Courtesy of Giovanna Adams
Giovanna Adams is just one name this exceptionally talented artist goes by, others include Mother, Wife, Illustrator, Writer and Faerie aficionado. Giovanna’s Faeries of Color lend a diverse look at the world of the fey through their breath taking beauty; adding brightness to an often insipid visualization of the fairy realm.
~ Michele Burke, Pagan Pages.org 2009
Interview with Giovanna Adams
Pagan Pages: Who is Giovanna Adams the woman?
Giovanna Adams: I am a woman who is inspired by myth and magic and is fascinated with the belief that not all that we see in this world is all that exists. I am also a mother to 2 young children which has made me an optimist. I love the fact that each day I am able to see this world through their fresh eyes and view all of its possibilities.
PP: What were the driving forces that led you to the Faeries of Color?
GA: From the time I was a child, I always created images with otherworldly themes; unicorns, flying horses, angels and I loved reading books that had fantasy characters in them. But it wasn’t until my first year of art school in 1989 that a professor introduced me to the book “Faeries” by Brian Froud and Alan Lee, after viewing a painting I did involving flying farm animals and a woman with wings.
My Faeries of Color ™ were created during one of those moments of artistic self doubt; I asked myself the question “What’s so special about your art?” I had no answer. This was a bit upsetting to me. There are so many special qualities in all of the current artists work out there. So, I continued to ask, “Where were my special qualities, what makes my art unique and most importantly, what makes my art a reflection of me?” My answer came like a freight train or as I like to think of it, my muse hit me upside the head with something very hard, saying “Look in the mirror, idiot!” As some of you may know from looking at my website, various online forums and appearances, I am a woman of color (I am a mixed race mutt…lol). I suddenly realized that racial diversity seemed to be missing in the Faery World. Who better than an artist of a multitude of races to bring this to such a wonderful genre of art? So, my Faeries of Color were born. In essence the Faeries of Color series is a celebration of our unique qualities no matter what race you are.
PP: From where do you draw your knowledge of the Fae?
GA: My knowledge of the Fae first began from stories or fabled warnings made to me by my Irish grandmother. She used to say things like “the pixies did it” whenever things went missing. That was always something that brought about a lot of laughter between the two of us.
Faerie lore dates back a very long time. But, the beliefs and the folklore are as strong now as ever. For me the Fae represents our true nature in its purest form; from the dark Fae with all of their intensity to the lighter version of the Fae with its softness and purity of heart.
PP: How long does it take to bring a blank canvas to life?
GA: My watercolor paintings can take anywhere from a couple of hours to many months. It depends greatly on the size and complexity of the image. My favorite part to paint is always the main character. So, in many of my paintings, I have done simplistic backgrounds in order to just work on the main character and to keep my artistic interest going as I tend to get bored very easily if I work on an image for too long. But, recently I have begun to explore more complex backgrounds and imagery.
PP: I see from your biography that fantasy films were among the many things that have inspired you to your calling, what films inspired you the most?
GA: There are so many! The Dark Crystal directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz is and always will be one of my favorite movies. I love Mythology so; Clash of the Titans was really influential to me in the 80’s. I loved the creatures in that film; Dragon slayer and The Last Unicorn. I could go on and on.
PP: Can you give the readers a little insight into the Faeries of Color collection?
GA: The Faeries of Color collection is a series of paintings that depict faeries in a more racially diverse way. While most of the faeries in this series appear to be African-American, there is also a feel of Celtic and medieval symbolism weaved in.
PP: Whose work were you most inspired by?
GA: I am greatly influenced by the art of the Impressionists, Pre-Raphaelites and Surrealists. There are so many artists that inspire me for different reasons, from technique to style or subject matter. A few are A. Rackham, Salvador Dali. JW Waterhouse, Brian Froud, Michael Parkes, Michael Whelan, Sheila Wolk and so many contemporary fantasy artists.
PP: Ok let’s talk about your new children’s book; how is that coming along?
GA: My book, “Emily and the Faeries” is at an exciting stage right now. It is out of my hands and in the hands of my wonderful publisher. It is due to be released this summer. This is the first book that I have both written AND illustrated, so I cannot wait to see it all put together.
PP: Can we look forward to new artwork or books from you in the near future?
GA: There are always new things on the horizon for me. I have just begun a new series based on West African wisdom symbols and I also have and ongoing artist collaboration called “United Colors of Inspiration” with the inspirational artist Lisa Steinke. There are 2 books being worked on as well. One is another children’s book based on the Zulu legend of faerie and the other is my first art book that will encompass faeries legends and lore from all cultures across the globe.
PP: Bountiful Blessings go out to Giovanna Adams, thank you so very much for grating the readers and I such a glorious opportunity to see firsthand a look into the artist life and inspiration. It has truly been awe an inspiring experience. Again thank you.
A Look at Giovanna’s Upcoming Children’s Book
Emily and the Faeries
Written and Illustrated by Giovanna Adams
Emily and the Faeries is a magical story that tells of the beauty that exists in believing the fantastic, without our eyes seeing the extraordinary. Emily is an ordinary young girl that loves to tell magical tales to her younger siblings in order to entertain them. But, on one snowy afternoon, Emily learns that her tales may not be so ordinary.
Coming summer of 2009
A premiere offering by Tiny Pagans Press