When I was ten years old I discovered the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta. Not only was this the first living artist who's work I was conscious of but it was also the first time I really thought about illustration as a career or doing any kind of art for a living. It was also my introduction to the science fiction and fantasy genres which I have loved ever since.
Of course I was only ten and from a small town. I knew nothing about the publishing business and neither did any of the adults in world.
So the idea that I had in my head was that this Frazetta guy just dreamed up these wild fantastic images and painted them the way he wanted to and then guys like Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and the boys from Molly Hatchet would come over to the house and pick the ones they wanted to use and pay him for it.
This was utterly wrong, of course, but it sounded like the perfect job to me and it still does.
As time went by I came to have a better understanding of the business so I tried my best to become an illustrator while maintaining my day job in a factory. When I finally broke out into the art world it was not as an illustrator but as a sign painter. It was good and I enjoyed it, but I kept trying to return to my life long dream of being an illustrator with little success.
Then one day it hit me; I don't have a lifelong dream of being an illustrator. I'm no more interested in that than I am in sign painting, it's a compromise. What I really want to do is paint and sell fantasy art just the way I want to paint it.
That's not publishing at all that's gallery work, but everyone knows that galleries don't accept fantasy art. Well that used to be true when I was young, but the world has changed a lot since then. Now there is a generation of successful business people and home owners who grew up with Star Wars and even the Lord of the Rings movies. It's part of their culture and they're happy to have it on their walls.
So these days I'm following my real lifelong dream. I stay home and paint fantasy art, just the way I want it.
All of these are oil paintings on recycled materials such as scrap lumber dresser tops and doors. They incorporate techniques and aesthetics that I picked up as a sign painter and a muralist combined with the fantasy genre that I love.
Last edited by Gilead; May 7th, 2012 at 02:05 PM. Reason: old