak to that collective uncosciousness. And the teacher in me loves to share…
I started the arts festival circuit in 2004(?) after returning East from a brief sojourn in San Diego. After making the leap to put my work out there I knew it was the right path for me. And I was happy doing that – thankful for the Internet that gave me access to thinks like Endicott Studios… But never in my wildest dreams did I imaging meeting Terri Windling, or the Frouds, Caitlin Matthews or Charles’ Vess & deLint… Artists and authors whose work was so influencial to me. Knowing there were other creative people out there – like me – was huge. Getting to meet them as peers and discuss art, pets, myth – I can’t tell you what that means to me. I may be alone in my studio with my dogs, sawing metal or glazing clay; but I am never alone. Thank you new friends and old for having helped me find my place in the mythic world.