Visit deviantart.com and find thousands of images of amazing fantasy fan art to cover your home, body and cat. Just don't try to sell it.
Screens are everywhere these days but somehow there's less fantasy imagery around. Don't get me wrong, I love Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth and HBO is knocking it out of the park with every season of Game of Thrones, but I don't know, sometimes I just feel there's so much more potential in these stories.
All hail Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons!
Back in the day, when Warner Bros and HBO didn’t have these franchises in lock-down, you’d get gnarly one-off pieces like this one:
For decades Brothers Hilldebrandt, John Howe, Alan Lee, Graeme Anthony, Mithril Miniatures and Citadel Miniatures had the run of the place (with the permission of Tolkien's estate), each creating their own distinctive visions of Tolkien's world, and as a fan of fantasy this diversity was good for the imagination and for the soul.
I stumbled on deviantart.com three years ago when trying to figure out if dark elf skin should be black, purple or white- it was like stumbling into an Aladdin's cave of lost fantasy masterpieces. For those who don't know deviantart is a massive online platform where artists congregate to share and comment on each others' work. If you head over there and do a search for "Game of Thrones" or "Lord of the Rings" or "fan art" you're bound to find something interesting (be warned though, some fans like to inject a bit of "romance" into their art). Here's some of the best examples of Game of Thrones fan art:
Jaime Lannister by Noiry
Pretty cool, huh?
What I love most about fan art is the way it frees up your mind to re-imagine the characters again. It breaks Benioff and Weiss' spell.
But is it legal? The legality of fan art is yet to be tested in Australian courts, but Joanne Teng of the Arts Law Centre of Australia says "most fan-works are unlikely to be excused from copyright infringement" under Australian law (boo!). On the other hand "copyright owners, particularly big ones like film studios, tend to tolerate or turn a blind eye to fan-works in the understanding that there's not much harm in creative fan-activity and is probably beneficial in terms of encouraging their market" (yay!). In other words, fan art is probably illegal, but as long as nobody's making money from it it's probably OK.
The way I see it, that means I can download and print off fan art to decorate my home without the feds knocking down my front door, at least for now.
For the record Trollwood stocks as many legal variations of Games of Thrones and Lord of the Rings artwork as we can source. Check out the richly illustrated World of Ice and Fire, Alan Lee's Lord of the Rings Sketchbook, Donato Giancola's incredible Middle-Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth and our collection of Brothers Hildebrandt Lord of the Rings metal signs... and best of all- they come with a clear conscience ;)
See you next week! (unless HBO sends Bronn round here first)