Model: Nala Botoma Diallo @nalabala4
Designer: Glimmerwood @glimmerwood
Savannah Seeger, a.k.a. Simply Savannah Art, has long filled our social media feeds with dazzling, otherworldly visions of witches, goddesses, and fairies of every color, with giant shimmering wings and headdresses and swirling gowns, long tresses in shades of green and blue and lavender. We loved her frothy springtime enchantress in joyful hues of mint green and filmy pink—and thought she might be the perfect way to begin our “year of the witch,” along with her other visions shared on these pages. Below, we ask Seeger about her art.
Enchanted Living: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Savannah Seeger: I’m a twenty-six-year-old full-time travel fantasy photographer and metalhead. I live in Wisconsin with my dog Ludo but travel as often as I can to magical destinations. I started this photo journey in 2017, trying to make a living from seeing the world and photographing mystical beings at the same time. I’ve been to twelve countries so far and plan to keep the number growing. If I’m not on shoots or in nature, I am painting, at a concert, staring at my sword collection, or crafting wardrobe for my next shoot.
EL: Can you talk about our cover image and the inspiration for this springtime witch?
SS: Glimmerwood, a designer, sent me images of this beautiful set she created, and I was so taken aback by its originality and beauty. I wanted to do this piece as much justice as I could, and Nala was the perfect fit to bring it to life! When I saw the colors of the gown I knew it had to have some pastel pumpkins to go along with it. So I painted those up, wagoned the pink pumpkins into the woods, got Nala into wardrobe … and the springtime witch was born.
EL: Do you have any thoughts about witches generally?
SS: My mom would always tell me stories of my great-great-great grandmother Lena who came from the Black Forest of Germany. She’d make herbal mixtures in a tree stump under the full moon. Lena would then take these mixtures and give them to my great-grandpa (her grandson) to help him heal from whatever ailment he had at the time. This story I was told made a big impact on my young mind and has carried over to my adult life and into my own spirituality. I know a lot of people say it, but it truly does run in my blood.
EL: Your use of color is so striking and positive and bright. Can you talk about that?
SS: Thank you! As far as the color in my artwork, I really want to make the model and the earth surrounding them one cohesive piece. If the color in the raw image doesn’t mesh well, I fall into my fantasy world and create color patterns that bring the fantasy world in my head to the viewer. My hope is that the viewer will make up their own narrative and escape the mundane day to day.
EL: And what inspires you?
SS: My biggest inspiration would have to be Brian Froud. If not for his creature creations in the film Labyrinth (a film I played on repeat as a child) I probably wouldn’t be here in this wonderful magazine. I can also relate to his use of nature in his works. I went as far as traveling to Wistman’s Wood in England, where he draws a lot of his inspiration, to do my very own photo shoot. (It’s the image of the woman standing next to the mossy rock.) The trees and moss there are not of this world, and when I made the connection from reading his books, I knew I had to go there too. I also made sure to put his art all over my home to always feed into my own creativity.
And then shows like Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon—with their stunning array of costume pieces and armor—always stun me with inspiration. Heavy metal tracks from the 1980s and ’90s with fantasy-infused lyrics always make me want to grab my camera right away and make magic. I pull inspiration from many sources!
EL: Would you call these images witchy, goddess, fairy-esque, or a combination of those?
SS: I would consider these images to be a combination of all of these. I feel you can’t have one without the other. Witches respect the fae and the goddess within.
EL: Can you talk about the diversity of your images?
SS: When someone looks at my images, the first thing that I want to come to their mind is, “Wow, that could be me.” I never want anyone to feel like they cannot be a part of the fantasy realm or that fantasy has exclusions. No one left behind. Having diversity in my work means so much to me for this particular reason.
EL: Any stories you’d like to share?
SS: There are so many stories that I could share about my adventures, my photo shoots: Breaking my ankle in California carrying a silicone mermaid tail down the stairs to the beach and still finishing the shoot. Photographing fairies in the mossy rocks of Iceland in a rainstorm. Stumbling across castles in Ireland with a model and getting stunning shots. Getting lost in the jungle in Guam hiking miles and miles to a cave with a camera bag and mermaid tail in hand. Taking road trips with friends and shooting in the fjords of Norway. Driving the autobahn in Germany and doing sunrise photo shoots in Hamburg. Wandering the Highlands of Scotland, jumping fences with a local model to take photos by a Highland Coo. I could go on forever! I’m so grateful for the memories.
EL: And then, do you have any favorite springtime rituals?
SS: In Wisconsin as soon as springtime hits and the long winter is finally over, I am back in the woods going on long adventures with my dog Ludo. I consider this my ritual, getting back in touch with nature again. It’s like catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
See more of Simply Savannah Art at simplysavannahphotography.com or on Instagram @simplysavannahart.