John Howe

The lord of fantasy images

John Howe is probably one of the most famous illustrators in the world today, especially for his art direction of the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

This Canadian born in 1957 in Vancouver trained at the famous School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg where he began to passionately pursue medieval and fantasy worlds.

This intellectual, follower of an approach advocating fantastic realism, quickly established himself as one of the references of the setting in images of the worlds of the marvelous in general and the universe of the writer J.R.R. Tolkien in particular.

It is in this capacity that he will be hired by Peter Jackson alongside the Englishman Alan Lee to design the graphic universe of the film adaptation of Tolkien’s works for which he will in particular give his form to the dragon Smaug and to the sets of the two trilogies and more recently to the series The Rings of Power.

John Howe has nearly thirty major publications to his credit and has also starred in several documentary series produced for the Franco-German cultural channel Arte: The Lord of the Castle, In Search of the Hobbit, Dragons! and The Sources of Fantasy. He is regularly invited all over the world to speak about his work and to share his art and technique. Several major exhibitions have been dedicated to him, such as at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2004, at the ARLUDIK gallery and at the Maison d’Ailleurs in Switzerland, where he has lived for over 30 years. John Howe also works on residencies, outdoor installations and monumental murals.

Photo credit : Lucas Vuitel
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