An artist since childhood, Beth has always felt drawn to paint fanciful, brightly- colored figures. Several of these drawings appealed to her so much that she found herself sketching the same people over and over again, even making up stories about them through short comics jotted in her sketch pad. These drawings turned out to be the first incarnation of many of the characters in The Spectrum of Magic, including Emerald, Ikaria, Derek, Kyle, Drew, and Telly.
After college, Beth worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, continuing to doodle her beloved characters in her spare time. She made several attempts to write Emerald’s story, hoping to turn it into a graphic novel, but was never satisfied with the results. After working for several years in the advertising and licensing industry, she felt burned out and turned to a new career in high fashion. Her creativity found an outlet in designing costumes on the side, and for a while, Emerald and her friends remained dormant in the back of her mind.
Years passed, and Beth eventually married and had three children. During the pregnancy of her third child, one of her employees saw her costumes and asked Beth if she could cosplay as one of her characters. The girl reminded Beth of Emerald, which inspired her so much that she immediately began sewing a costume for her. Beth also recruited a talented photographer to collaborate on the project, and he shot and composited a beautiful rendition of Princess Emerald for her. Invigorated by the project, Beth then asked another friend to dress as Ikaria, since the woman had the perfect personality for the part.
While constructing Ikaria's costume, Beth had vivid, week-long dreams of her characters. Many of the scenes from Fragments of Light took place in those dreams, from Emerald escaping the palace to her exploring the streets of Arcadia with Kyle on the back of his motorcycle—everything Beth had dreamed of twenty years ago when Emerald was first conceived. Following this experience, Beth felt that it was time to tell Emerald’s story at last, so she opened up a Word document and began to write.
Three years later, the characters who have lived in Beth's art and imagination for
the past two decades have finally become a reality.
Photo by Natasha Sachi Hayes