"Sidelights"The image of faeries has changed considerably since Brian Froud began his artistic career in the 1970s. Through his influential drawings and books, Froud has introduced the idea that faeries (the Old English spelling) come in many shapes and personalities--that some are indeed the pleasant pixies of animated cartoons, while others can be sinister, sad, or flirtatious. Froud's book Faeries, a bestseller in its time, has had enormous influence on film, general illustration, and fantasy, as the artist has channeled old Celtic folklore and earlier generations of faery pictorials into new and vibrant work.
An essay by Terri Windling on Froud's Web site had this to say about Faeries: "Here, in all their beautiful, horrible glory were the faeries of old British legends, undiluted by greeting card sentiment: gorgeous and grotesque (often at the same time), creatures of ivy, oak and stone--born out of the British landscape, as potent, wild and unpredictable as a force of nature."
Most illustrators wait for a story manuscript and then create the pictures to go with it. Froud has sometimes worked this way, but on other occasions he turns the process on its head and creates the pictures first. In those cases he then works closely with a writer to fashion a text that fits the pictures. Some of Froud's projects, including Lady Cottington's...
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