Christian Ceres Merry (Artist, Illustrator, Writer) –
Pen & Ink Illustration – We all have our own unique beauty and abilities, mine is through drawing and writing.
The world can be a dark place for a child and one of my ways of conquering fear was art. I did not grow up in a home that supported art, so all I had were the pencils and crayons I got from public school. (I still love pens and pencils but have traded crayons for colored pencils). I loved the stories I found in books in the library and the worlds they sparked in my imagination were better than my reality. At home and at night I began to create worlds in my head and of course illustrate them. Much of my “early art” was thrown out by others but thankfully my imagination is stored somewhere people can’t get to it.
I loved fairy tales, legends and mythology, and even though I never “believed” in them I liked to think of what in the world sparked those tales. I looked at my life and would think, yes I know where evil wizards and sorceresses came from. I loved history and saw the heroes and princesses in towers hidden in the facts that become wonderful fiction.
I never believed in but loved the concept of Santa and decided to tell my version of the truth. I liked to think of how he and other fairytale folk might actually still be here among us. This way I could look at everyone and wonder what their hidden story was, what adventures have they been on, or what secret magical life do they lead when they get off the subway. That is the purpose of “Happily Ever Over”, to be fun, to be the lifesaver to the parents who find themselves faced with a child who just found out they were lied to about Santa, and to make the people you see everyday seem a little more special.
Happily Ever Over
I also animated my story in the style of LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow book segments, and had an amazing time assembling the sound effects and music to make it come a little more alive even with the lo-tech I had to work with. One day I would love to make this into a real film. I always think the best part of telling the truth is to leave a little door open for the fantasy to be, maybe, a little bit true.
Happily Ever Over the video (on Vimeo)
People don’t always want what is best for you and some can try to make you feel ugly or insignificant or unworthy, and I decided to decide for myself what I’m worthy of. I may not be as big and beautiful and strong as others but I have a value in my corner of the world. That is the inspiration behind Fire Maiden.
We have our own unique beauty and abilities. If we didn’t receive all the gifts others did, make the most of what you have and make that as wonderful as anyone else.
Fire Maiden was a longer version of a smaller story I did in a zine series. I called them “Little Zines” and this story grew from the one called “Little Fire”. Having been poor for quite a awhile l became creative in thrifty ways. This was my way of having a “book series” that could be easily and cheaply made, but ended up being one of the prettiest things I created. An origami form, a little zine, made of a single sheet of paper and folded. To “publish” I just needed to make copies on a xerox machine.
I also found I had a powerful voice and sang lyrical stories I wrote and I did all of our band art. I expressed a lot of feelings in those songs and it was an amazing accomplishment to follow my musical dreams alone to New York City. Over time I have found and made all those dreams come true that I hoped for as a kid, I found the bright and creative world.
I still struggle with an inherited skin disease ( www.debra.org Weber-Cockayne Subtype of EB Simplex) but the good thing about being an artist is if I can’t walk somewhere I can sit still and write stories and draw. I was sick for a month recently but used that time to write a story in another genre I have long adored, science fiction.
Farm Girl’s Lament
I have rescued cats, dogs, birds and mice and have a blog to link to fundraising sources for shelter pets ( www.happylolday.com ), I have sewn couture for a fashion designer and saw them on the runway at NY Fashion Week, http://www.flickr.com/photos/happylolday/2378708904/
I sculpt http://www.flickr.com/photos/happylolday/2475536292/ and I even love to bake. So I have proven the dark wizards and sorceresses wrong and found the good world and I am a part of it and shine in my own way. There are bad fairy tales and bad forces trying to stop you, be the hero, the warrior princess, the good fairy godmother and zap the bad- and ride off into the sunset to continue on your happily ever after.
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