The Labyrinth and Dark Crystal artist exclusive interview

He spotted my talent which I didn’t know I had, encouraged me in my work, and showed me around my local art school in Maidstone. He went on to design the award-winning and cult films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth for Jim Henson. It’s only in fantasy art where technical skills and inspiration are in service to images that engage; where passion for ideas flourish; where metaphor and poetic thought are valued; where drama and story are still thought to be essential in elucidating the human mind and its relationship with the world. He said that I’d never work for him again, but later, because of my growing success, he worked with me on four career-defining projects. What’s missing is meaning or connection. And did anyone try to get in your way? In its desire to be more realistic, it’s in danger of going the opposite way and becoming divorced from reality. I grew up in Hampshire, southern England, in a place called Yately. “One of a series of Lookers that feature in my new book. “There’s more to this faerie than he’s letting on. That it’s okay, everything will be alright, and no decision goes disastrously wrong. I felt so at home in such a liminal place. It was a small country village, and my school was surrounded by trees and scrubland. It’s a sculpture – a large bronze of Alfred the Great – in Winchester. It is dramatic. What’s the most recent experiment you’ve made? “Another member of the royal household, who attends to the many needs of the faerie ambassador.”What advice would you give to your younger self to aid you on the way? It’ll be a difficult and sometimes lonely path, but there’s no other way. “These two characters guard the Bird Claw Toe-Tweaking Tongs that are used on naughty faerie children.”What annoys you about the industry? I had found my home. Where did you grow up and how has this influenced your art? He stands nobly with his sword in hand. More is not necessarily better. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 113. Fantasy images writhe and explode across the eyes of many more viewers than before. His designs were showcased in the classic films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Other days I take off and go shopping. Buy him a drink and let him tell you his story.”Someone who helped you on your way? This is where I found adventure, by exploring the hidden, secret places. Absolutely. Fantasy art used to slumber within books and then rest on book and record covers. John Penny was a teacher at my grammar school. Believe that sometimes your art does reveal truth. I won five shillings in a local art competition – this seemingly vast sum of money sparked my interest in art (and money still does!)
“In my book this royal courtier balances the Queen’s hand mirror on one hand and her prodding sceptre on the other.”You’re a kid and you see some art that changes everything… what are you looking at? I’m going deeper into the inner structures, the rhythms of my art, trying to allow them to be revealed on the surface of the image, making fluid paint strokes that evoke spirit. I have continued to explore this ever since. “Because it’s not all about the faeries, you know!”How has the industry of fantasy art changed for good since you’ve been working in it? Is your art evolving? He seemed to connect me to a powerful past, to the aspect of the hidden land of England itself.

Updated: 28.11.2014 — 08:25