Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript)
 
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    Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript)

    I want to do a project where I create a fake 'archeological discovery' illustrated/illuminated manuscript. So I'm trying to find source images of good art styles, but I don't know of a good term to describe the kind of art I'm looking for, so it's making it very hard to google. I want art which is representational but heavily stylized or symbolic. I'd prefer art which has words or other written symbols within the image, not separated like in modern word bubbles/captions. I don't care when or where it was created. It's ok if the proportions or perspective are wonky, like the way eyes are drawn in Egyptian murals, or the way some Art Nouveau work gives people tiny hands and feet and really long necks.

    So, can anyone recommend either a term I can google or some specific photobooks or artists I should look at?

    For reference, here is a page of the Voynich manuscript and one from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
    Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript) Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript)

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  3. #2
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    Glyphs, pictograms, ancient manuscripts, scrolls, etc. Rosetta Stone, Dead Sea Scrolls...some examples to look at.

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    Use your imagination, read the lord of the rings.

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    Ever heard of the Codex Seraphinianus? It was made in the 20th century but heavily inspired by the Voynich Manuscript, as it seems to be an encyclopedia of an unknow world. Really quite fascinating with surreal and interesting imagery, odd glyphs and diagrams of all sorts. Might be a good inspiration for you! You can download the entire thing over here.

    Here's the cover.
    Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript)

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    *makes a list* I am familiar with the Codex Seraphinianus, I agree that it's probably the existing book most similar to the Voynich Manuscript and what I want to do. The art style isn't really what I want because it's pretty modern/western looking, but it's still interesting in terms of the content of the art, the structure of the book, and that it's one of the only modern examples anyone has mentioned. Ancient examples are good too, though.

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    There are many children's books (ok, a few) that use a similar "field guide" approach:
    Trouble for Trumpets
    Spiderwick Field Guide

    Check out Froud's "Making of the Dark Crystal" for sure. And Rien Poorvliet's work.

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    For a relatively modern example, take a look at The Secret Book of Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet. There's a lot of mixing of sketches and annotations throughout that makes the text part of the art very nicely.

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    Found this example today, it's so pretty I couldn't resist sharing:
    Art that is not realism, cartoon, or anime (Voynich manuscript)

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    Some good books already listed and I will second Secret Book of Gnomes and Spiderwick Field Guide.

    How about Good Faeries Bad Faeries by Brian Froud? Dragonology (Egyptology, Wizardology, etc, etc) is another faux archeological series. I would also suggest checking out children and YA books about mythology, fairy tales, and folktales in general.

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  14. #12
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    Carolingian and Byzantine manuscripts would possibly be relevant to what you're attempting to do.

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