August 01, 2017
Stepping into Dragonspace is a sensory experience, with visuals, scent and sound all coming together to create our little fantasy world. A lot of the visual wonder is thanks to the talented fantasy artists whose works line our shelves, adorning gift cards, art books, t-shirts, tarot decks, statuettes and more. These artists bring our imaginations to visual life, from the Gothic realms of Anne Stokes to the vivid wonderlands of Josephine Wall.
Here’s a bit more about the artists you’ll find as you roam the store:
American artist Amy Brown is known for her fairies, which she’s been painting since 1992. Amy predominantly uses watercolours in subdued hues that remind us of the changing seasons. We particularly love the eclectic fashions on Amy’s fairies, which are clearly inspired by fashions throughout history - Victorian corsets, striped stockings, medieval gowns, white furs and Steampunk goggles. There's a real sense of story to Amy's often wistful fairies, and you can't help but want to know more about them as you peek inside their worlds.
Amy is also the artist behind our fantastic fairy teacup collection (which sold out quickly - but let us know if you want us to notify you when we get more in!)
Anne Stokes is a well-known British fantasy artist with a penchant for the Gothic. Her work is easily identified by its striking subjects and moody aesthetic, from fallen angels and vampire queens to dragons with their princesses. Her art also litters the world of pop culture - her illustrations have been featured in the Dungeons & Dragons books, and in the early days of her career, she designed tour merchandise for bands like Queen and the Rolling Stones, and fashioned jewelry lines for Discword and Harry Potter brands (what an enviable resume!) We love the boldness of Anne’s art, and the way she shows the shadowy side of the fantasy world without being sinister.
Who doesn’t love visiting the surreal rainbow landscapes of Josephine Wall’s imagination? Josephine’s art is a dream come to life, recognisable for its gorgeous use of light and colour, with a heavy focus on purples, pinks, bright blues and yellows. You have to stare at Josephine's pieces for a while to truly appreciate them, as they’re often a collection of images that blend into one another to form a larger whole. British-born Josephine is heavily inspired by nature, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of her art that doesn’t have some kind of natural element in it - curved shells, bright flowers, shimmering moons, dancing butterflies, sprawling trees, the list goes on and on.
If you’re in England, you might actually get a chance to visit Josephine. Her magical gallery is in Dorset and she welcomes visitors by booking.
American artist Nene Thomas’s art is Romantic and intriguingly realistic, even if the content is mythical. Her fairies have a real human quality and intricate fashions that you can admire for ages. Like Anne Stokes, Nene Thomas has also contributed art to fantasy role-playing games, working with Magic: The Gathering at the start of her career. While early on she favoured watercolours, Nene now creates all her art digitally - adding a modern aesthetic to traditional fantasy. Nene’s work spans the dark and light ends of the magical world, featuring Gothic fairies, whimsical forest scenes, romantic embraces, snowscapes, oceanscapes, beauties and beasts of all kinds.
While all our featured artists have large followings, Brian Froud's work has probably had the biggest influence on popular culture. If you've seen cult fantasy films The Dark Crystal or The Labyrinth (and who hasn't?) then you've come across Brian's art - he was a conceptual designer on both films. His work is quirky and gloriously grotesque, with his most famed illustration collections including Goblins, Trolls, Good Faeries/Bad Faeries and Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book. There's a huge sense of humour and playfulness to Brian's art, and his partnership with Jim Henson's Creature Shop (responsible for The Muppet and Sesame Street) seems only natural. His wife, Wendy Froud, is also a talented fantasy artist and puppet-maker. We'd love to see what their dinner parties are like!
We're forever in awe of the artists that help make Dragonspace even more magical with their spell-binding creations. Do you have another favourite fantasy artist you think we should check out? Let us know in the comments below!
July 16, 2017
Even in an electronic era, there’s still a magic to holding the weight of paper in your hands. Thick parchment scrawled with incantations, sketches of plant life found through a walk in the forest, or messy meditations on a manic day - paper becomes home to ideas and knowledge.
We carefully select our collection of notebooks and journals here at Dragonspace to favour handmade designs and enchanting patterns that we feel best suit our eclectic clientele. With the blank page ahead, what would you choose to fill it with? Here are a few ideas:
Making a Grimoire
A grimoire (also known as a spell book or Book of Shadows) is an essential for any Wiccan or Pagan practitioner. This is the place to document your practice. Amongst the pages of a standard grimoire, you’re likely to find spells, charms, and incantations; important symbols and diagrams; instructions on rituals or ceremonies; information about moon cycles, tides and seasons; and potions or herbal recipes. While a grimoire could take any form, from a plain old ringbinder to an electronic folder on your computer, it’s a personal part of your practice and will be a primary object on your Wiccan altar, so having the right design helps! Our embossed leather journals handcrafted in India are perfect for handmade grimoires.
You don’t have to be a writer or artist to be attracted to the idea of journalling. Maintaining a personal journal is a great way to wade through the messy waters of our inner thoughts, and also to create a record of our lives at significant points in time. A personal journal can become a counsellor and guide, as well as an output at the end of a long day, or first thing in the morning to kickstart your brain. Our Oberon Design leather journals are ideal for this, as they come with replaceable notebook inserts, meaning once you finish the final page, you can replace it with a new notebook but keep the same beautiful leather cover to use over and over.
Many of the products we purvey at Dragonspace, from tarot cards to crystals to runestones, are intended to help us make sense of our lives and the world around us. Creativity and the fine arts are also often associated with this. Be it sketching, sculpting, making music or writing poetry, having a creative output is believed to help our mental and emotional states, as well as enhance our grasp on humanity and history. In the pages of a beautiful notebook or journal, you can let your imagination run free. Sketch beautiful scenes you’ve seen throughout the day, or vent your frustrations in poetic language. Press the pages with wildflowers, or create mind maps of your thoughts. You might be surprised at what you come up with when the page is yours to take over.
Spiritual people are often fascinated by dreams - a glimpse into the unconscious mind, and perhaps a means of traveling to places we can’t access in the physical world. But a lot of the time we wake up from an important dream only to find the memory fading rapidly. Here’s where a dream journal comes in handy. Record your dreams as soon as you wake up, and have a proper record to analyse later. Once your log fills up, you might notice recurring themes in your dreams, or be able to relate certain dream motifs to events happening in your life. It’s also been argued that dream journalling is a good way to achieve lucid dreaming - a dream state in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming and is able to exert an element of control or influence over dream events. Your journal will help you navigate the flow of your dreams and better understand the process.
We know our Dragonspace customers are in tune with the beauty of the world around us. If you have a desire to record this beauty, scrapbooking will appeal to you - collect trinkets and souvenirs from your journeys, such as tickets, letters, pressed flowers, pieces of material, and other tactile mementos of events and occasions. And while the convenience of having a digital photo album constantly stored in our pockets (in the form of a smartphone) definitely has its benefits, an old-fashioned photo album still has a tangible beauty too. A collection of photographs of special events, travels and candid moments with friends and family can become a piece of art in itself, and a physical record of life’s magic. Our beautiful leather albums are handmade, interleaved with tissue paper to protect your photographs, and feature a unique embedded gemstone.
Are your hands itching to put pen to paper yet? Let us know in the comments below what you’d choose to fill the pages of your favourite journal with!