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Brian Froud (1947-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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Born 1947, in Winchester, England; Education: Maidstone College of Art, B.A. (with honors), 1971.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Correspondence, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 110 E. 59th St., New York, NY 10022.

Career

Artist, illustrator, creative consultant to films, including The Dark Crystal, 1983, and Labyrinth, 1986. Exhibitions: Work has been exhibited in England and America.

Honors Awards

ASFA Best Interior Illustration Award and Hugo Award for best original artwork, both 1995.

Writings

The Land of Froud, Peacock Press (New York, NY), 1977.

(With Alan Lee) Faeries, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1978.

The Faeries Pop-Up Book, 1980.

Goblins, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Terry Jones) The Goblins of Labyrinth: Invented and Illuminated by Brian Froud; Captured and Catalogued by Terry Jones, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1986.

(With Terry Jones) Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, Turner Publications (Atlanta, GA), 1994, reprinted, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Terry Jones) The Goblin Companion: Invented and Illustrated by Brian Froud; Captured and Catalogued by Terry Jones, Turner Publications (Atlanta, GA), 1996.

(With Terry Jones) Strange Stains and Mysterious Smells: Quentin Cottington's Journal of Faery Research, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.

Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Jessica Macbeth) The Faeries' Oracle, Fireside Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Ari Berk) Brian Froud's the Runes of Elfland: Visions and Stories from the Faerie Alphabet, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2003.

(With J. J. Llewellyn) The World of the Dark Crystal, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2003.

ILLUSTRATOR

Charles Lamb, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1972.

Margaret Mahy, The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1972.

Margaret Mahy, Ultra-Violet Catastrophe! Or, The Unexpected Walk with Great-Uncle Magnus Pringle, Parents' Magazine Press (New York, NY), 1975.

Mary Norton, Are All the Giants Dead?, Harcourt, Brace (New York, NY), 1975, Magic Carpet Books (San Diego, CA), 1997.

Alexander Theroux, Master Snickup's Cloak, Paper Tiger (Limpsfield, Surrey, England), 1979.

Charles De Lint, The Dreaming Place, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1990.

Charles De Lint, Brian Froud's Faerielands: The Wild Wood, Bantam (New York, NY), 1994.

Patricia A. McKillip, Brian Froud's Faerielands: Something Rich and Strange, Bantam (New York, NY), 1994.

(Designer) Wendy Froud and Terri Windling, The Winter Child, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

Adaptations

Froud and his artwork are featured in the documentary film The Fairy Faith.

Sidelights

The image of faeries has changed considerably since Brian Froud began his artistic career in the 1970s. Through his influential drawings and books, Froud has introduced the idea that faeries (the Old English spelling) come in many shapes and personalities—that some are indeed the pleasant pixies of animated cartoons, while others can be sinister, sad, or flirtatious. Froud's book Faeries, a bestseller in its time, has had enormous influence on film, general illustration, and fantasy, as the artist has channeled old Celtic folklore and earlier generations of faery pictorials into new and vibrant work.

An essay by Terri Windling on Froud's Web site had this to say about Faeries: "Here, in all their beautiful, horrible glory were the faeries of old British legends, undiluted by greeting card sentiment: gorgeous and grotesque (often at the same time), creatures of ivy, oak and stone—born out of the British landscape, as potent, wild and unpredictable as a force of nature."

Most illustrators wait for a story manuscript and then create the pictures to go with it. Froud has sometimes worked this way, but on other occasions he turns the process on its head and creates the pictures first. In those cases he then works closely with a writer to fashion a text that fits the pictures. Some of Froud's projects, including Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book and The Goblin Companion, urge readers to pay close attention to how the illustrations sometimes subtly contradict the accompanying text. On Froud's Web site, Windling observed: "If there can be said to be a painterly equivalent to the literary school of Magical Realism, then the work of Brian Froud exemplifies it…. To open the heavy wood door of [his] house is to open a gate that leads back through time and into the faerielands."

Froud has also worked as a consultant to films, including the Jim Henson puppet movie The Dark Crystal. Additionally, his work lends itself to the playing card format, and he has created numerous faery cards and card sets that can be used to play games or to commune with the otherworldly folk. In an online interview, Froud encouraged others to see faeries the way he sees them and draws them—from a wellspring of creativity. "Faeries are seen through the heart, not through the eyes," he said. "Remember that faeries inhabit the interior of the earth and the interior of all things, so look, in the first place, in the interior of yourself. Allow them to materialize in your mind's eye. If you let Faery live within you, you can likewise live within Faery."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, May 1, 2003, Michael Rogers, review of The World of the Dark Crystal, p. 160.

Los Angeles Magazine, December, 1982, Tom Link, review of The World of the Dark Crystal, p. 318.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April, 1995, Charles de Lint, review of Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, p. 36; June, 2001, Charles de Lint, review of The Faeries' Oracle, p. 26; May, 2004, Charles de Lint, review of Brian Froud's the Runes of Elfland: Visions and Stories from the Faerie Alphabet, p. 30.

New York Times Book Review, November 7, 1982, review of The World of the Dark Crystal, p. 51.

Publishers Weekly, June 13, 1980, review of The Faeries' Pop-Up Book, p. 74; September 9, 1983, Jean F. Mercier, review of Goblins, p. 65; December 20, 1993, review of Brian Froud's Faerielands: The Wild Wood, p. 54; October 3, 1994, review of Brian Froud's Faerielands: Something Rich and Strange, p. 54; August 14, 2000, "Faeries, Spells, and Magic," p. 343; September 10, 2001, review of The Winter Child, p. 66.

School Library Journal, February, 1991, Susan L. Rogers, review of The Dreaming Place, p. 93; April, 1999, Frances Reiher, review of Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, p. 164.

Time, January 3, 1983, Richard Corliss, review of The Dark Crystal, p. 82.

ONLINE

World of Froud, http://www.worldoffroud.com/ (June 7, 2004), author's home page with illustrations, biography, articles, and interviews.*

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