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Fantasy Art "The fantasy illustrator takes the pictorial conventions of realistic portrayal and then manipulates and inverts them to create marvellous worlds for which there can be no earthly analogy" 1 Introduction Fantasy art has been a part of all human society throughout history. It is found in 'abnormal' forms, folklore, mythology, fairytales, religion and science fiction. Fantasy art is a genre that has evolved through the past centuries. Many could say the start could be found in surrealism, however mythological stories are based in fantasy, as it helps you tap into your unconscious mind and explore meanings to things you could never imagine. This essay will help us understand what leads us to present fantasy art factors such as films, media ... etc. may have effected this. Fantasy has always existed in people's thoughts throughout time. All ideas and stories of fantasy have been developed and shown through art and fantasy literature both have always been and still are very strongly linked. With recent hits of 'new age' themes and a high interest in fantasy. Fantasy art is now one of the most profitable areas in art. Fantasy artists, great modern artists enjoy the great fame inside their field, yet they are often unknown and unnoticed outside it. Fantasy art looks really easy and fun but it is one of the most challenging genres to depict successfully. To create a fantasy you take an untrue element and mix it with a reality, that does sound easy, but the hardest part is mix the two elements in such a way that they look very convincing to the audience. It is easy to pick up a pencil and paper and draw up with a man with horns, but to make the sky feel like an eerie atmosphere, to tone the man up to make him look like an overgrown ape is actually challenging as you do not have a primary source to work from. ...read more.


"Folk tales were deemed to be crude, perverse, frivolous and uncomfortable pagan"9 "The acceptance and rapid growth of fairytales as a fit subject matter for literature, painting and the stage from the 1820's to the 1840's and its survival until at least the first world war is one of the most remarkable phenomena of 19th century culture"20 Fairies and fairylands have been derived from the fantasy that came from existing stories. The art and illustrations were linked to literature. Fairy has broken away from fantasy and have made a genre of its own, Shakespeare and other authors have been a major influence of the time, but artists also created new worlds for fairies entirely of their own imagination. Soon fantasy art had been a new focal point in society due to the fact that it had been a new trend and was often seen as a rebellion against the social values of the time. There are many artists that created an entire genre of "Victorian fairy art", some of the other artists include Richard Dadd, Richard Doyle, Frances Danby, Joseph Noel Paton, John Astor Fitzgerald, Daniel Maclise, Thomas and Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale. While fairies were making a genre of their own and producing massively artists of fantasy themes pained works rich in nostalgia, in particular, the art of the pre-Raphaelitism. Their work was based in romance, legend and myth, with a beautiful and dreamy aesthetic and fine craftsmanship to counter the ugly side of the industrial age, because at this time in Britain was booming with new technology, especially at the English countryside. Fairy art became more and more popular, many people had fairy art d�cor all around the their house in different forms for example wallpapers, draperies, ceramics, stained glass, metalwork etc however only middle class people could afford this, fairytales were at a high point so authors took advantage of this and produced more and more fantasy art, these artists include Arthur Rackman, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, Jessie M. ...read more.


It would be really hard for us to imagine there is no world other than that upon which we live. Using elements of our real combined with fantasy gives us a place where we can create and examine aspects of life in general. "The human mind, that is, in its ability to imagine an existence other than that one which it experiences, is permitted to perceive, as if from the outsider, the existence in which it is actually immersed." 22 So fantasy as a theme isn't simply pure escapism, although it is a definite factor, but also a tool for analysing the real world. In depictions of other worlds and other worldly beings, whether utopian or dystopian, it gives humans an opportunity to compare our existence to another, to see both its flaws and value. "Fantasy... always exists in a symbiotic relationship with reality and its conventionalised representation, depending on it for its existence and at the same time commenting upon it, criticizing it, and illumination it."23 There have been many great critics on the importance of myth and fantasy, among which Joseph Campbell stands out. He also notes the importance of artists calling them the "shamans and myth-makers"24 of our modern world. The modern artists of fantasy now have a great task to bear, they must keep alive the themes and magic inherent in the old myths that helped form society, as we know it. Fantasy art is only now starting to be seen as an area worth analysis, and debate worthy of academic value. Courses in fantasy literature are now found in many colleges and universities, and while fantasy art is still often seen as purely commercial, in this way it enjoys great success. It is more widespread and has a larger fan base than other forms of art. The very fact that modern fine art purposefully detaches itself from the general public, whereas the general public embrace, and are embraced by fantasy art, is evident of its history and close ties to civilisation, and hopefully, it's continued importance and growth as an artistic genre to society. ...read more.

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