|Female Pan Queen by Marta Nael|
Fantasy art is really thriving today all over the world. With all the crap art that has flown under the avant-garde flim-flam flag of Art that us poor middlebrow orangutans can't get, we can exult that we live in the days of Donato Giancola, Alan Lee, John Howe, Todd Lockwood, Dan Dos Santos, Luis Royo, Victoria Frances, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, and Eva Widermann.
But in addition to all the names you know are many artists you have never heard of, though perhaps you have seen their work without learning or remembering their name. They are doing wonderful work -- whether for products, patrons, or just their own enjoyment. It's appalling how young and talented some of them are and it's astounding the amount of work they are producing on a regular basis.
I have been swimming in art lately, thanks to my discovery of the blog Art is the Weapon and my insane urge to view every page and track down every artist I like. They send you to places like Deviant Art and CGHub and you go crawling around amongst a visual feast, shoveling rich chocolate cake in your mouth for breakfast and then again after you brush your teeth and for every meal. I have to take breaks.
I'm going to cue you in to some artist websites that I like, and also just plunk some names down for Googling. In both cases, they follow no particular order.
Kyoung Hwan Kim
GOOGLE THESE NAMES
Wei Chen (Lorland Chain)
Finally, there are artists you know and, as I intimated, forget about for awhile and then rediscover how awesome they are. Benita Winckler was a recent example for me -- if you don't know her, add her name to your web-crawling.
Of course, for many of us, artists give us new perspectives on things we have already been exposed to and so their work mainly feeds the imagination or challenge our perspectives. But the more widely you view art, the more you will discover new things, as well. Case in point: Reynardine. I had never heard of werefoxes (for lack of a better word) in British folklore -- I always associated them with Chinese and Japanese folk stories. Ulafish's illustration alerted me to the presence of at least one in a British folk song, named Reynardine.
How have you benefited from the work of fantasy artists? What favorites would you share? I hope that these will enrich the visual smorgasbord that you spread before yourself when you feed your mythopoeic appetite something other than text.