FIRST EDITION SUMMER 20 14
When Mr Vanham read the Hobbit to my junior school class I was mesmorised, eagerly awaiting the nexxt days installment. At age 12, I begged for the books and immersed myself in the world of J.RR. Tolkien. The images remained throughout adulthood, refresed by regular rereading of the books. When I saw the Peter Jackson films, they added a richness and depth to my own imagined world, but didn change my child's eye view of the characters. Finally I discovered the original artwork by Tolkien and his beautiful line drawings. These inspired me to put pen to Paper and give light to the world in my head. Julie Chennery, Illustrator
All rights reserved. For educational purposes only. VETO is a stage three BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism project and has no commercial value. ÂŠ No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publishers. 2014 BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism, University of the Creative Arts Epsom. The views expressed in VETO are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the course, its staff or the University of the Creative Arts at Epsom. These parties cannot be held responsible for them. 4
Once upon a time, there was a magazine named Veto. Veto celebrates the fantasy genre through all sets of mediums and far from the current and colossal technological surge. Veto showcases the influence fantasy has on contemporary art, fashion, lifestyle, music, film and fiction. As you will find, it is split into two parts. It covers the common trope through fantasy of good and evil, light and dark. This Veto may be enchanting and ethereal or haunting and bewitched. Do decide which you prefer. Treat Veto as your own personal copy of The Never-ending Story. Seek an attic, accompanied with a blanket and enjoy the wondrous journey through the fantastical. No one is ever too old for it. EDITOR IN CHIEF Megan Walters CONTRIBUTORS National Theatre London Rebecca Manser Julie Chennery Ermina Takenova Heidi Stuttard Matthew Kocanda Jenna Whyte Danielle Wilson CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org
+ lighter I Away with the Fairies
II A Paper Cut
III A Fanatic's Guide
IV Mrs Tolkien-Jackson
VI Middle Ages Madness
VII The Kin Fables brothers
VIII Seek and showcase
X House of Carran
IX Literary picks
darker XII The beautiful, the odd, the strange
XIII Seek and showcase
XIV Eye spy biology
XV Reality vs Fantasy
a study through Game of Thrones
XVI Oh Nona
XVII Not your average Tinkerbell
XVIII The season of the Witch XIX The accursed daughters of Salem IX Caught up in a Storm
author of the issue
ROBIN WIGHT sculptor
AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES "I see fairies.” You can't help but slightly believe it. You saw the implications of what not believing does to the fairies in Peter Pan.
culptor Robin Wight crafts art far from his imagination. His sculptures are formed from real encounters of the mythical fairy creature. From the practice of stainless steel wire, he uses painstaking techniques to create intricate detailing, through bending, moulding and twisting wire. The pattern of wire is weaved within and around one another to create opaque bodies of all sizes.
These pieces of wire represent muscles, tendons and even belly buttons. A stone heart is also added, making the body proportions of the sculptures close to a human's structure as it can be. Perhaps sceptical and cliché, a regular walk in the woods, with his camera, started his perception of fairies. "It may be a little bit tenuous, but it's a true story,” Robin Wight tells Veto, "we live in a nature reserve. At the bottom of my garden, it is straight into a wood. I noticed a strange light coming through the trees and took a photograph to see a little bit clearer. When you look at it, there is a genuine fairy.” Despite the photo manipulation allegations, the popularity of his experience is astonishing. Robin Wight had to increase the prices and forward the waiting list to try and put his followers off from buying his artwork. It ultimately failed and made them eager to buy them, currently having a backlog of purchases for up to two years. Described as tedious, and particularly dangerous, the success of seeing fairies has spurred so much inspiration for himself. "I'm pushing to do something more dramatic,” explains Robin, curiously when his largest piece of artwork, The Tempest, stands at 5 foot tall...
above: St George, 2010 by Emma van Leest
Emma van leest paper artist
above: goyang series III. 2013
A PAPER CUT
What an author can create with 500 pieces of paper, Emma van Leest can do with one. The Melbourne based designer, has swapped the pencil and paint brush for a very sharp stencil
omplicated is not in her vocabulary as Emma hand cuts sculptures, made only by large sheets of archival paper. They are then mounted with glue onto foam core boards to create vignettes of paper cutting art. Each piece can take from an hour to two months of time consuming labour, depending on the concept and design. Using predominantly white paper, with grey or blue backgrounds to emphasize shadows, van Leest grasps the value of paper as a perfect medium. It allows anyone to create stories and worlds full of fantasy with just the movement of your hand and biro repetitively across a page. In 2000, Emma graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, with a Bachelors of Honours in Fine Art. Since graduating, she has established collections and exhibitions in numerous countries, such as Britain, Australia, America, Indonesia and New Zealand. The spur of paper cutting began in her second year of college, creating miniature theatre sets for an assignment. She realised that she could be successful without the stereotypical associations of an artist, painting. Reinterpretations of her imaginative worlds through the arts of narrative, storytelling and haunting adventure, fulfil the artwork. She
uses the attention of intricate detailing and constant repetition skills that seem only impossible with an incredibly steady hand. Undertaking paper cutting harvests a simple concept; but Emma's work demands a double take, can it possibly been hand cut and can it possibly be made out of paper? Once the shock has worn off from the captivation of the complex detail, it can be appreciated. The in depth detailing, allows the viewer to be drawn into the numerous journeys of worlds and characters she creates. With a trip to Europe, the impact of the constant historical aspect contrasted from the wide space of Australia. It provoked van Leest to use these anecdotes as bases for her craftwork. Influences of Medieval, Folklore and fantasy inspire the two and three dimensional art, with, for example, cuttings of knights, swords and kingdoms. Her aim was to use an everyday object that benefits everyone, into something whimsical and would be treasured for years to come. Without a doubt she has mastered that. Her next step is to establish larger installations along with the use of digital techniques.
a Fanaticâ€™s guide a-z
abcdefghijklmn G H I J K
A B C D E F
andalf, the most important wizard that will ever be in your life, minus Merlin, he's an exception.
ll-nighters. A regular occurrence you will do reading and watching the longest genre there is. The average word count per book is over 100,000.
obbit. Seven meals a day and a life of peace with constant drinking. That definitely spells out heaven.
eards. The only time where the combination of men covered in mud, sweat and hair is extremely hot. Fully majestic facial hair is never irrelevant, as far from Ming the Merciless as possible however.
ron Throne. The purpose of the highly addictive Game of Thrones featuring feuding families to obtain the throne, through politics, copious amounts of sex, incredible needlework and blood battles
astle,. 87% of you would rather live in a castle and rule copious amounts of land than sticks to their current lifestyle. Those of you that agree are definitely welcome here.
.R.R Tolkien. It would be rude not to put this dearly missed gentleman here. The father of fantasy some may say, the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, amongst others.
ungeons and Dragons. Happy 40th Birthday! Fancy being a part time wizard? It is a table top game that can have hours spent on it, rolling dices, exploring characters and responding to unexpected quests.
irsty Mitchell. After a tragic passing to a close family member, Kirsty used the influence of poetry and recollections of fairy tales to create her own fantasy. With the English countryside, a very low budget and extravagant costume design, her website it's exceptionally touching.
lf. Beautiful, flawless and exceedingly deadly, the elf is a vital mythical creature to the imagined and far from the average Christmas elf.
abyrinth, a 1986 film about a book, (the best always are) with a quest full of goblins, chivalry and don't forget Bowie.
antasia. If you haven't watched or read the book, The Never Ending Story, then you should be ashamed of yourself.
argret Brundage, the first female cover artist during the pulp period. Brundage created the cover art for Weird Tales publication from 1932-1945. She started the attractive allure to horror and fantasy through pin up heroines and sexual controversy.
a Fanatic’s guide
n oNp q r s t uT v w x y z emophilist, a lover of the forest and hunter of the woods.
ilda Swinton, undoubtedly a visually unusual face of fantasy.
O P Q R S
U V W X Y Z
ngoing armourer. Terry English, the Queen's armourer and creator of historic outfits for films such as First Knight, Gladiator and Harry Potter. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was said that English was the only armourer left in the world.
topia, the imagined place where perfection is from your depiction of Thomas Moore's Utopia.
eto. The theory from Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. "According to elfin ethics all virtue is an "if.” The note of the fairy utterance always is, "You may live happily with the King's daughter, if you do not show her an onion.” The vision always hangs upon a veto.”
hilip Pullman, author of the series His Dark Materials, including The Golden Compass. Pullman is a vital asset to fantasy narrative. His latest venture has seen him develop his own versions of Grimm's Fairy Tales in London, through a theatrical experience.
oW, World of Warcraft. Despite the geeky connotations, who is going to know if it's you on there? Create your own characters and seek your own adventures through the online role-playing
uestions, anything can happen and anything is possible.
ena, the only mighty warrior princess, a TV series from 19952001 full of quest and adventure.
odarte. If you haven't already, check out Rodarte's 12 minute short fantasy film, collaborating with director Todd Cole. This Must Be the Only Fantasy, stars Elijah Wood, LARP and supermodel Guinevere van Seenus as a fairy.
our escape. There is no better way to describe it.
maug, a Dragon from the fiction and film, The Hobbit, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Created by Tolkien and inspired by Beowolf.
Stick the letter in any part of a word and voila; you've created a potential name, place or action.
KATE MADISON interview
Meet Kate Madison. A director, film maker, entrepreneur, producer and actor in creating all things fantasy, and she is a woman.
concept art by max von vier below: ren encounters the kah 'nath master right: the kah 'nath chase hunter through the market
Meet Kate Madison. A director, film maker, entrepreneur, producer and actor in creating all things fantasy, and she is a woman. Kate Madison is setting the example for females who are interested in fantasy; giving up her life savings and pursuing her career within it. Some have named her the ultimate fan film creator, especially after her succession of 2009's Born of Hope, prequel to Peter Jackson's trilogy, Lord of the Rings. Yet, she had never read or heard of J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, before the motion picture creations in 2001. "There are a lot of fantasy female fans out there and productions like Legend of the Seeker really appeals to the female fans and that got shut down. There's nothing there for girls to relate to and especially in this current time, it's only going to increase its popularity,” Kate tells Veto. Kate is the female appeal that the fantasy world has been longing for, with the constant stream of male authors and film directors that are forever in the limelight within this genre. "As we speak, I am currently in South Wales, driving to scout possible locations for Ren,” explains Kate, taking time out of the process of her close coming production, Ren. It is an online epic fantasy series, produced by Mythica Entertainment, a company that Kate created herself. Originally, Ren was inspired
from the computer fantasy game, Skyrim, and primarily the use of body marking trend through the creation of the characters. Kate has accepted trend of facial markings through Skyrim, to create a different association in her own fictional world. Ren platforms the adventure of a young woman whose face is branded, she becomes feared by all those that know of her. The female lead is companied by a male lead named Hunter. Kate aims for this to balance out the audience between male and female, hoping the female name does not affect the potential fans. "A lot of girls are pleased that there's a female out there that they can relate to,” Kate clarifies; she originally aimed to play the main role but decided against it and took a step back. Along with co-writer Christopher Dane, a previous colleague on Born of Hope, this humble film maker gives the credit to her fan base and her helpers, involving them in the building of her motion pictures. The committed fan base of Ren contributed funding of 35,000 in 2013 through a Kickstarter campaign. Kate's journey to her established career started with short appearances as doubles and stands ins for Emily Blunt in Gulliver's Travels and in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, part one. "It just gives you more freedom. I feel like it's often not being done very well. I want to change that.” Fantasy is so extended, there are so many ways you can adapt from it, and this is why Kate continues to pursue it, "You can combine the times of the Tudors, with a sprinkle of Viking weapons and perhaps a final topping of Harry Potter magic. I don't think there is anything else more appetising.” Like most fantasy theorists, Kate aligns fantasy with escapism, forwarding and producing the option as much as she can and hopes it never fades out. "Different trends will come and go; they always have and always will. People will go away, and new things will be adapted to our everyday lives. This will not stop the need to get the hell out of here.” She wanted to expand the world that she has seen and liked, with thanks to Peter Jackson's creations, this started the fantastical adventure of creating pathways beyond the Hollywood staged level of filming possible. Kate's previous motion picture, Born of Hope, is a mere taster into the possible journeys film makers could take when Tolkien left Middle Earth. An in depth history and grasping genealogy would be a waste to bring it to a standstill after Peter Jackson has finished with it, according to Kate. Produced by Actors at Work Productions, a British film production company, an ascending company
KATE MADISON interview
also set up by Kate, Born of Hope had a budget of 25,000 and received over 26 million views. It was focused on highly popular character Aragorn and the story of his father, Arathorn. "Lord of the Rings was very much the first one of a fantasy movie to look in a realistic way, that's how I look at it anyway. It wasn't like the silly classics with the goodies and the baddies, the cloaks and the old school dragons,â€? Kate explains. With the huge success of her previous work, Kate can only continue to show girls that you do not have to know the ins and out of something to be able to pursue and do well. "Life can be tough for some, it's obvious, there's always something that gets in their way. You've got to live your life with routines and deadlines, is that really satisfactory? We need an escape, whether it's a holiday, or for me, creating a new world, down to the clothes, names and places. We want to believe in fairies, elves and dwarves and really people need it. What would your childhood have been like if you didn't? It will be a surprise and a shame if that magic was lost and not believed in.â€? Kate aims to expand Ren internationally, having her eyes on locations such as Iceland, New Zealand and Eastern Europe for the open ended seasons ahead. Ren is set to be released in May 2014. A huge thank you from Veto Kate Madison, the closest woman of Tolkien we will ever see.
above: Kate Madison in prequel Born of Hope
a journey through fictional realities
a dedicated fictional platter
Ever fancied trying a piece of Tolkienâ€™s Lembras Bread or even tasting the spiced wealthy wine In Game of Thrones?
A gateway to recreating your favourite dishes from all types of films, books, video games and television series has been produced. Geeky Chef.com was created in 2008 by 26 year old Cassandra Reeder, all thanks to her interest of popular culture, contemporary media and not forgetting food. Who is Geeky Chef? Cassandra Reeder, I am 26 years old and I currently live in San Francisco, CA though I grew up in Los Angeles and plan to return soon. I've been cooking since I was a small child. My family is obsessed with food so I learned at a very early age. I've never been one for academics. I
have always been a bookworm and a computer whiz, so I think I learned more from that than I ever did in school. It's not that I think education is useless or anything, it's totally not! For me personally it just gave me anxiety, mostly due to the social nature of it, and I think that impeded my ability to absorb the information. However, I did attend junior college and have an associates degree in Behavioural Science. I may still go on to nursing school, though I haven't decided on that. I do have a day job! I work for Foodler.com. It pays the bills.
you that when I was a kid I used to make Pea Soup whenever I watched Rescuers Down Under and Unicorn Hair Soup after I read Ella Enchanted and on and on. It's kind of my thing; it's an instinct I've had since I was old enough to understand words. I was always the kid pretending to be in whatever fantasy world I was obsessed with at the time, and food is a major part of how everyone experiences life, so for me eating the food that my favourite characters eat is a great way to get really absorbed in that world.
What made you start creating and remaking edible treats from fictional media? I've sort of always done it! My mom will tell
What's your favourite food to make? I don't think I have a favourite... I love to try new things so I tend to not make the same thing
a journey through fictional realities
Lembas Bread Recipe Ingredients 3 eggs 1 c. honey 3 kumquats, whole (can substitute orange zest and a bit of juice if desired) 2 tsp. orange flower or rose water (optional) 3 oz. chopped almonds or macadamia nuts (fruits of the Mallorn tree) ¼ c. melted butter 2 ¼ c. flour (barley flour of you want to be really accurate) ½ tsp. salt Directions Put the eggs, butter, honey, kumquats, rose or orange flower water, and nuts in a food processor or blender. Blend on high for 2-4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour. Blend for a minute or two. Put mixture into a bowl and add the remaining flour and the salt. Whisk or stir until well blended. Bake a small amount of dough (about two tablespoons) at a time on a pizzelle or iron about 15 seconds or until lightly brown, for a flat bread like texture. They can also be baked at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Wrap in a leaf and tie with a string!
twice. Though, now that I think about it, I had sort of an addiction to the Chateau Romani recipe I made a few years back. I had to go cold turkey on that because it wasn't doing my waistline any favours. There are a lot of influences from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings through your recipes, where do you stand with the fantastical? I am more than interested in fantasy! Fantasy and science fiction are my entertainment of choice and a major part of who I am. I think it's a beautiful way to express the limits (or lack thereof) of human imagination, and in some ways can tell us more about ourselves,
both individually and as a race, than art that is grounded in the real world. I could take years to answer this and give you an extensive list spanning several hundred pages. The film "Labyrinth” was my favourite movie as a child, and I think it was the single biggest influence that led me in the direction of being a proud geek. I also loved J.M Barrie's Peter Pan. When I was a bit older (early teenager) I was obsessed with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I love Neil Gaiman and everything he does, though American Gods and The Sandman are my favourites. I really, really love Stephen King's The Dark Tower and George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series... Ugh, I have to stop; I could go on all day. I hear you have a book being published next
year, are you excited? The working title is "The Geeky Chef Cookbook” and it will be released spring 2015. I've always wanted to be an author and this is basically my dream come true. At this stage of things, stress is the overwhelming emotions and probably will be until my book in completed. No one tells you that when your dreams come true and you're given the opportunity of a lifetime, there is a tremendous pressure to live up to that challenge. I hope I can meet my own expectations!
a journey through fictional realities
left: Blackmilk's editorial collection: Game of Thrones facing page: Myth Masque Ball 2013
lord of the leggings Founded in 2009, this synthetic clothing company is an online phenomenon, specialising in turning geek couture sexy. Their past collections have featured motion picture interests including Hogwarts, Mass Effect and Middle Earth. Blackmilk's newest collection features inspiration from hit TV series, Game of Thrones. Their 37 piece set includes designs such as an Iron Throne dress, House Stark shirt; Westeros map leggings and dresses supporting the crests of the vast houses. Designer James Lillis states, "Here at Black Milk Clothing we love telling stories. Whenever we release a collection, we want to pass along a narrative with the clothes. The Game of Thrones story is absolutely captivating, so we couldn't wait to work with these guys and that story in our own way.”
JOURNEY OF LOMLUATH
Who knew a run could transform you into a character from an alternative realm and be the main lead in your own fairy tale? Runtastic, have created Story Running, 40 minute adventure narratives, complete with intentionally positioned sound effects to create urgency and help the runners subconsciously speed up or slow down as the storyline develops. Powered by professional storytellers, sound technicians and musicians, running through the same woods everyday will never be the same. Journey of Lomluath, The Tribes' Savior, now available at the APP store.
WITHCES ARE REAL A new historical and American drama named Salem aired last month on the 29th of April, on channel WGN. Everyone is familiar with the Salem witch trials; this new adult series is authentic to the time period of the 17th century Massachusetts, delving deep into the lives of the supposedly real witches of Salem. Salem follow the steps of the HBO hit TV series, ‘True Blood’ taking darkness further into the shadow, through abundant sex, fantasy and bloody Satanism.
a journey through fictional realities
ONLY IN ICELAND
It is never advertised, it discovers alternate realms and it's dedicated to the study of fairies, trolls, dwarfs, mountain spirits and elves. This is a school and it is completely real. Álfaskólinn, known as Elf School, in Reykjavik, Iceland, has a full curriculum, classrooms, text books, five hour classes and diplomas. Headmaster Magnus Sckaprphedinsson, for thirty years, has researched four classes of gnome, three forms of fairies and two species of troll. 54% of Icelanders believe there are elves living alongside humans in Iceland; known as the hidden people. With folkloric implications, these elves supposedly live in the volcanic rocks, close to the inhabitants of Reykjavik. I think we've done the wrong degree here.
NIGHTMARE GONE GLAM White Witches, a band formed of 4 men and the best combination of words to describe their persona. Their white painted faces and black eye sockets scream a new glam rock revival. Previously noted as poisoned, the music they create makes you question if you actually have heard the song before. It is strangely hypnotising and not to mention the alter ego theme throughout their debut video, Secret Club. www.thisiswhitewitches. bandcamp.com
ONCE UPON A BALL... There are many of you out there, despite the thought suggesting otherwise, longing for a place to come to life. Myth Masque allows that. It is an annual ball celebrating the culture behind the escape and the unreal, where high fashion meets high fantasy. Forming in 2012, this production uses the impossible, the questionable and the fantastical through enchanting music, art and performance. What may seem dubious and perhaps only make belief, it holds no boundaries but it is far from the typical fairy tale. This year's ball is hosted on 24th May 2014 at the Los Angeles Theatre, LA. Search for the event on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mythmasque and meet the page admin named Ringo Firefly. The unexpected can definitely be expected.
ARE WE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE AGES? "If there is any realism left here it is a "realism”which springs from the shock of grasping that confinement and of realizing that, for whatever peculiar reasons, we seem condemned to seek the historical past through our own pop images and stereotypes about the past, which itself remains forever out of reach.” Jameson, 1998
What started as a locked bedroom door of an adolescent nerd escaping to the land of Dungeons and Dragons has escalated into a bizarre cultural phenomenon. It is hardly a new genre that has escalated from nowhere; it has always been lingering in the background. William Morris in the late 19th century created many medieval fantasy novels, along with Lord Dunsany and the 1924 fantasy novel, The King of Elfland's Daughter. The mainstream consumption diet now often contains fire-breathing dragons, a school of magic and a golden compass. "Many of us have been classed as nerds and geeks for decades,” James Barclay is the President of the British Fantasy Society, a society dedicated to promoting and showcasing the fantasy genre, "generations are now growing up with fantasy as a staple in their multi-media world which has definitely got to be a good thing. It proves imagination and that is vital.” Surely a pre-industrial world, with no modern inventions or evolution in technology that has been trapped in the Middle Ages for hundreds of years should not be appetising? Saying that, neither should the constant battle between good vs. evil. But it does fall down to one thing; it has a natural contribution of magic. It creates spells, opportunities in which the path could lead to the unexpected.
Magic is not a subject we as humans know and its use changes with every film or fiction. This want for knowing more is too obvious in our nature. Magic does not make it a better place; however it's merely an implement that could go either way which is what we are all familiar with. "You can hand out swords and chain mail and most of your world makes sense to a viewer,” explains J.S. Morin, an epic fantasy writer, devoted fan to the genre and author of Twinborn Trilogy. "Most of the time, the protagonist is an agent of extreme influence in the course of events, and as a reader, you can get that vicarious thrill of defeating armies and saving the world.” There are universal themes within the fantasy genres and one of the most common is humanity. Particularly in epic and high fantasy, there is always an inevitable enemy and this fundamental purpose stays the same, 90% of the time. (The minor 10% goes to George R.R. Martin and his Game of Thrones, a different league as discussed on p.70) "Anyone can be part of a fantasy story and anything can happen to whichever character, that's the point,” explains Sarah Cook, an events coordinator. Sarah turned her primary interests into her career. Her love of LARP, live action role playing, has become her job title, creating opportunities for the fantasy hobby to continue. She creates events for fellow players to participate in, as well as other associated
events and performances. "Yes, worlds need to be internally consistent to be believable, but internally consistent is not the same as "it looks like our world but with armour and beards.” With that, the existence of dragons negates any argument that includes the word "realistic”. Fuck your realism; I give you Samantha Swords, who will cut you.” It is ironic perhaps? That the post-modernist world which is forever creating and forming new attributes to propel us up through the social, technological and intellectual scale, would rather escape to a place which contains none of these factors. Escapism is a very strange thing. Sarah continues, "What's not to like about running around in armour with a sword and getting your heroine on? Will I ever get tired of wearing badass armour and swinging a sword around? Nope.” It is easy to understand the attraction of the fantasy genre, when the original meanings of words are legit and the romanticism of such things as chivalry, honour, respect, bravery are still there. Sarah explains, "Fantasy is a world in which anything can happen - you have magic, dragons and an unreal setting that is not constrained by real world rules. Yet, most of the heroes and almost all of the background characters are white men with very real
world, often quite sexist values, couched in terms of chivalry. There are all kinds false assumptions made of the importance and primacy of physical strength and "historical precedent” when decisions are made on what seems "real”. But it's fantasy.” We are arguably a slave to our homemade routine and falling into a rut, accompanied by our social media devices. Fantasy has a broad setting. It grants the chance to explore a wondrous world, as many as we like and as much as we can. There are no restrictions, with empowerment that distances us from the contemporary world; it is as broad as our imagination is and it essentially brings hope. Fulfil your dreams of being stupidly wealthy, beautiful and emotionally stable, far away from the underpaid struggle and unidentified lifestyle. "You don't just get to see a narrow window into a fictional world, you get to see it from different angles, get samplings of different cultures, and spent time getting to know these imaginary places,” states Jeff Morin. It's far from shocking that it is in high demand. If one humble hobbit can change the path of humanity, anything can definitely happen, and that is probably as cliché as you can get. In 100 years, will your name be known?
Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, Obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat, and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Cormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on southwest airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true? We read fantasy to find the colours again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dream that one day he would hunt the forest of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, to find a love to last forever, somewhere south of Oz, and north of Shangri-La. They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to Middle Earth. George R.R. Martin
Kin fables McKinnon Brothers
their own Kin
Describing something as beautiful seems so pathetically dull when relating to what these two brothers can create. There is nothing remotely equal to the mesmerizing and captivating cinematography Seth and Ben McKinnon build through their Kickstarter run project, Kin Fables.
It is no doubt an achievement making the viewer seem aesthetically pleased yet eager to want more. Released by their own production company, Five Knights Productions, Kin Fables is a journey of film through musical and visual atmosphere, featuring ethereal characters in a bewitching world. The two talented brothers chat to Veto about Scotland, the art of narrative and the next steps in the Kin brother's legacy. Veto highly recommends you watch their work at their website: http://www.kinfables.com/ You can thank us later.
top in films these days, especially in genres like fantasy and sci-fi. Through simplification, we want to bring a unique and authentic emotion to screen. V: Could you describe for me what Kin is all about? S: I'm afraid we can't talk about that yet! If we were to reveal anything it would dispel the mystery of the whole project. We've structured the trilogy in a way that everything comes together in the very final moments of part 3 (Requiem). We also value the viewers own interpretation very much. B: It's been great to hear what other people get from the film and learn how it made them feel. Some interpretations we hear are absolutely wonderful.
VETO: Firstly, what made you both want to create Kin? Where has the influence and inspiration come from? SEB: It's a little story. The very beginnings of the project took root at a time in our lives where we both wanted to create something that reflected the kind of artists we aspire to be. I studied Illustration and DesignBEN: And I studied in Communications and FilmS: So with these backgrounds, I started working for game and publishing companies, and Ben made music videos for local musicians and corporate ads. But he had already been doing that for while, being the main guy behind our company Five Knights Productions and building its foundations. B: The thing is...tough we were very happy and fortunate to do client work; we craved the opportunity to make something for ourselves. We wanted to embark on some sort of adventure that would push us to our limits creatively, test our worth. We were both feeling the same thing at the time. S: While these thoughts were brewing, we took a month-long backpacking trip to Scotland and it was magical. A land of myths and legends. It felt like we were walking on enchanted ground in those highlands. We got back home totally inspired and got to work. I suppose the spark of the idea came from my exploration of music production. There was one sketch of a track that conjured images and scenarios and characters in my mind. Thanks to many conversations with Ben, a fuller idea took shape. We decided to build on it, and turn it into a grand multi-media project. One where the music, film, artwork would all complement each other, offering a complete immersion. After much brainstorming, we finally discovered what we wanted to say through the project. We had the characters, the setting of the world, the moments and emotions we wanted to capture, and things took flight from there.
V: Is it subtly based on any other fantasy film/fiction/etc? S: I wouldn't say so, no. Of course, all artists have their own influences and tastes. For people who know us well, they are clear to see. Artists like Woodkid and Iamamiwhoami were big influences for me personally, when I was developing the story of KIN. B: A lot of people compare Kin to a few other films, books and games they personally enjoy. We've had a few fans compare it to the game Dark Souls... though it really has nothing to do with it at all. V: Have you both always been into film production regarding education? B: I've been interested in filmmaking since a very young age. Ever since I received a small digital camera as a gift from my father when I was 12, I've been exploring the the world of film production. It all started by making short films with our four brothers and stop-motion films using action figures lying around the house. I continued learning about filmmaking through the experience of making movies, and every production kept getting more and more ambitious. I went to college in a communications program, but I'd say we're both self-taught filmmakers. The best education is the hands-on experience you give yourself. V: Are you hoping to add any more characters? S: No actually. The characters of KIN are the only ones on this journey. The Boy, The Girl, The Knight, The 5 Spirits; and perhaps a guest appearance of the Horse as wellB: The thing is, they "shape-shiftâ€? from the film to film. That's all we'll say for now!
V: What are you trying to achieve? S: It really is all about the emotion. Achieving some sort of moodstorytelling, with a focus on the eerily beautiful. Balancing innocence, darkness, mystery, and of course fantasy. B: Subtlety and minimalism are key words for us as well. Which are things you don't see any more in fantasy films, we feel. Everything is over-the-
V: Where was Kin filmed? B: We shot Kin just outside Montreal, in the forests of Montebello. Our parents have a cottage there, where we spent our summers growing up, so we knew all the best secret spots to capture the right scenery and landscapes.
Kin fables McKinnon Brothers
all photographs credited to Five Knights Productions
all photographs credited to Five Knights Productions time, doing mostly everything from pre-production to post. S: We've slowly transitioned away from that since then, combining our talents as brothers and working towards making short films. B: The next step is a Five Knights Productions feature length film! V: The masked tribal people in Kin, do they originate from a certain myth? S: Not really. I think it's safe to say they're our own creation! At the concept art stage, we were looking a lot at Myazaki stuff, Norse legends as well as Inuit art and design. So we sandwiched those influences into the depiction you see of the "spiritsâ€?. V: Did you design the garments in Kin yourself (they were incredible!)? Did you have a designer make them? S: Thanks! Yes, we thought of the concepts, but the costumes themselves were made by a talented costume designer from Montreal, named Tatiana Cusson. The masks were carved from blocks of cedar by a family friend, Norm Hodgeson. They did a fantastic job. It's a great feeling to see sketches and conceptual art at the early stages of a project, come to life at the hands of skilled artists like them. B: It's really about working with a talented team of like-minded people, all working out of pure passion.
S: We wanted to find areas that had a Nordic look. We needed something enchanting, unlike a typical forest you'd find in a backyard.
V: Is there a part of Kin which you love the most? B: For me it's hard to say. Kin is really just the introduction to the world of Kin Fables. It's like watching only one third of a film. If I had to chose a specific part, I'd say it's when the Native Spirits first begin their tribal dance. I find it to be a very emotional part of the film. S: When the boy is running through the puddles with his yellow boots, Sea Oleena's voice soaring in the background, combined with the deep piano notes. I remember it gave me chills the first time we edited that scene together. Oh, and also the scene when the boy and girl see other by the river. That scene took weeks to get right in the editing room, and we both felt elated and patted ourselves on the back when we finally nailed it!
V: Has fantasy played a huge role in your lives as artists? B: We've always been fascinated and inspired by the fantasy genre. One of the biggest cultural events of our childhood was watching the Lord of The Rings trilogy over the course of 3 years! When you're so attracted to a specific genre, it ends up influencing your work for sure. S: Big time. With our 3 younger brothers, we spent our childhood playing in the woods pretending to be knights. Our summers were spent painting Warhammer figurines, building our armies! V: The music is incredible absolutely incredible! Did you make it yourselves or have you had other people contributing to your work? S: Thank you! That's very kind. I composed and produced it, under the name CLANN. But I was very fortunate to meet Charlotte Loseth, a.k.a Sea Oleena at the beginning of the project. She's an incredibly talented musician and singer currently living in Montreal. She gifted the project with her voice, the soul of the project. The mixing and mastering was done by a few buddies at Rotty Squad Studios in Montreal. Now with the launch of KIN, we are being approached by musicians from all around the world who identify with the project and who are willing to work with us on the future tracks, which is just amazing. I look forward to those collaborations.
V: Are you hoping to explore any other countries to use for the sets?? B: No new countries, but we will be shooting Salvage on the west coast of Newfoundland at the beginning of June. The eastern side of Canada is absolutely gorgeous and Newfoundland's landscapes have the mysterious vastness we envisioned for Salvage. S: We would have loved to shoot in Iceland, but that would have been over-ambitious with our limited budget. Newfoundland was the next best location. V: With your Kickstarter campaign, how many films are you hoping to add and create? Will there be a series? B: Yes of course! Kin was only part 1 of the Kin Fables Trilogy. With the Kickstarter funds, we''e currently in pre-production for part 2 called Salvage, and part 3 called Requiem. S: There will also be a visual companion to the whole project: a book consisting of a graphic novel, photographs and artwork that will let fans dive even deeper into the world of Kin Fables.
V: Regarding Five Knights productions, how long has this been running? B: The name Five Knights Productions goes way back to when we were making films as kids. We are 5 brothers and have always been in love with medieval history and the fantasy genre, so the name was perfect to us. As a production company, it started 3 years ago, when I was directing mostly hip-hip music videos for local artists in Montreal. I was a 1 man crew at the
motherland chronicles below: #28 - bunny yaga II following pages: left: #45 - rusalka right: #22 - julia II
The Motherland Chronicles Zhang Jinga, a notable and established Fashion photographer has teamed with illustrator Tobias Kwan, along with other contributing artists to create an ongoing art book project, evolving around the genre of fantasy. The Motherland Chronicles contains wondrous amounts of imagery and is constantly updated through the never-ending online platform, spurring narrative through numbers of ongoing storylines weekly. Zhang experiments with her perfectionism and her history in fashion by combining her knowledge to this new medium. Zhang has made it look so easy by creating countless of different worlds through the click of a finger. Captivation of colour, clothing and tale concludes this entrancing artwork. Look out for the printed version releasing in summer 2014.
GROWN UP MAKE BELIEF
Agneszka Osipa, a polish fashion and costume designer, creates majestic and timeless pieces from an age not known to the present day. Plentiful amounts of jewels and pearls recreate a wonderland of royalty and wealth, through luxurious gowns and noble headdresses fit for a mighty queen. Agneszka uses inconceivable bead work and embroidery through bold colours of white, blue and black, making the designs thoroughly hypnotising and beautiful to follow. Volumes of history and heritage undoubtedly form, with an unexpected needing to know what story lies behind each piece and its beholder. Agneszka shies away from any possible relation to current affairs, allowing you, the viewer to take a journey on your own accord to your own destination.
right: costume Agnieszka Osipa photo by Slevinaaron facing page: cosume Agnieszka Ospia photo by Marcin Nagraba
Capri-Corra by Rebecca Manser illustration by Matthew Kocanda
orra threw open the shuttered windows and let the midday sun pour into the driftwood shack, eager to resume its daily ritual of peeling the faded paint from the walls. It was the time of day when the tide was too high and the sun was too hot to do anything and so she sank lazily into her hammock, rocking gently in the sea breeze. Around her wrists disks of mother of pearl clacked against puka and cowry shells as she brushed the sand from the soles of her feet. Somewhere above her head, where the hammock had been tied to the rafters, the old wood creaked. She was growing too big for her crochet cocoon and someday soon she knew that she would have to forsake its sand-stained stitches for the cotton sheets of her bed. With a well practiced roll so that she would not spin herself onto the floorboards, Corra turned onto her side. Ignoring the way the room dipped and pitched around her as the hammock steadied itself, she stared at the mattress. It lay on the floor at the opposite end of the bedroom, wrapped in the larimar dyed covers her Nan had bought for it a year ago. Corra had tried to sleep on it then but had found it too flat and motionless. Years spent swaying in the moonlight to the sound of tumbling waves had accustomed her to the ocean's constant energy. Lying still with her limbs pinned in place against the weighty pull of the earth had left her feeling queasy. As the world around her churned and spun, she remained immobile, sinking like a pebble beneath the waves, deeper and deeper... Corra started awake, her hands reached out in front of her, bracing herself against the imaginary impact her mind had conjured as she dozed. She chuckled to herself and stretched her arms up to rest behind her head. Her Nan would reprimand her for her idleness. She would tell her that she should have spent the high tide making jewellery and trinkets out of the treasures she had collected during yesterday's walk. Since she was tired and could not search the beach for sellable sea-goods until the tide had gone out again, she allowed her thoughts to drift into fanciful realms. She listened to the waves breaking against the shore just metres from the wooden legs of the shack and imagined the underwater kingdom that existed beneath them. She conjured a castle made of coral and sea glass in her mind's eye, with fish circling its turrets like seagulls and flags made of seaweed. This was the home of the rulers of the deep, an ancient matriarchal monarchy, the Merfolk. Since Corra was a little girl she had been infatuated with mermaids. They were the first thing she thought about when she stepped onto the sand every morning and the last thing she thought about when she slipped into her hammock at night. Whenever she would venture into town, she would listen out for news of sightings or sit and listen to the old fisherman tell
stories about their beauty and magical ability to calm the ocean during storms. She had a tale of her own to tell about these marine maidens too as they had saved her life once, when she was just a baby. Though Corra had no memory of the night itself, she knew from others that she had been found washed up amongst the flotsam and jetsam of a grand ship. Her parents and everyone else on board the vessel had perished. The woman that she called Nan was no blood relation to her but had been kind enough to take her in and raise her as her own. She was a hardened, practical woman, with hair as white as a seal's belly and skin as leathery as a sailor's sandals. She did not believe in fate or half naked women with flippers for legs. In her eyes, that Corra had been the lone survivor of the shipwreck was just down to chance. Shipwrecks were strangely common in the bay's calm waters but someone was bound to live through the carnage one day and that someone just happened to be Corra. In her heart, Corra knew that there was more to her life than luck. She believed that she had been saved by a mermaid that night and that someday she was destined to meet her savoir again. She had lived for a reason and that reason, she had decided, was to find the mermaids that had rescued her. With the sun on her back, leeching the strength from her limbs, Corra studied the shadow she cast on the floorboards. Pressing her long legs against one another and arching her feet to give the impression of a tail, she created the silhouette of a mermaid caught in a fisherman's net. With a content sigh she let herself slip into a lukewarm slumber.
few hours later Corra was skipping along the beach with a net sack full of shells hanging from her shoulder. She had woken from her nap just as the tide was making its way back out again. Rejuvenated, she felt as joyful as the dolphins that skimmed the distant waves. Spotting a group of local boys and girls on the jetty up ahead however, her mood quickly sunk. With the rest of the beach still to search, she could not turn back and so, as she skulked between the limpet-stippled pillars of their hangout, she prayed that they would ignore her. "Hey look, it's Corra!â€? "Corra, you look so lovely in that tattered skirt and rag top, I just can't resist you. Will you marry me?â€? "Don't run away, how's the sea hag you live with? Has your shabby, old shack fallen into the sea yet?â€? Corra did not answer them or dare to look back. If she could just get over the rocks heaped in front of her she would be far enough from the jetty that she would no longer be able to hear their sarcastic jibes.
Blanketed in slick green seaweed, Corra's hasty escape across the boulders was a treacherous one and become even more hazardous when one of the boys began to throw stones at her. Distracted, Corra strayed from the path she would have normally taken through the staggered terrain and paid for it when her sandals slipped out from under her. Corra flailed and then tensed, preparing herself for a painful landing on the sharp rocks. Relief washed over her when the ocean caught her instead. Surfacing, she spat out a mouthful of gritty salt water just in time to see the boys and girls who had been taunting her scampering away. As her legs struggled to kick against the sodden weight of her long skirt however, she realised that she was far from safe. Before she could call out for them to come back, a rogue wave submerged her and beneath the lightdappled waters Corra saw the murky, grey stones she had just avoided hurtling towards her. She closed her eyes.
Corra's ears though its maw did not move. It was a strange, reverberating sound, like hearing the ocean through a conch shell you had pressed to your ear and yet, somehow, Corra recognised it tenor as distinctly male. The goat half of the creature flared its nostrils. "Have you the intention of thanking me for rescuing you or shall I return to my waters?” "You're not a mermaid,” Corra blurted. "No, I am not, they live in the deep, they do not come into the shallows,” the sea-goat rolled his horizontal pupils up into his head and turned away. His matter-of-fact answer brought Corra out of her stunned stupor. "Wait, so you've seen them out in the ocean? They really are there?” She caught up with him, her legs moving much faster than he could drag his shimmering belly across the sand. "Of course they're there,” the billy goat grumbled. "There's a whole shoal of the miscreants. They're common as catfish compared to me but oh no, you'd much rather interrogate the only capricorn in existence about mer-wenches.” "Wait, stop, I'm so sorry,” Corra went paddling into the waves ahead of him and threw up her arms. "Please, I was just shocked. I had no idea such a... unique creature could exist. I've never heard of a capricorn before. I thought that it was a mermaid who had saved me. So I was just a little surprised when you came up the beach instead.” For a moment she was frightened that the capricorn was going to skirt around her but instead he stopped and lifted his head to the sky. "Of course you've never heard of me, I am exceedingly rare,” he sniffed, his haughty air reminding Corra of the noblemen she would sometimes see swanning about town. "It's an honour to meet someone so exotic and striking,” recalling the sycophantic manner with which the gentry addressed one another, she dipped into a curtsy. "My name is Corra. Thank you for saving me. If you had not come I would most certainly have drowned,” As Corra had expected, the goat-fish looked delighted at the ostentatious gesture and lowered his horned head to bow back at her. "It is a pleasure to meet you too, Corra, my name is Aegipan,” he slapped his tail fin on the sand beside him. "Come and sit with me.” Corra breathed a silent sigh of relief. In a matter of minutes the peculiar beast had gone through an exhaustible torrent of emotions. From starting off shy to quickly becoming irked and then from arrogant to what now seemed a playful humour as she came to sit down beside him. She lectured herself to be careful with her words so as not to upset Aegipan's changeable temperament further. "Can I share a secret with you?” The capricorn fidgeted excitedly. "You are the first person that I have shown my new self to. In fact, you are the first human that I have ever spoken to!” "Am I really?” Corra did not know what to say. Her sense of privilege was quickly eclipsed by her guilt. As magnificent a creature as this capricorn before her was, she still had to force herself to keep her gaze on its amalgamated form and not go wandering off towards the horizon. His earlier words were still at the forefront of her mind. This was no drunken sailor spewing stories. Aegipan was a magical creature of the sapphire sea and if he claimed that there were mermaids to be found just off of the bay, then he must have been telling the truth.
hen she opened them again, she saw the sky, cloudless and full of screeching gulls. She was alive and back on the beach. Had her bullies had a change of heart and pulled her out? Sitting up, she shivered against the damp of her clothes and licked her dry lips, wincing at the overpowering taste of salt. There was not a soul to be seen, nor the jetty or the rocks. She was alone and on stretch of sand much farther up the coast from where she had fallen in. Could she have floated here? Staggered, she sat, staring out at the ocean, waiting for it to offer up an answer when a turquoise tail fin broke its sparkling surface. She jumped to her feet. The fin appeared again, splashing out of the water. It was too small to belong to a whale, too big to belong to a fish and sea lions did not have skin that colour. There was only one creature it could possibly be. Once again Corra owed her life to a supernatural lady of the waves. She almost squealed in excitement when she realised it was coming closer. Was she going to come ashore? Could they do that without dying? All of her life she had imagined that it would be her that sought out these illusive creatures but now it seemed that they had come to reclaim her. Corra waited for a shock of red hair to surface, or locks of golden blonde or midnight black, just as she had always imaged. What crested the surf first however was not the glossy mane she was expecting but what looked like the shells of two overgrown sea snails. Perplexed, Corra reasoned that perhaps her savoir was wearing some form of sea mollusk coronet and resumed waving. "Come out, please, I want to meet you!” She called, afraid to step forward herself in case she frightened her away. After a little more lingering in the shallows, Corra's encouragement appeared to have worked. The snail shells grew longer and larger as the water dropped away to reveal, not a crown, but a pair of twisted horns. Corra's hand fell to her mouth as those horns were pursued by two furry ears and a long, protruding snout. Planting its two clovenhoofed legs on the sand, it shook the water from its grey coat before hauling the more colourful end of its body out of the sea. Corra's legs buckled. Toppling backwards onto her rump with an open-mouthed gasp, she gawped at the bizarre beast. Sensing her unease, the creature paused. Scratching one hoof behind the heel of the other, it looked bashful. "Well, you asked me to come out, human,” its voice sounded in
"Yes, before my transformation into the rarity you see before you, I was a mere mountain goat with four knobbly legs and a sorry excuse of a tail. I grazed with my herd on distant cliffs, living off of grass and moss and waiting for the day that our goatherder grew hungry enough to eat us. My brothers and sisters were content with such an existence but I always harboured dreams that I would become something more fulfilling than a roasted carcass. I used to teeter on the very edges of those crags so that I could see as much of the ocean spread before me as possible. I wanted to taste the salty sea spray as the waves broke against the rocks. I longed to feel the warm water caress my coat, not the dry wind.” As he spoke, Corra admired the diamond cut crystal that sat embedded in Aegipan's forehead. It was the same shade of blue-green as his tail fin and was more beautiful than any gemstone that Corra had ever seen. "Oh, it is a love most cannot possibly comprehend,” Aegipan sighed with an exaggerated swoon. "To be so utterly beguiled by something so sublime, so inconceivably immense. I always knew that I belonged to the ocean and not the earth. My apologies Corra, for that must sound very strange to you.” "No, it doesn't.” Aegipan blinked in surprise. Despite his self-important tone of voice as he had spoken, his words had resonated with Corra. "I feel the same. It's as if the ground is quicksand. It pulls you down, makes you heavy, like it wants you to sit and be still all of the time. It doesn't want you to run or jump or move,” feeling restless all of a sudden, Corra got up. "But the ocean is always moving, it never rests and it doesn't want you to either. It draws you to it, lifting you up, pulling you left and right. It has so much life in it that even when you sleep it rocks you and if you drown is cradles you to the shore.” This time it was Corra's turn to feel bashful as Aegipan watched her with a wry smile. "It would seem that we are kindred spirits. Please, go on.” For a while Corra and Aegipan swapped tales about their mutual obsession. Corra told Aegipan of how, as a baby, she had been found floating on the ocean in her bassinet and why it was that mermaids held a special place in her heart. While Aegipan spoke at length about all of the underwater wonders he had witnessed since his transformation. "So it was not you that saved me when I was a baby?” Corra had to ask. "No, I had not been birthed by my goat-mother then. I am but seven summers wise or, at least, that was my age before my re-birth. Now I am but three sunrises old and with many years ahead of me to explore the marvels of my new salty world.” "Oh, I wish I could see it too,” sighed Corra, so used to seeing corals and fish dried and gutted that it was hard to imagine them thriving in their element. There was an unexpected pause in their conversation as Aegipan, who had been animated as they chattered, suddenly looked contemplative. "You could see it, all of it, every creature, all of the colours. I can show them to you.” "Would you take me to the mermaids?” Corra pleaded. “There is a boat tethered over there, I could get in it and you could pull me out to the deeper waters.” Aegipan shook his horned head.
"They do not care for boats and will shy away if they see you. If your want in life truly is to see a mermaid then there is only one path you can tread; or perhaps I should say, swim,” Aegipan rolled his tail through the sand, dazzling Corra's eyes as the sunlight rippled along its cycloid scales. "You mean you would help me to transform, as you did?” Corra's limbs trembled, though the sun's rays had long since dried her clothes. "I see myself in you, a disciple of the deep trapped in the body of a sand treader. You should be free to feel the waves bend and shape your limbs, not lumber along under the weight of the earth like a sun-baked Golem,” Aegipan sat up from where he was lying and started to wriggle his way down the beach. "However, it's not a decision to be made lightly, I only know how to give you a tail, not how to get you your legs back should you change your mind.” Corra's gaze turned from the capricorn's muscular tail to her own legs. Hidden beneath the shreds of her taupe wrap skirt, she knew that she would not miss them. They had grown too long too quickly for her to sleep with them tucked up into her hammock and made her so tall that she was always bumping her head on low ceilings. Her feet were always blistered no matter what sandal she wore and she was certainly less than steady on them, she had lost count of the amount of times she had tripped on nothing. Even today they had betrayed her when they had failed to carry her safely across the rocks. But while she might not miss her legs and feet, she would most certainly miss her Nan and was afraid of how the old woman would cope without her there to collect bits and bobs to sell as trinkets and jewellery at the market. "I will wait over there,” Aegipan gestured towards a small boat beached on the sand. "If you decide you want to come with me, push the boat into the water, if you don't, then this will have to be goodbye.” With a nod of understanding and farewell the sea-goat floated into the waves before submerging himself. Unsure of how long he would wait for her to make her decision, a sense of panic crept over Corra. Could she really abandon the woman who had so selflessly taken her in? Recalling what Aegipan had said earlier while he was gushing about the ocean, a solution materialised. There were treasures from lost ships to be found scattered all over the ocean bed, Corra could bring her Nan the riches that she recovered and her Nan could sell them at the market. She would not have to abandon her. She could keep in contact with her and bring her treasure chests of gold and pearls. She could make her rich. Hoisting up her skirt, Corra sprinted as fast as she could across the hot sand. If her legs did just one last thing for her, they were going to get her to that boat.
Carran Veto takes in depth steps in to the days of a real life armourer. Nigel Carren, hidden away in France, restores beautiful armour full of exciting history for a living. Yes, this job still does exist.
V: Did you teach yourself? N: My skills are self-taught. It helped not having a girlfriend until I was 21. However, this was not for want of trying. Whilst I still have a base on the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border in England, at the moment I am at Moreux Hall in Brittany France, where I am restoring a very decrepit country pile, and by Pile, it almost was a pile of rubble. This is why I don't have a hot car at the moment, because my house takes all my spare cash and energy because I am doing most of the work myself. At the moment I am making the most over-the-top fireplace to put the heart back into the place. Once it is finished I plan to run armouring courses from here. Though at the moment there is only one bedroom here. Though it is thirty-two meters long!
VETO: How did everything start? What made you go into this line of craft? NIGEL: I was always interested in armour and shiny robots (what I thought a suit of armour was when I was six), then 30 years later when I had finally saved all of my pocket money, I went to a London auction to buy my first period piece of armour (a 17th century helmet in terrible condition). However, as usual, it sold for three times the estimate so I drove all the way, depressed and empty-handed. Then the week after whilst standing in my workshop surrounded by the hundreds of metalworking tools, all of which I was using in the day to restore metal chandeliers and in the evenings restoring classic cars, I thought, I am going to recreate the helmet I just lost at the auction!
V: What type of customers do you interact with?
N: Before the 2008 financial crisis, my clients were split 70% USA and 30% Japan, but now it is 70% USA and 20% UK and Ireland, with my miniature suits of armour being my bread and butter.
new customers who find me on the web who need armour restoring, but mostly now, my restoration clients come to me via word-of-mouth. V: Do you have a favourite piece you like to work on the most? N: My favourite restoration story is a UK client of mine who whilst trawling a farm sale auction, he found a cement mixer with a quite genuine cementcaked 17th century helmet attached to it via a chain. The helmet was clearly being used as a sand/cement scoop whilst the mixer was running. He paid 8.00 pound for the cement mixer and the helmet, he sold the mixer for 50 whilst he was loading it in his truck and once I had cleaned the helmet for him he sold that for 2,000. Some people have all the luck! Though because I am working on my own sci-fi movie there are some interesting space-suits that are works-in-progress. Like my little rhyme says, I am not just about history.
V: Where did you learn all your knowledge on this? N: Good question, but for me 'persuading' a sheet of steel to take on the shape that's in your head still feels like witchcraft to me, I love it, that hasn't changed since I made my first robot out of a washing machine, a Hoover and a telephone when I was 9. I drove him to school (I sat inside his belly you see as his base was a washing machine). The head mistress made me leave him by a heater during the morning lessons and when we came out for lunch all his paint had melted which nearly asphyxiated 120 children as they ate their Spam. Like some kind of 1970's Trojan horse. Though a Trojan Washing machine doesn't sound very menacing, so lets go with The Trojan Robot. That gives me an idea, I feel another story coming on. I still have
Nigel Carren armourer
There was a little man, who lived in a ruined house, From the outside in t'was as quiet as a mouse. But if you looked through the crack in the workshop door, You'd see a whole bunch of weird things... that's for sure. There are shoes for that catwalk; there are helmets for war, There's even a spaceman, and a wild boar. Because whilst I love history and scraping off rust, Sometimes it's nice to shake off the dust. So, if it's armour you're after but to you it's a mystery, I'm just trying to say... I'm not just about history.
below: steel heels made to any fit previous page: nigel carren's workshop and home ÂŠnigelcarren.com
V: Could you tell me a little bit about the sci-fi movie you're creating? N: I don't want to give any of my Sci-Fi plot away. Whilst I knew the moment I was asked to write this article this would be an incredible way of promoting it, I would hate to dilute any of the impact before I drop the trailer onto Youtube. Apart from trying to promote my armour/propmaking workshop I really want it to promote my work as a voice artist (for example at the moment I am the calm reassuring voice of Orange), my music writing ability (I am a failed singer-songwriter whose greatest claim to fame was having The Pet Shop Boys turn down my song, Something I used to do, in favour of, Go West) and my ability as a story-teller. There are three films I am working on at the moment and the only one I will give a clue to, this is the one I was very excited about, only recently it looks like The BBC have pipped me to the post, because I see that The Robots of Sherwood is going to be the new Dr Who story I will say no more. How the BBC stole that from my kitchen table, I have no idea, because I don't remember telling a soul? Perhaps what my grandmother used to say is true, "The moment you get a great idea, run with it, because two other people were given the same idea at exactly the same timeâ€?.
wonderful/ a level I could never achieve again (ridiculous I know), but it was simply because I was so in love with this piece as I had put so much of myself into it, when this guy from New York agreed to buy it I actually begged him not to! However, the arrival of my credit-card bill soon brought me back down to earth so I apologized to my client for being a loon, I took his money and started the next one. V: Do you have an ethos to your work ethic? N: Proportion. This is where it's at as far as I am concerned, everything has to be in proportion, this is all about developing your eye, and not being an academic, this is why doing what I do for a living is ideal for me, because I have hundreds of books in my library and it's the pictures that are the most important, because if it doesn.t look righ, it isn't right. V: Are you interested in fantasy at all? N: I love fantasy, especially Sci-fi. Alien is my all-time favourite sci-fi film, because so many of the ingredients are perfect, making it for me, the perfect cake, with H.R. Giger being the cherry on top. Ridley Scott with a free rein, Ron Cobb, Dan O' Bannon, Carlo Rambaldi and Giger and finally a cast to do it all justice, and not one pixel of C.G.I, just quite literally tons of practical effects. Also, whilst it was a tad before my time, I understand that the cast were largely new faces at the time which must have made the film look all the more believable. Every time I watch it, I still cannot believe it was made in 1979. For me there is Fantasy Future and there is Fantasy past. Alien of course is Fantasy Future, and fantasy past deals with all those wonderful anachronisms. Both of which I love, because for me I need more than a teaspoon of escapism to get me through the day, especially as my day job is normally spent following history in excruciating detail. It is so nice to just take the lid off my imagination and run with it or should that be fly with it. What a complex yet delicious brew.
V: What do you hope to achieve next? N: I often work with film companies/designers/stylists with my fashion and movie armour but in my workshop I work alone. That's if you don't include my four cats, Kate, Casper, Gus and Chris, and all the mice. I am however looking forward to working with others on my film project, because when I look at all the work that is really needed it is a LOT of work, so feel free to contact me if you are a fellow imagineer/producer. V: What is the best achievement you have done regarding your work? N: For me, my greatest armour-based achievement was my first fluted Zischagge helmet. Not really because at the time I thought it was so
Nigel Carren armourer
below: the tea project ÂŠnigelcarren.com
(N.) a place from which one's stength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.
photographer/retoucher: Shaheen Razzaq model: Sarah Agbadou stylists: Heidi Stuttard and Megan Walters MUA: Kate Dudman chainmail hood and shoulder piece: National Theatre, London bra: Agent Provocateur
previous and current page Armour: National Theatre Body chain: Virginia The Wolf Headdress: Heidi Stuttard High-waisted shorts: Model's Own
headdress: Armour: National model's own Theatre Headdress: Model's Own
As our noble deity G.K. Chesterton once claimed, there is always veto, the utterance of an if in the fantasy tale. When there is light, there must be darkness as its foe, its contrasted fiend and its shadow. Furthermore, Veto welcomes you to explore tunnels of the darker side, deep into the roots of the haunting and bewitching.
"The beautiful, the odd, The strange.”
a collosal leap from the barbie doll, meet Virginie ropars, the doll artist
Born and based in Brittany, North West of France, Virginie Ropars creates wondrous, dark doll characters, full of meaning and broken nature. It is a huge colossal leap from Barbie yet finding a word to sum up Virginie's form of art proves difficult for her. "It's a problem, especially in French; "art doll” is not the proper word. Too many people, they have the toy in mind, and consider that you work by making comparison with Barbie dolls for instance, which is honestly very far from easy and pertinent.” Metal, wood and polymer clay are used especially for the visible skin and apoxy clay for the remaining areas, such as the body, clothing and any accessories. Her work resembles extreme human like characteristics, questioning the legitimacy between disturbingly beautiful dolls and humans.
Expecting a free spirit and daringly stereotypical artist, Virginie is rather the opposite, despite the constant art education she holds. She is straight the point and concise with no messing about, "I challenge myself a lot and I never treat myself well. I have no self-satisfaction, which is easy to follow because it's not me really; it keeps my eye and imagination fresh and sharp.” With a master degree in Graphic Advertising and working in the video game industry as a cartoon graphic artist, Virginie has found a medium to incorporate what she loves doing. Inspired by nothing specific, just the ways of the world, she leaves the wonder for the viewer to decide, to depict what background, the narrative and curiosity of the all-female dolls. Virginie will be featuring her wok at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3, on May 9th, 10th and 11th in Kansas City.
below: waterfalls facing page: sneedronnigen previous page: acanthophis
below: manuel albarran designs facing page: chromat a/w14 collection bionic bodies
Knights in shining armour
far from being historically correct and will not protect you for long, but why not follow Joan of Arcâ€™s footsteps and have armour customly made for you. MANUEL ALBARRAN
The armour industry became horrifically endangered in the 70s, with Terry English being the only armourer for at least 20 years. However, a combination of history with a touch of futurism has allowed couture to carry on this notable factor of the past. Officially named and known as metal couture, Spanish designer Manuel Albarran crafts colours of gold, silver and bronze with no periphery. Each design is a one off, creating something completely unique every time he works. This differs from thickness of the metal to the type Manuel uses all metals along with natural materials, such as wood and feathers. An evolution of armour has resulted in the 21st century's very own with formation of major historical reference and futuristic affairs. This form of metallic art just happens to look sexy, complimenting the natural body form, despite the impracticality.
Becca McCharen, a former architect, is devoted to using the structural and intricate elements of undergarments, in her clothing designs for New York based brand, Chromat. Each collection interlinks with the next, keeping similar themes connected with one another. Their AW14 collection Bionic Bodies has intertwined old forms with the new. It stemmed from interactive maps of the internet, with every site being a circle on a map, presenting the links between websites on the global network. This AW14 collection featured a strong warrior appeal, primarily from the chrome armour dresses and shielded bustiers. The assembly of Victorian dresses made its mark, focusing only on the caged pattern and cut out panels that repeated through the majority of the looks. Sticking to the simplicity of this technique and a small colour palette of black, navy and chrome, this added femininity to the masculine warrior foundation which ultimately complimented the body, not to mention, the floor length, velvet dresses. This half-dressed Victorian sovereign gained attributes of high tech L.E.D light bras, face shields and oversized capes, turning these warriors into forms of wearable light technology.
Photographer: Frederick Price Designer: Lacey Bannister of Straight-Laced Boutique Stylist: Kaitlyn Vitung Silver Jewelry: Christopher VanWart Assistant: JamesAnthony Gilford MUA: Joyce Baltazar Hair: Maria Vallejo Model: Kimberly Golding
Give to me your feather, take from me my Lace. It is not often you hear the word â€œgnarlyâ€? as a connotation of face masks and headresses. Lacey Banister, owner of Straight Laced Boutique, San Francisco, creates all her garments by herself with no team behind her.
t is not often you hear the word "gnarly” as a connotation of face masks and headdresses. Lacey Banister, owner of Straight Laced Boutique, San Francisco, creates all her garments by herself with no team behind her. Seven years ago, Lacey took her bikinis, rucksack and boots, along with 60,000 other people, to the Burning Man Festival of Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The Burning Man Festival, for one week of year, challenges the participants to celebrate a theme within art to come alive, through mediums the everyday person would never witness. Overwhelmed by the passion and freedom the partakers created, it urged Lacey to create art for a living, despite her current career. The routine of making costumes every night for a week fresh in her mind, spurred her to teach herself to learn how
to sew, build and sculpt. "You could say I don't sleep much,” Lacey Bannister tells Veto, still the head animator for The Sims and well-known company Electronic Arts, "my creative eyes are always open.” They allow the wearer to diffuse from mainstream typicality, and take notice of what is beautiful, without stereotyping. "After many, many, many feather headdresses, I began to lose my affinity for such beautiful things, therefore, currently I find myself working with shell and metal.” Lacey's favourite design, the Engagement Headdress, is a silver and black spiked headdress with large silver mouth piece. "A woman whose confident in her own skin and own thoughts. She's sharp, intuitive, and bold. She's a risk taker and an earth shaker. Whatever her goal she'll attain it, with compassion, gratitude, and grace,” states Lacey Bannister, an overwhelming philosophy of the muse she creates, ranging through accessories and gowns. "A sense of power, a sense of regality and a sense of strength, regardless if I'm working with yarn or spikes.” Lacey Bannister is currently partnering with Runway Archives and Showroom in Hollywood, for project pulls, housing 12 pieces with them available for pulls internationally. "I have had the opportunity of a lifetime to design a couple pieces for a pop princess starting her tour soon. At this point everything is still hush but hopefully I'll be able to share details with the next month!” concludes Lacey, Veto wishes Lacey all the best.
Photographer: Moja Ma'at Designer: Lacey Bannister of Straight-Laced Boutique Model: Meisha Kingdon MUA: Ruby Envy Hairstylist: Jeru Weaver
s. & SAFARI ANOMALOUS craftswoman
EYE SPY BIOLOGY
Through the biology and abnormality of the world we live in, Kristen Phillips, owner of Safari Anomalous and new sister brand, S. Anomalous, exposes those oddities that arenâ€™t known to the everyday life. below: copper patina cthulu latex monocle
s. & SAFARI ANOMALOUS craftswoman
risten Phillips' interest in the visual arts and special effects began after studying film and video production in university. Teamed with her husband and vast interest in Halloween, Kristen creates uncanny craft that can terrify and educate. "The idea of inventing or inhabiting alternate realities, not just alternate identities, is very intriguing to me. The idea that humans have mapped the earth's entire surface and we can contact each other so readily across long distances belies the fact that there is still so much mysterious and unknown stuff out there,â€? formally declares Kristen. She perceives the world as a platform rather than a place of living, continuing to avidly explore the abnormal and showcasing it through both her brands. According to Trend Hunter, sister brand S. Anomalous is for the theatrical 24/7, not for the everyday environment. The accessory brand includes light weight monocles, decorated with steampunk styles, skulls, Cthulhu, skulls, lions and mythological beings. Veto delves into the alien of the LA brand.
science fiction, occasionally write (short stories and screenplays), watch a lot of movies and go out dancing with friends. I'd also like to get involved with beekeeping sometime later this year - my Dad's a beekeeper in his spare time and I find it to be pretty fascinating work. V: What inspires you in particular? K: I have favourite filmmakers in horror and art film, but most of my inspiration is from exotic but real biology. As strange as my work appears to some folks, I still believe that the real world produces stuff that is ten times stranger, if only we chose to stop and really examine those things. Not to mention the things that live in deep sea trenches, or in dense rainforests, or just on a microscopic level, organisms that we host on our own skins. V: Do you look up to anyone regarding their work? K; There are many people I admire, and their work spans across several genres and art forms, a short list would be: Lee Bontecou, Hieronymus Bosch, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Thierry Mugler, Gareth Pugh, Iris Van Herpen, Takayuki Takeya, Simon Lee, Bart Hess, Floria Sigismondi, William Gibson, and JG Ballard.
VETO: What would you call your job title? K: Designer, craftsperson, and storyteller. V: Do you have an ethos? What do you hope to achieve? K: The concept behind Safari Anomalous has always been that we would make available specimens from the far reaches of natural reality, creatures that were from just beyond the edge of the map. Safari Anomalous began in 2007 as a business catering to themed attractions, for example, haunted houses/mazes and other productions in the genre of dark rides. While many audiences enjoy visual spectacles in the vein of mainstream American horror movies, we've tried to stay more on the side of sublime discomfort. We want to make things that are simultaneously beautiful and intricate while also deeply unsettling, creepy not gory or violent.
V: Do you use the same materials within all your work or differ? K: I almost always start with clay, either water or oil based, depending on the scale of the project. Most of the time, the final product has been latex, sometimes filled with a soft urethane foam, and typically the moulds were plaster. I've also used a huge variety of other materials for commission and one off projects- a variety of foams, silicones, urethanes and fabrics, as well as fibreglass, wood, and metal. Recently I've started moving into using new materials like Eco-Resin for some of the new jewellery pieces I'm currently developing, which means making more silicone moulds.
V: When did S. Anomalous begin? K: I started up S. Anomalous two years ago as a parallel operation in order to bring this same aesthetic interest to people outside the narrow realm of haunted attractions, and also to see how we could blur the lines between fancy dress and couture. While fantastical, the monocles are intended as pieces that one could wear more regularly on special occasions or even in daily life if one were so inclined. Our customers have been varied, ranging from fantasy cosplayer and steampunk aficionados, to others who simply enjoy beautiful, uniquely handcrafted jewellery and accessories. It's been a great joy to see how many different countries we've attracted interest from, and to realize that our work is able to hop over cultural and national boundaries so easily. In some cases, S. Anomalous customers have come back to us to commission custom work as well. This spring will be the startup of our third evolutionary round: FloridxFauna, which will be definitively aimed at a more mainstream audience, not just subcultures like steampunk or cosplay or Goth.
V: What do you enjoy the most? K: Maybe it is the nature of creative work, but some of my favourite work is in this new venture. Nevertheless, I remain very proud of all the things I've previously created and will continue production of those pieces as long as people are interested in seeing them and experiencing them. We have showcased this new FloridxFauna collection at Monsterpalooza in Burbank California at the end of March 2014. V: Where is it leading? K: I hope we are able to continue exploring the boundary between the fantastical and the everyday by creating work that is not quite costume, not quite apparel, not quite real and not quite fiction. If this sounds rather open ended, it's because it is fairly wide ranging at this moment; a lot of my process is fluid and I feel open to taking whichever path appeals most strongly to my personal curiosity at any given moment. But at any one time, I probably have 12 ideas for future development for each idea that is in more substantial phases of development or prototyping. And the list grows every week!
V: What do you do in your spare time away from your creations? K: In the little bits of free time I have these days I read a lot, especially
t may seem contradictory contemplating the intertwining movement of fantasy and reality, but a speculation can be made, especially when a hit TV show has revealed so. The darkness of a world that readers and viewers are escaping to is becoming addictive and far from an idealistic guarantee that everything will turn out okay, especially when regarding the outrageously popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones. Could this be threatening the course of fantasy to those who follow it? For those of you reading that perhaps have not seen the television series or heard of the novels it is based on by American author George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, the bulk is given away by its name. It is a feud between several noble families, to rule the Iron Throne, in the lands of Essos and Westeros. This throne is situated south, in King's Landing,
the capital of Westeros, and controls a realm called the seven kingdoms. The complicated and immense cast of characters makes Game of Thrones incomparable, undergoing triumph and tragedy throughout every episode, with the hero or villain never being properly justified. This is nowhere near the standardised regularity of J.K Rowling’s Hogwarts; it is a frightening realisation that Westeros is far like reality that we can imagine. J.K Rowling's contemporary influence on fantasy has created a softer and glamorising approach, especially with magic. George R.R. Martin has twisted magic to be a very frightening trope, vastly more so than Voldemort’s supposedly dark magic. The characters in Game of Thrones believe that magic does not exist, parallel to what we also are certain of in our own world. The show begins where dragons are extinct, yet they did roam the isles at some point in time. They speculatively died out, along with all the magic. However, the viewers have the power of foresight and see this is far from the truth. An ancient, enchanted and threatening power rising in the north, named the White Walkers, and only those who protect Westeros at the border of the north believe this, accompanied by us, the viewers. We know they are a critical danger and we also know dragons do exist in their world by the end of the first series. The viewers can contemplate on their own accord what will happen in the seasons to come, perhaps an ultimate battle between these two magical forces, with no control from the humans. It permits a reminder that unknown forces and actions that no longer happen can always have a comeback, in our case, political and technological aspects. The magic can be argued as a reflection of the unknown and that we are frightened of it. Regardless of this, the power of wanting to know more continuously remains. It's less about a world we would like to escape to and more in depth into a world which perhaps is too close for comfort to our own. "Among other things, there are so many mysteries readers are waiting to have revealed, rather like the Harry Potter series. In both cases, the web is filled with forums where fans gather to speculate. The characters certainly don’t pull their punches, verbally or otherwise, and neither does Martin. There are powerful men, strong women, and very clever twists. And of course, lots of naked people,” states Professor Valerie Frankel, author of Winning the Game of Thrones and Winter Is Coming, books exploring the symbols and hidden meanings in Game of Thrones. It is a waiting game, with no clues and speculation to what would happen in the upcoming seasons. The flowing yet endless change of viewpoints does not interfere with the journey of the storyline, with 96 characters in the first season alone. The unusual use of characters is unfathomable; with a multi-viewpoint approach, keeping track of who triumphs and who weeps is a constant rollercoaster of sudden change, not far from
expectation with those we interact with in our lives. The reflection of us is what keeps the viewer hooked on the storyline, as Joe Thomson, Canadian author and writer for Sans magazine and This magazine, explains, "Hero vs. villain bullshit just seems pointless to me. There's good and bad in everyone.” Tuning in to the intricate detail, Joe continues, "I've read the books, after seeing season one, I'm into the mythology and the more classic fantasy elements of A Song of Ice and Fire, but I would never have gotten to that had the show not been so focused on drawing in viewers with character analysis. It's very difficult to reach a broad, adult, prestige” audience with high fantasy that doesn't examine the nature of humanity.” The trick is to use factors the viewer's know too well, especially our past and our history. "He's done his research, pulling in plot and character inspirations from the War of the Roses, King Arthur, and many other great stories,” states Professor Valerie Frankel, "By the late books, George R.R. Martin has Monty Python and even sports references that he'ss slipped in for his modern readers. It's a clear, well-thought out world loaded with details.” These subtle references do have an effect on the viewer. The recognition of familiar details does make this popular, the viewer can relate and notice this themselves, whether it is consciously or subconsciously. Inspiration for fantasy worlds
do have to start somewhere. But when the viewers can associate their own experiences and circumstances in the motion picture, in more depth than a typical I am leaving my hometown to find myself phase, then the absorption is not surprising. "I knew a tomboy like Arya, who was frustrated with being born a girl, even in the eighties after gender equality was said to have arrived. Overweight, miserable Sam is all-too-familiar. There are certainly spoiled Joffrey creeps found bullying their fellow students in school because their Cersei mothers never set limits. Certainly, their time becomes a metaphor for ours, if some teens and adults had swords and lived in a time of warriors, they certainly would be at the head of the army,” says Valerie Frankel. Architect Sam Jacob has observed the programme's representation built in another direction. "The references are obvious; at least each place/city is given a really distinct look and feel. It connects to the audiences own set of cultural memories, even if they don't explicitly get it.” The art direction has resemblement of countries and contemporary artists, through the building work and map creation. "Just like George Lucas did with Star Wars, where references to Nazis, cowboys and so on were dressed up in Sci-Fi aesthetics, there is feudalism, primitivism and courtly behaviour that provide a range of different social structures, a range of different ideologies that play out and compete one against another.” The cinematography through Game of Thrones does not tone down the violence at any point. Your favourite character will not be saved, regardless of your attachment and their heroic contributions to the realm. You will see every gruesome part as the circumstance happens, as shown with character Eddard Stark. Yet it didn't help that on all of the promotional posters before being aired, his character was sat on the Iron throne. The propaganda of Eddard Stark reveals a subliminal message of a possible storyline and a familiarity of his face. With this relationship between character and viewer, we would not expect him to be beheaded in the penultimate episode of the first season. Not to mention, seeing his daughter forced to stare at his head on a spike for all to see, the camera will never cut away and nothing is insinuated. The rare time the viewers don't witness the vulgarity, is when a good-turnedbad rogue gets his penis cut off by a torturing psychopath. It seems brutal, but this part is subtle compared to what was in store in the later seasons (let's not get involved with the Red Wedding) Eddard Stark is a nobleman, a familiarity of the fantasy genre. After being appointed Hand of the King, a role to serve as chief adviser of the King, and finding out why the previous Hand had died, he discovered that the King's children were not fathered by him, in fact, fathered by the Queen's twin brother. In result, this would deny their right to the throne and their part in the game forgotten. As this legitimacy is confronted to the royals, (let's not forget the King suddenly passed away before hand, making his eldest son, Joffrey, King) Joffrey saw it as trason. As the viewers see this is far from the truth, Eddard confesses to the crime to protect his family, yet he is still executed. "Every character exhibits very human qualities when faced with decisions or actions they must take. Whether its acting self-interestedly or altruistically, characters are forced to wrestle with the consequences. There is a price for every action taken and, although the stakes are raised and the emotions heightened (it is fantasy after all), I believe that the model of creating fallible characters and then forcing them to deal with all of the potential permutations of their actions, is essential to grounding the show in reality,” says a very passionate Joe Thomson, "the themes are very human. The nature of power is the overarching theme of the show, but also love, lust, betrayal, entitlement, inadequacy.” It may be considerably vicious, but it is in fact tremendously revealing. Its shows the real consequences those would face in the Middle Ages and medieval period, as fantasy is highly influenced by this time frame. Not to mention, the length those will go to keep that power. "The show succeeds because it allows you to get drawn into the story without having your disbelief suspended by common stumbling blocks like poor acting, unrealistic sets or amateurish directing,” says Joe Thomson. This political attribute confuses the expected force of fantasy, those who appear great are not, and those who are weak are in fact holy, focusing on how power is gain, kept and used.
So I can rule when they’re all dead.
Siblicide Rebecca Manser
My twin sisters fly two Pegasi, With wings that shimmer like mother of pearl. Kind-hearted and shy, they make the perfect ally, For every docile girl. My twin brothers speed on Griffin steeds, That gouge and grapple when they race. They bicker, aggrieved over who will succeed, The loser subjugated in disgrace. When gifted, I gasp at the egg that I clasp, Its veneer is sharp, serrated and darkest jet. But no one asks what I hold in my grasp, Fifth in line, none consider me a threat. I do not want a plumaged foal, Or a fat lion with a feathered head. I want a Dragon that will swallow them whole, So I can rule when they're all dead.
NONA LIMMEN photographer
Emerging Dutch photographer and fixated nemophilist revisits the Grimm's tales through her camera lens.
espite living in the thriving city of Amsterdam, photographer Nona Limmen finds herself retreating to the woods at any given opportunity. She combines dreams, fantasies and memories into an eary vision, closely relating to the words Albert Einstein, 1930, once said : "The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science.” VETO: Tell us a little bit about yourself. NONA: I'm Nona Limmen, born on the 15th of august in a small Dutch town near the coast in 1986. Currently I'm working as a photographer, artist and social worker in Amsterdam; the capital city of the Netherlands. I have a huge interest for the unknown, the occult and the undiscovered. Next to that I've always been a daydreamer since I was a kid, so I guess that's the main reason why I like to create my own dark and twisted world through my photography. I'm also a passionate music/cat lover and a big fan of forest walks with my love and my friends. I've studied Social Work at the University of Amsterdam. After graduating after four years I also did a minor and master focused on Psychiatry. V: What else do you get up to in the life of Nona? N: I love traveling and discovering new places and hideouts. I'm also addicted to music. My iPod and I are inseparable. Not a day goes by where I'm not listening to some doom, stoner or metal tunes. I love spending my spare time at concerts and festivals, wearing sleazy and nasty smelling outfits, drinking way too much beer and destroying my ears together with friends and my boyfriend. The other thing I also like to do is snuggle and cuddle with my cat Boris (or any other random cat that approaches me). V: What choice of weapon do you use? N: As long as I can remember my mom always carried her analog Pentax k1000 with her when I was young. Taking pictures at birthdays, on holidays or on random afternoons in our house or at the playground. I was fascinated by this camera and its huge lens, always asking her if I could use it too. When I turned 15 my mother gave her Pentax to me as a gift, along with two packages of film. I remember how excited I was when I first used this camera, too impatient to read the manual first. That's probably the reason why I terribly failed at my first attempt of making decent photos of my first two packages of film. Slightly annoyed and disappointed I showed the photos to my mom. "Told you so”, my mom said. It takes a lot of practice and wrong developed film to finally understand this camera”. After these words I had spent afternoons together with my Pentax manual, trying to figure out this camera's capabilities. Now, 12 years later, this camera still surprises me when I develop new film. I've always had a preference of using analog cameras instead of digital ones. Analog pictures give me a sense of nostalgia. The colours and contrast are more intense and I like the old and dusty layer while scanning them. After my Pentax I've also bought an analog Minolta, Fuji and a Polaroid camera. Still my Pentax is most precious to me. V: Has it always been a fantasy related attitude through your work? N: Yes, I've always been a big fan of fantasy stories. When I was little my grandma always used to read me bedtime stories from writers such as Tolkien, Brothers Grimm and other fairy tales. People definitely see a resemblance between those dark fairy tales and my photos. I like to create a world where I would feel right at home yet uncomfortable at the same time.
nona limmen photographer
showing nothing but a sensual back part of the female body. I want people to stop when they first lay their eyes on my photography, asking them "What the hell am I looking at?”
above and previous page: daughters of the underworld center: the exiled queen top: swamp spells
V: Do you have a favourite? N: That's a hard question. I think that will be the Anaïs and the Swamp Spells piece. Both of these pieces are inspired by Celtic and Norse mythology. Anaïs tells a story about the Morrigán (phantom Queen). An unpredictable goddess both associated with life and death, shape-shifting herself into a crow or raven when preparing for battle. This piece shows the beginning of her transformation from human into bird. The "Swamp Spells” print is inspired by the Eleionomae (spirits of nature, dwellers of the marshlands, and often misleading travellers with their illusions by portraying themselves as their loved ones). Eleionomae have an unnatural aura of beauty, as well as an unquantifiable air of mystery. Young men, who've encountered these swamp nymphs, never came back. As one story tells, "You never get to see their faces. Those poor young lads get mesmerized by their singing and follow them until they can't find their way home anymore. Legends tell they get eaten alive one they are lost and paralyzed by their Swamp Spells.” When I first read about the Morrigán and Eleionomae, I wanted to create an image that was similar to how I visualized them. Anaïs as a dark and mysterious shadow, the Eleionomae surrounded by branches, trees and high grass,
V: Is there anything in particular that inspires you? N: Nowadays I live in Amsterdam, but I grew up in a small town not too far away from the shore. Whenever I have a day off or some spare time left I always seize the opportunity of spending my time in the woods or at the beach. Nature inspires me the most, especially in the darker seasons when the trees turn leafless and the snow covers everything soothingly white. It awakes my crazy and grim imagination for some reason. Blame it on the grandparents, for telling me scary bedtime stories when I was a kid. I've also been fascinated with mythology since I was little, especially Norse, Celtic and Greek. Most of my photos are inspired by stories from books and tales I've read about mythological creatures and gods. I also get my inspiration from occult books I read and experiences I've had in the past. In my work I can express myself through these experiences and things I've read, almost in a sort of therapeutic way. V: Whose work has influenced you and why? N: That would probably be the work of my mom. She is such a talented woman, gifted with amazing drawing, painting and sculpting skills. I've always been surrounded by her work, since she liked to use our home as a showroom. Even now, at my own place in Amsterdam, my room is filled with some of her inspiring work. I am also a huge fan of Jess Schnabel, the founder and creator of BloodMilk Jewellery. Every piece of jewellery has its own unique and inspiring story. Not to mention the beauty and amazing craftsmanship represented in every piece of jewellery made by her. I'm also a big fan of the work made by Krist Mort, Ellen Rogers, Nicola Samorí and Jas Helena. I think these talented people inspire me because their interests for the occult and the unknown are similar to mine. They all have this otherworldly and dark theme, which I also use myself. V: What is the next year going to bring for you? N: I'm currently focusing on doing some new collaboration with people who have been a huge inspiration to me for years. I can't really tell you anything about it but it's going to be an amazing year.
TESSA FARMER sculptor
NOT YOUR AVERAGE TINKERBELL
A human skeleton sitting in an arm chair with a scarf wrapped around its neck and a stuffed swan hanging from the ceiling. These are only select things that you see when walking into Tessa Farmerâ€™s studio flat in Tottenham Hale.
Credit: Tessa Farmer
human skeleton sitting in an arm chair with a scarf wrapped around its neck and a stuffed swan hanging from the ceiling. These are only select things that you see when walking into Tessa Farmer’s studio flat in Tottenham Hale. "I have two cats in the freezer,” exclaims Tessa spritely while sipping on a cup of coffee and myself with tea. Tessa collects dead animals for taxidermy, the main skill to her art work. Despite the slightly concerning comments and bizarre surroundings, Tessa is the friendliest and most welcoming lady you could possibly meet, struggling to get her words out through all of the giggling. For 16 years, sculptor Tessa Farmer has been endlessly fascinated with creating terrifying evil wire fairies. Tessa attended Ruskin Art School in Oxford where she studied contemporary art, starting as a painter and graduating as a sculptor. Through taking this degree, she focused on anatomy of the body and life drawing and the skeleton. With inspiration from artist Andy Goldsworthy and his technique of collecting
natural materials, Tessa noticed the correlation between twigs and human bones. Back in her hometown, Birmingham, she thoroughly experimented with what she gathered which led to the first faerie sculpture immersed. Tessa used the natural material of a flowered tulip to represent a womb with the twisted flower faerie inside it as a foetal skeleton. "Like the annoying sister I am, I showed it to my brother and pretended it was real. He was absolutely petrified and it was worth every minute of it,” says Tessa. As a result, she continued to craft the fairies for her final degree show, escalating the amount to a 100 fairies installation, dedicating a full day to create just one fairy. "I didn't know if it was going to work at all, but once they're hung, they come alive. I'm obsessed and taken by the fairies,” Tessa mentions. After the success of her degree show, her education developed further to a residency in a forest in Kent. Sticking to her natural materials ethic, she modified the fairies to surf on leaves. She even used chestnuts as playful weapons, all at
insect dimensions but in human skeletal form. The spirit of her current art began to form. A narrative of predatory through the fairies became noticed, evolving to insect attributes. The fairies adapted mutated skulls of baboons and ego eccentric values as dominate parasites. "At this point, they controlled me.” The fairies gained weapons, varying from all types of skeletal assets, such as porcupine spine. In her 2012 exhibition, From the Deep, shark teeth, sea urchin spines and probes from deep sea sponge were used as artilleries for the fairies. Living on a private road at the edge of a canal, there are often deceased animals found on the banks. Surprisingly, Tessa is very close to the cul-de-sac caretaker and often finds packages of lifeless animals on her door step. These are then used as objects for the fairies, such as flying vessels, ranging from swans to hedgehogs. This enables the fairies to torture and mimic the insects around them further than they already are doing. Her collection of the dead is immeasurable. Tessa introduces me to all her collected works
TESSA FARMER sculptor
Tessa Farmer, The birth of the first fairy, 1998
showcased in her flat. To name a few, there were squirrels hiding within her work files, stuffed baby chicks in a tray and seahorses in plastic bags. She received some of them as wedding presents, which she actually asked for herself. Amongst the constant giggling and drifting off course, thanks to the cat she is cat sitting, a bombshell is dropped. She is actually in fact a vegetarian. With no knowing contribution to her work, Tessa recently found out that her family has a vital part in fantasy. Her great Grandfather was in fact an author of the genre, Arthur Machen.
do call myself a sculptor/ installation artist. V: If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what words would you use? T: Shy, perfectionist and weirdo V: Do you believe in fairies? T: Not all of them (i.e. the nice ones) but in mine, yes. V: What is your favourite piece of art that you've created so far? T: "The Perilous Pursuit of a Pythonâ€? in which two competing armies of fairies, one flying in skull ships controlling a swarm of hundreds of honey bees, the other commandeering an army of crabs, chased a python. It's my largest piece to date and took several intensive, surreal weeks to install.
VETO: What do you most enjoy about the art you create? TESSA: Probably becoming immersed in the world I'm creating. This happens sometimes when I'm installing pieces, and the narrative often develops whilst I'm installing it. I can also lose myself during the process of making, and when I fall in love with a piece it's an incredible high.
V: What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? T: I never think that far ahead. I hope to have learnt a lot more about the fairies because people keep asking me questions I don't know the answers to. I want to have some children and train them to make fairies with their tiny hands!
V: Do you have a word, or a few words that sum up what you do? T: I make evil fairies! I normally say that first, but to be more descriptive I
the season of the witch Forever dressed in black, crafting things black and wanting everyone else to be in black, itâ€™s far from ironic to associate designer Sally Chennery as a MODERN English Pagan. Recently noted as a participant for Graduate Fashion Week, 23 year old designer Sally Chennery collects her visionary outlook from her forever illusory mind, to produce dreamed-up costume design. Desribing herself as tantrum-prone, scared and excited, Sally whimiscally talks Veto through her primary inspiration, the influence from her dearests and her love of Brian Cox.
and we made cards and pictures and books. It was a cheap way to entertain but there's a deep seated love for all things creative engrained into my skin now. Fashion came later on. I studied a computer design and animation BTEC course at college and I began studying Fashion during Foundation. To me, it all made sense. I love all kinds of self-expression, perhaps clothes are the most publically accessible way of doing this.
VETO: Has anything/anyone while growing up influenced to be where you are now? SALLY: Hopefully everyone and everything has influenced me a little bit. It would be hard not to say that the main influences on my life came from my parents. My dad was a true trekkie, we would spend days travelling to Star Trek conventions and wandering through crowds of Romulus to search for cards to complete his collection. My mum raised us on a diet of Tim Burton films and Marilyn Manson. But they also loved photography, they lived in Hong Kong, Germany and Canada and they taught us that if we worked hard, stayed true to ourselves, believed and treated everyone with kindness that we could do anything.
V: Away from fashion, what are you mostly interested in? S: I find questions like this the most difficult. I love science. I have to stick to TV documentaries mostly (Brian Cox <3) because I've tried reading the books and discovered that an A grade English GCSE and a B grade in Science doesn't really equip you for that sort of bed time reading. I also LOVE to visit art galleries, wander around cities mostly discovering cake and tea, bananas dipped in nutella and fat puppies. I've just applied for tickets to sit in the audience of QI again (fingers crossed!) and I'm really excited to get time to go through all my photographs and put them into photo albums, with dates, times and titles. Being a witch isn't as crazy as you'd think.
V: Have you always been interested in art/fashion? S: I was very lucky growing up in that my parents cherished creativity and encouraged me and my sister to draw, paint and write and create as much as possible. I don't remember a time when I haven't been doing something with my hands. whenever there was a rainy day during the summer holidays (I'm from the north east coast, it was most days) we got boxes of pens, paper, glitter, glue, foam, card, egg boxes, pipe cleaners, stickers and stamps out
V: Tell me about the journey of your final collection S: It's been a bit of a roller coaster really. In fact it's been downright traumatic at times, but the end is nigh and I see the light. I've somehow floundered around in the abyss for so long that I have found something I didn't expect and I am happy with it. From its beginning in Hansel and Gretel and their forest, to a modern day society of witches, my journey may have been a bit more winding than necessary but it'll get me there.
both images: Megan Walters with permission of Sally Chennery
women who embodied perfectly my witch. To bring this all into the context of modern day fashion, I decided to design my collection for the modern day punk rock witch. I found this society in America that you can only join if you can prove that you are directly descended from one of the original Salem witches. These are women whose ancestors have been persecuted for being different, and they have found a voice in modern day society.
V: Why did you choose to base your collection around witches? S: I began researching for my final collection over Christmas time and initially I was looking at the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. I was drawn to Hansel and Gretel immediately but I was struggling to come up with any specific design direction. There's that saying in design 'you have to kill your babies' and I definitely learnt the true meaning during this collection. I's been brewing over this fairy tale collection for about a year and a half and I had too many preconceived ideas of what I wanted before I started, I was too in love with the project and it was hindering my ability to go through the design process and come out of it with a rounded and resolved collection. It wasn't difficult to find an alternative path not too far from my fairy tales though, I've always been attracted to the witch as a female character and she jumped out at me from the stories very quickly. She is not the typical damsel in distress or the modern 'supporting actress'. I think it's quite relevant as well, there are so many films coming out soon that play to this theme, and I can't wait for Disney's Maleficent!
V: What has inspired you with this collection? S: Aside from my research topic, which I love and inspire me greatly, I have found that a lot of my excitement and motivation to do well in this project has come from acceptance of my own ability. That is, I am not a fullyfledged designer, I am a student and that's alright, I'm not the "best in my classâ€? but that doesn't matter either. I enjoy what I do, I feel excited to keep doing it and I feel that if I keep working hard I will achieve what I want to. That's a pretty inspiring thought. V: What does the future hold for you? S: Who knows really? Isn't that the beauty of it? The near future holds some quality time with my family, and a massage (hunching over a table and a sewing machine 12 hours a day for four months does get a little bit uncomfortable). Oh, and I'm going to Cornwall and I'm going to learn to surf. Or at least fall off without crying.
V: Was this your original idea? S: My very initial bulk research was based around the fairy tale and the forest. This morphed pretty quickly into my witches, but they were these women that I had decided had been at war for a lot of years, with each other and with themselves. I loved the idea of these women having spent so long in the woods that they became almost a part of it. This transferred into the punk and punk rock muses I brought in to influence the style and attitude of the collection. In came Patti Smith and Siouxsie Sioux, two
The Accursed daughters of salem f A collaboration with costume designer Sally Chennery. photographer: Natalie Rose Wilde model: Sigred Johnson Rodli stylist: Megan Walters designer: Sally Chennery
o l xodus 22:182 ve e
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author of the issue
images below: copywright Storm Constantine
Caught up in a storm
The writer of this issue goes to Storm Constantine, a british fantasy author and owner of over 30 books and counting. Storm Constantine she suprises the fictional world constantly by persistantly producing enchanting work as well as working as Commissioning Editor of Immanion Press simultaniously. Storm found Immanion Press after 17 years of being published, predominanly as a tool to keep her books in print for as long as she pleases. Widely known for creating the world of Wraeththu, Storm talks to Veto about her quirky name, her want to be a cat breeder and her tips for practicing writers.
S: All my life. I began creating stories in my head even before I knew how to write them down. I was known as an imaginative little girl, who often got herself into trouble by making things up and then presenting them as fact. I didn't realise, for example, my best friend's mother, (who would have been in her twenties at the time and me around five), would object to me telling people she was my Gran! As far as I was concerned, she was someone I liked who I wanted to be part of my family, and I could make it so by imagining it. All she saw was that I must have thought she looked old! Back then, I really didn't get why she was so insulted. But I was told off so many times for doing things like this, making up stories about people I knew, (and never horrible stories, I must stress) eventually I turned my imagination to completely made-up people and scenarios. Even as a child I was intrigued by the supernatural, folklore and myth. I think story-telling was simply in my blood, and I was always going to be a writer. Fantasy allows for a lot of creative freedom. For example, you could set a novel in an alternative, medieval kind of world, and not have to research every tiny detail of what life was like in such an era. You can make things up as long as they're credible. I really admire the best historical novel writers because of the amount of effort that must go into creating authentic stories. I've read inferior historical novels that I had to abandon because they were so full of anachronisms, the story was unreadable. I just couldn't believe in it, so the writer lost me as a reader. Even in fantasy, you have to pay careful attention to such things, but not to as severe a degree as when attempting
VETO: You must hear this a lot, but your name is absolutely fantastic. Is there a story behind it at all? STORM: I chose a new name over 30 years ago under which to write, mainly because like so many new writers, (or particularly so 30 years ago) I was shy about showing my work to others. Using a pen name allows a distance between yourself and readers who are strangers to you. The company where I was working at the time had had an employee named Storm, who'd left before I joined them. I thought this was a great name, and so took that as the first part of my nom de plume. As for the second, I can't remember why I used that, possibly saw it on the side of a wine box! As I ended up using Storm Constantine for everything and even my parents eventually called me Storm. I purchased a Change of Name deed to make it all legal. It was a long time ago now! V: How long have you been writing?
author of the issue
to recreate a part of real history authentically. Genre labels can be rather a nuisance. You can address real world concerns in fantasy, or include fantastical elements in a mainstream story.
have plenty of time to write something. If anyone reading this would like to contribute, or enquire about contribution, please mail me at editorial(at) immanion-press(dot)com.
V: What is your muse when writing? Does your inspiration come from anywhere or anyone in particular? S: Inspiration can come from literally anything or anywhere. Ideas can spark off from the slightest thing, a news story, a film, a conversation overheard, looking into someone's house as I walk past it, an expression on a person's face in a restaurant. Writers are magpies - always on the alert for glittery things. Stories are all around us all the time, just waiting to be picked up. They also come from the great 'what if?' Writers are constantly thinking this, which is how they transform real-life inspiration into stories and novels.
V: Do you have any tips for aspiring fantasy writers? S: I have four tips I always give my students when teaching creative writing. 1. Your first novel should be the book you've always wanted to read but have never found. This means you will love it, and this will show in your writing, so others are more likely to love it too. 2. Learn the tools of your trade, grammar, syntax, punctuation, realistic dialogue and characterisation, and narrative structure. If you have control over your writing, your readers will read it as you intend for it to be read. 3. Read, read, read. Analyse what works and what doesn't work for you in other novels, and why. 4. Write what you know, and for what you don't know , research, or (as mentioned earlier) make things up that are credible.
V: Do you have any favourites that you have written? If so, please tell me why? S: I think that if the book you're currently working on isn't your favourite, then something's wrong. You have to be a little in love with what you're doing to give it your best shot. That said I still really enjoy creating stories in the world of Wraeththu, so I suppose that first love has stayed with me.
V: If you weren't a writer, what would you be? S: Well, as I'd be a completely different person, that's hard to answer. Hmm, but pushing it, perhaps I'd be a cat breeder, an artist or a photographer. Or all three.
V: Are you currently working on anything at the moment? S: At the moment, I'm working on the third book in the Alba Sulh sequence of Wraeththu books. The first two The Hienama and Student of Kyme were rather dark in their exploration of relationships. I wrote about misunderstanding, betrayal and a certain amount of psychological cruelty. Student of Kyme particularly was a grim little book. For the last one in the series, I wanted to veer away from all that angst and write a supernatural mystery. I'm the ultimate fan-girl of ghost stories, especially those of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, perhaps the hay-day of the ghostly tale. For The Moonshawl I wanted to immerse myself in this kind of mystery. Ysobi, who is not a very nice har in the first two books, has learned and is learning from his mistakes, and runs into an ancient secret that stems from the very roots of Wraeththukind. It's fun to write, and although Im not getting as much time to work on it as I'd like, hope to get it out this year. The main reason I've got so little time for The Moonshawl is because I'm writing a lot of short stories at present too. I've had quite a few ideas for stories recently that I have to write now, because if I don't there's a danger of forgetting them, not the details of plot so much as the atmosphere within them. That can't be retained by writing up notes to be used later on. The ambience can be like a fleeting ghost, so I have to capture it while it's within my grasp and before it wriggles away! After I've finished The Moonshawl, I'll start work on a novel outside the Wraeththu world. I have at least half a dozen ideas for novels, but haven't yet decided which one it will be. The intention is for The Moonshawl to be out by the end of this year, but if I can possibly finish it before then, I will. I'll also continue to work on short stories, which I really enjoy writing, and producing the Wraeththu Mythos short story collections, with the collaboration of other writers. Para Kindred: Enigmas of Wraeththu, has just come out through Immanion Press and is available in a printed edition through Immanion Press (http:// www.immanion-press.com). The previous collections, available in the same formats, are Paragenesis and Para Imminence. My co-editor, Wendy Darling, and I are currently deciding on a theme for the next collection, but well make an announcement soon so that potential contributors will
V: Have you noticed the popularity in fantasy fiction increase at all? S: I think fantasy has always been popular in one form or another, but nowadays there are far more people writing it, because of the advances in technology and access to self-publication. For that matter, there are more people writing in every genre! However, movies like Lord of the Rings and TV shows like Game of Thrones have certainly given fantasy more respectability in the eyes of people who might previously have thought the genre to be light-weight and twee like all fluffy unicorns and cute little elves and so on. I don't think that fantasy has recently become more realistic and gritty, because literary fantasy has always been around, but now the genre is less of a joke in the mainstream, which of course gives fantasy writers many more opportunities for success. V: Do you ever hit a wall with your writing? S: I've had terrible periods of writer's block. However, as I've got older, and see the sands slipping so swiftly through the hourglass of time, as it were, I've disciplined myself not to succumb to block so much, and to write anything if I'm having trouble with fiction. Even writing a blog post, or book reviews, helps free up the creative juices and coax the muse back from whatever she was doing elsewhere! V: Do you know if your readers are predominantly female or male? S: That's really hard to say, because I've had communication from both genders, and haven't noticed particularly if one's more common than the other! If the Wraeththu Mythos writers are anything to go by, though, the females far outnumber the males. In the new Para Kindred collection, for example, only one of the contributors is male. V: Do you feel there aren't enough female writers in the fantasy genre? S: I think women are strongly represented in the fantasy genre. I don't have hard statistics so can't say if the male writers outnumber them, but it seems to me that nowadays women are in a good place within the genre, certainly far better than what it used to be like.
The Veto might well be as wild as the vision; it might be as startling as the sun, as elusive as the waters, as fantastic and terrible as the towering trees. Chesterton, 1909