ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation - South Carolina-based artist Cory cre­ates fan­ci­ful il­lus­tra­tions for pic­ture books, comics and an­i­ma­tion. www.cory­god­

The US il­lus­tra­tor be­lieves to­day’s artists should fo­cus on sto­ry­telling

Is vi­o­lent im­agery in­creas­ingly wide­spread in fan­tasy art?

I would say yes. I’m not all that hung up on it, I just don’t have time for it. In my opin­ion, overly vi­o­lent im­agery is a cheap shot. Most of the time I can’t shake the feel­ing the artist took the easy way out. It’s much harder to do some­thing beau­ti­ful and el­e­gant with heart that’s not sac­cha­rine.

Is the use of vi­o­lent im­agery re­ally a new thing?

Not ex­actly, but I do think it’s in­ten­si­fied. Play­ing it safe in fan­tasy art means macabre, vi­o­lent and, at times, ter­ri­bly sex­ist im­agery. To me, it’s just lazy and un­cre­ative. The strug­gle be­tween good and evil never ceases to be ex­cit­ing. But when the grotesque is glo­ri­fied and beauty is seen as child­ish or weak, then we’ve taken a se­ri­ous mis­step.

So how should an artist ex­press cer­tain darker moods?

I’m drawn to this field be­cause I be­lieve ‘imag­i­na­tive re­al­ism’ prizes drafts­man­ship, sto­ry­telling and imag­i­na­tion: the ab­so­lute magic and mys­tery of Charles Vess, the dark wa­ter­falls of Paul Bon­ner, the gor­geous fig­ure work of Re­becca Guay and the won­drous crea­tures of Tony DiTer­l­izzi – they all in­spire my own cre­ativ­ity. I have no time for gore and de­spair.

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