Butterflies, much like the phoenix, are a symbol of transformation. Though, commonly associated with Spring, they are perhaps best tied to all year, as their life, too, is a cycle that often reflects our own and the turning of the wheel of the year. As Fall and harvest come to pass and we approach the winter and hibernation, we, too, have feasted and now tuned inward, as the caterpillar becoming the chrysalis.
Inspired by this post by The Enchanted Wren!
The box of my books finally arrived! (Can you hear the squealing from there?) And, let me tell you, it is like all the best Christmases all rolled up into one (I might have stolen that line from my mother)! For a profession that relies so heavily on words, it’s ironic that there are no words for moments like these. It is truly indescribable. I mean, I wrote that. This is my story, my baby.
It’s important to understand, though, I did not accomplish this alone. Yes, I wrote a story, but to get it into a form I can hold and open (and caress the cover and sniff) was the support and work and patience of many individuals. What makes these moments even more special is having these people I love stand beside me and support me on this incredible journey, like my boyfriend and the people I mention in the acknowledgements, such as my editor, my brother, one of my best friends.
Another person I mention is my other best friend and cover artist, Jessica Johnson. She deserves more recognition than I could possibly give. Her talent alone is award winning. But the reason why my books are so beautiful, part of the excitement when opening the box, is the masterpiece she made for my cover.
I know I’ve been saying that a lot on social media, but there is no other word that could possibly fit. The details alone are outstanding, like that on the bricks or the wood (or the whole thing, really). But it’s also the attention to detail in the way it fits the story so perfectly - The shoes and wooden porch and the brick steps and the dandelion. And everything about the design came from her. She was one of my first readers and there could be no better book cover for my story.
This attention to detail is not unique in the beautiful book cover she illustrated for me. You can find it in all of her work, from her Cherry On Top or Pokémon Pinups to her newest goddess art print. Be sure to check out her work. Because trust me, whether you order her work online or buy it from her in person at one of her events, you will be as excited as I am!
Check out more of work:
Art Belongs to the Customers
As artists, we make a specific something with a specific purpose or reason in mind. We try to convey our own meanings.
Every time a customer walks into the booth, I give my well rehearsed spiel. "These are fairy doors. They are hand carved and hand painted. You stick them at the base of a tree or on a bookshelf, anywhere you want to invite the fairies."
My main goal and purpose is to offer products that will draw the fairies into your world and enchant it. While accomplishing that goal, I have also sought out ways to appeal to a wide audience and remain unique.
Despite my intentions as the creator, the customers will find different ways to use my product and different meanings behind it. Take, for instance, Seeds of Inspiration's Ouch Pouch Line. This is an aromatherapy product that can be used in the freezer or microwave as an ice pack or heating pad. It's scented with lavender and chamomile and can be used for anything from bumps and bruises to ear aches and migraines. A friend and constant customer, Jess, used her personal ouch pouch on her bottle fed puppy. The poor little guy was the only one of his litter to survive and the ouch pouch neck wrap helped offer the comfort and warmth he normally would have found from his litter mates.
My customers tend to first have their interested piqued by recognizable, or even not so recognizable, designs. Then the door itself. Sometimes the purchase is for nostalgia, sharing the interest, or a different meaning behind the same message. A Dalmatian fairy door is now used to memorialize a beloved pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge. My TFIOS door becomes a reminder to a loved one that everything will always be okay. Or, most recently, a custom ordered 82nd Airborne fairy door will bring comfort to a little kid every time he gets scared at night.
Another example is my fairy bottles. They normally feature miniature scenes in tiny glass bottles. People have used them as ornaments to hang on their tree. They use it as attachments to key chains. Just a few months ago, at the steampunk convention it was used as part of a cosplay outfit.
John Green said books belong to their readers. The same goes for art. When that door leaves my booth, it opens to something more. It becomes more than I could ever dream.
The Secret Handshake
At my most recent event, a customer mentioned how cool they thought it was that I had very ancient symbols, such as my goddess fairy door, and some newer symbols, such as my Mockingjay inspired ornament. I had something for everyone, they said. As Seeds of Inspiration put it when I was talking to her about it, it’s almost like a secret handshake. Whether it’s the knowing look and smile I receive from a customer picking up the goddess fairy door, or the squeals and shouts of excitement over my TFIOS inspired products, it kind of feels like a secret handshake. The customer and I share more than a mutual understanding and knowledge; we share a connection.
Certain symbols like that of the goddess or the okay… okay clouds from TFIOS fit into certain niches. If you know Divergent you recognize my Divergent door. The same can be said for many of the symbols I use. Some people who have never heard of TFIOS will buy a TFIOS inspired fairy house because the glow in the dark infinity sign on the top reminds them of their wedding. Most of my sales, though, when it comes to a more specific audience comes from people who fit into the niche. Teenagers tend to gravitate most to my products that are inspired by young adult fiction. A woman wearing the celtic knot necklace and matching earrings is more likely to pick up my celtic knot tree of life door.
That being said, there are certain universal symbols, recognized by all and it is all who seem excited to see them. A sixty year old man will pick up the same spiderman fairy door that a six year old girl picked up not five minutes ago. An eight year old boy will gush over the same Lorax fairy door that a thirty year old woman gushed over an hour or so before. There is a connection there, too. Everyone knows Thomas The Tank Engine. Anyone can recognize Thing One and Thing Two. There is no one who does not know the Batman Symbol or The S Superman wears on his chest.
Then there are the personal symbols, like my logo. This is not universal. This does not fit into a specific niche. No one I have ever come across knows the artist. But it’s not so much the artist. It’s not even so much the artwork itself, though it is a huge inspiration. It is a connection, too; a connection to my grandmother that I then share with my customers.
Deep down all symbols are somewhat personal, even the most universal. There is a reason we feel drawn and choose certain symbols over another. When it comes down to it, it can be as personal as scent, and yet it still holds a capacity to connect two total strangers.
Acorn Tops is proud to be able to have a little something for everyone. I extend my hand… you know the handshake.
On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
The magic behind it all!