Octavia Cheetham Fairy Art
The Fairy Gathering brings you the fabulous traditional fairy art of Octavia Cheetham!
Octavia is not your common or garden fantasy artist. If you are amazed by the swathe of complimentary influences displayed by her diverse and beautiful portfolio of artwork, then you are in good company. Her secret is to always be in awe of the world around her and the peoples and cultures that make it so inspiring. For most of the last 3 years, Octavia has experienced that world first hand; like a futuristic gypsy -a technomad if you like- or, in her own words, “a Perpetual Tourist”. She lives in a town for just a month or two and then, before her tourist visa expires, packs up and moves along to her next new temporary home and a whole raft of fresh influences.
“Life wasn’t always this exciting, but I am living proof that this marvelous lifestyle is well within the means of anyone who wants to try it. Already this year, I’ve lived in the Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand and Hawaii. I’ve enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere and culture and scenery in four very different, and totally inspirational countries… something I would hardly dared to dream of when I was younger. And yet, it has cost far less to do this than to maintain a house and a car in England would have done if I hadn’t taken this leap of faith to follow my heart and actually… every day… to touch and taste and smell and see the kinds of things that were previously part of another universe I’d only glimpse in glossy travel magazines.”
Octavia grew into her unusual traveling lifestyle from humble beginnings as the daughter of a farmer in Herefordshire. Even as a child she would paint while sitting at the dining table while the rest of the family watched television. Or scratch away in her sketch-pad under the bed by torchlight while everyone else slept. Growing up in the lush English countryside, there was a veritable bottomless well of subjects for her artwork.
“But still, I have always loved horses, and for a long time I used to draw them every day. I would often dream of a white horse. I would ride her through forests and fields, discovering magical places as we went.”
After graduating in Illustration and Graphic Design from Art College in her home town of Hereford, Octavia began to pursue a career in custom painting: One-off original airbrush fantasy artworks on motorbikes, crash-helmets or guitars. Unfortunately, luggage allowances for air travel don’t stretch to air compressors and a spray bay, so custom painting isn’t the easiest career to follow when living out of a suitcase. This is where her versatility came into its own, and she was able to draw upon the experiences from her college days to begin building a business from the ground up as a freelance illustrator.
“I’ve always looked for a way to express my spiritual side. Now, whenever I’m not busy designing tattoos and website graphics for my clients, my business “Lunarian Art” gives me the chance to indulge my calling to incorporate crystals, and chakras and the fae into my own art… much of which I give away as computer desktop wallpapers.”
Growing up and living so close to nature, Octavia has nurtured a life-long fascination with nature spirits and the faery realm. Octavia’s painting, “Moon Goddess”, was commissioned by a close friend who had no idea that she was to be the subject of the painting at the time, but both artist and subject were overwhelmed by the huge flow of positive emotion and healing that came from it when it was done. Almost immediately, Octavia knew that she wanted to provide healing and love through her artwork. The complex symbology and deep meanings behind the many elements that she has incorporated into much of her art since Moon Goddess is testament to the tremendous care she takes when selecting the particular crystals and other textures that contribute textures and additional meaning to each piece.
“When I paint I’ll already have a few ideas to start with, but as I create I let the work speak to me. I want to capture the heart and soul of the person I’m painting, and let the magic flow out of that. For me, all of life is about the people I meet, and the messages I receive along the way. The fae are very real to me, and that’s why I’m inspired to paint them. No matter what country or culture you look into, each of us has many nature spirits — they are true guardians in this world and they are the ones to teach us the lessons of nature, and how to live alongside her.”