Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Arts: From pocket dragons to public art

Once upon a time in a land called Flower Mound of Texas, there lived a very special artist and his muse. The artist is named Real Musgrave and his muse (and wife) is named Muff, and they live in a modern four-story castle, called Brae Edenhall, built into a hillside in the town of Flower Mound. Brae Edenhall, named for their ancestral castle in England, is as charming and fascinating as these artists and their creations.

Together as a couple and as prolific creatives, the Musgraves brought life to Pocket Dragons–wonderful, intelligent, innocent, funny, and often mischievous creatures that can fit into your pocket.

Real always loved dragons, and when he and Muff were hitchhiking through Europe in the early 1970s, Real began drawing his little dragons, not the fire-breathing dragons of myths, in a small sketch pad. That sketch pad fit into Real’s pocket, and thus began the story of the whimsical Pocket Dragons.

Real and Muff have always loved and supported animals. Their first animal together was a dog called Flower. Flower’s expressions and joy and love of people, cookies and adventure became the inspiration for many of the 400+ Pocket Dragons Real created. After Flower, pets Beanie and Tucker carried on the same tradition for these artists. Muff often provided the idea that sparked a dragon project or story. Real called Muff his creative as well as business partner. In the heyday of the Pocket Dragon era, Real and Muff traveled extensively, domestically and internationally, and created the animated characters that appeared in “Pocket Dragon Adventures,” a 30-minute show shown in more than 60 countries, and in 109 markets in the USA. (There is so much more to their fascinating life that this column cannot provide because of space limitations.)

In addition to the creation of Pocket Dragon drawings, paintings, and sculpting, Real and Muff have been guest lecturers at universities and have served as advisors for students of art and fantasy.

Pocket Dragons also became collectable figurines, key rings, pencil toppers, stickers, cuddly velour dragons, adjustable rings and the center of the Pocket Dragon & Friends Collectors Club, with dues, a quarterly magazine, (“Pocket Dragon Gazette”) and an international club trip.

Sadly, the magical Pocket Dragons do not frolic in the world as they once did – they retired, live mostly in memory or curio cabinets, and can be found on the web in a land called eBay.

In his extensive and charmed career, Real served as the official artist for creating the advertising campaign for the Texas Renaissance Festival (north of Houston) for 14 years. Real is an award-winning fantasy artist.

Everything about Real and Muff is honest, comforting, enchanting and friendly, inviting you to believe in fantasy and whimsy. Today, Real and Muff are generous friends to the Humane Society and the Flower Mound Library. Real created the mural for the building facing the dog exercise yard at Humane Tomorrow’s headquarters near Lantana.

Real’s most recent project is a piece of public art, located on the grounds of the Flower Mound Public Library. Real created a bunny sitting on a stone bench, beckoning children to come read with him.

Muff serves on the Friends of the Library Board, and is the connection between the Library and Real’s latest creation. In their retirement, Real and Muff do community-oriented charitable work, which continues to make the world a better place because they are here and continue to offer themselves and their art to the world. We are so lucky to inhabit the same land as these two magical and generous artists.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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