Montage by Chandra Brooks
Montage by Chandra Brooks

I don’t know how  it is that humans came about speaking all the languages we do.  Perhaps it had something to do with the migratory patterns of the hunter gatherers we became soon after our inception? Upon hearing the birds, animals and landscapes of these different lands,  our speech altered – becoming the etiology of individual cultures? Maybe our tongues were slurred inaudibly by a challenge to our maker in our building a great tower to rival the heavens?  

I don’t know.

What I do know is that language and culture aside; if you cut me, I will bleed – just like you. Unfortunately, there is too much damage and violence being perpetuated upon humanity, by humanity. For me, any violence is too much violence.  The saddest aggressor is: the one motivated by ignorance, which becomes defensive actions inspired by fear.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (Franklin D Roosevelt)

A Boggart is an amortal, shape – shifting non – being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear. For Harry Potter, the first time he experienced this, in Defense Against the Dark Arts classhis fear was of the Dementors

“A Dementor is a non-being and Dark creature, considered one of the foulest to inhabit the world. Dementors feed upon human happiness, and thus cause depression and despair to anyone near them.”  (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban)

The White Rat is a sweet, innocent creature who shape-shifts into the most beautiful embodiment of delights and achievements according to the eyes, ears and culture of the beholder.  The Princess she becomes is always “Your Princess”.  Her eyes are yours and her language and customs belong to you as well – ALWAYS.

How it becomes your fairytale….

The process begins with language.  The fairytale has to be translated into your language; sympathetic to native speaker nuances and phrasing.  Words can be very powerfully used.  When I was getting the faerie tale translated into Chinese I was told that there were 5 options for what name is given a faerie – depending upon it’s powers.  The word fae can also include elves, sprites, pixies, brownies, mermaids, dryads, imps, nymphs and so on.  If the wording is off, the images will also be incongruent.  Special attention is paid to meaningful words which deserve visual attention.

In the research phase, images and histories become the inspiration for bringing the text and calligraphy to life before the tale is visualized.

The story is then brought to life through both classical and innovative illustrative techniques.  Drawings, paintings, miniatures, light cuttings, shadows and rubbings are some of the techniques I employ by hand to create these picture books.

Once the books are completed and all of the imagery is digitized, I begin the process of sharing this work with you through workshops, interactive online experiences, gaming and theatre.  There are numerous opportunities for you to become involved in The Universal Fairytale and to use the material I’ve created to collaborate with me and the rest of the world to tell your stories.

Thank you!