If you want your art adventure to be long one, then study the footsteps of this fantasy art giant…
The Art of John Avon: Journeys to Somewhere Else; Resident Evil: Revelations; Sketching from the imagination: Sci-fi.
There are countless things you can learn from studying an artist’s body of work, especially one whose career spans 30 years. In that time a commercial artist needs to remain relevant or perish, while simultaneously holding on to something that defines them as unique among their peers.
Doing this (and doing it well) is something John Avon knows a lot about. Thanks to Journeys to Somewhere Else he now reveals his personal passage with us – warts, screaming leaves, floating cities and all.
Back in June 2014 the Kickstarter campaign to make this book was launched and surpassed its goal in a short space of time, such is the appreciation for the artist’s work. Indeed, it’s fairly easy to become a fan of John’s art. You can begin in the late 80s and early 90s with iconic book cover designs like those for Stephen King’s Dark Towers series, where his mastery of combining acrylic and airbrush blend atmospheric lighting with solid, believable characters inhabiting a fantastical landscape.
Or you can start with his continuing relationship with Magic: The Gathering which began in 1996, where the themes of balance that run throughout his career are still in attendance. By the time we get halfway through the book – signifying the introduction of pixels into the Avon equation – this balancing act is still at play, whether it’s light and dark, dominant complementary hues, or grand structures that dwarf intrepid explorers within the composition.
That’s not to say that the bedrock of John’s work is focused entirely on contrasts. His ability to imbue narrative within a sparse scene is breathtaking. Even his simple landscape paintings always seem to have some cue that invites exploration and suggests the beginning of a narrative.
So there’s a lot here that any aspiring artist or illustrator can learn from – the majority of which is imparted through captions that accompany each painting. In a single paragraph a strong personal connection to John’s process or thinking at the time is established. The result is you can navigate John’s career with him as a guide. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.
This artwork appears as a gatefold in the book. John tried hard to make all five landscapes work as a whole.
John reveals that he felt the pressure of creating artwork for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.