There is imagination, the raw unformed stuff between the ears. And there is interpretation, the ability to condense the things we see and put it on the page. An artist does these things as a matter of course. They take the raw chaos and make it into something real, something tangible. There’s a lot of fiddly bits in between the chaos and the tangible, but that’s basically it.
This exercise of creation is not such a rare thing. Or, at least not as rare as we might want to believe it is. Most often it is couched within terms we know, boundaries we understand, rules and forms that comfort. Comfort allows us to see what the artist sees, to appreciate their interpretation. Most. Not all. Sometimes the exercise of art shatters the confines of the expected. It exposes us to that imagining, but also forces us to interpret it for ourselves. I would argue that’s more powerful. Such it is with Notes from the Shadowed City, a book of illustration and prose pulled from the mind of Jeffrey Alan Love.