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Photo © Alan Lee
Alan Lee
Artist Guest of Honour

WE ARE DELIGHTED to announce that Academy Award and World Fantasy Award-winning illustrator ALAN LEE will be our Artist Guest of Honour at World Fantasy Convention 2013.

Alan Lee was born in Middlesex, England in 1947. He studied at the Ealing School of Art and went on the become a commercial artist, contributing work to a wide variety of projects, including dozens of paperback book covers. During this period his paintings appeared on such titles as a 1971 edition of The Importance of Being Ernest, reissues of The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories edited by Robert Aickman and R. Chetwynd-Hayes, The Golden Book of the Mysterious, and the first (and only) volume of Corgi's proposed Masters of Horror series: William Hope Hodgson.

It was already obvious from his delicate watercolour images that the artist was inspired by the great turn-of-the-century Romantic illustrators, such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Charles Robinson.

Masters of Horror: William Hope Hodgson
The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories #11
The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories #14
The 17th Pan Book of Horror Stories
The Nightmare Reader
Brokedown Palace
The Diary of a Madman and other tales of horror

After moving to a small village on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon, in the mid-1970s, Alan Lee shared a studio with Brian Froud and together they created the groundbreaking illustrated book Faeries (1978), which was later turned into an animated movie. The success of this picture book gave Alan Lee the freedom to spend several years bringing the Celtic myth of The Mabinogion to life, and Dragon's Dream eventually published the lovingly-crafted result in 1982. Two years later he published Castles, written by David Day, which along with his subtle watercolour paintings also included numerous pencil drawings and studies. In 1983, a boxed portfolio entitled The Drawings of Alan Lee included eight of these drawings. It was issued in a signed and numbered edition of just 750 copies.

Iron Tower Trilogy
Iron Tower Trilogy
Iron Tower Trilogy
The Times Anthology of Ghost Stories

During this period, Alan Lee continued illustrating paperback covers for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Dennis L. McKiernan's Iron Tower trilogy, Ursula K. Le Guin's The Eye of the Heron and Orsinian Tales, Robert Holdstock's Lavondyss, and Steven Brust's Brokedown Palace. In collaboration with Richard Seymour, the artist also created the illustrations for Michael Palin's The Mirrorstone (1986), the first book to contain multiple 3-D holographic images.


Following the publication of The Moon's Revenge by Joan Aiken and the exquisite Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson, Alan Lee began his association with perhaps the greatest fantasy author of all time, illustrating the 1,200-page centenary edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (boasting fifty full-colour plates). From this point on, artist and author became inextricably linked through collaborations on Tolkien's World: Paintings of Middle-Earth, the 1993 J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar (and many subsequent editions), Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth, a new edition of The Hobbit, The Children of Húrin and Tales from the Perilous Realm.

The Moon's Revenge
Merlin Dreams
The Mabinogion
The Mabinogion

After illustrating David Day's non-fiction study Tolkien's Ring, Alan Lee illustrated Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus, Rosemary Sutcliff's retellings of the Iliad and the Odyssey. The artist's work for Black Ships Before Troy received the prestigious Kate Greenaway Award in 1993 for distinguished work in the illustration of children's books in the UK. In 1998 he won the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist.

Alan Lee has also enjoyed an equally successful career as a conceptual designer for movies, and his credits include Legend, Erik the Viking, the Jane Yolen-scripted Merlin and the Dragons, King Kong (2005), and the 1998 TV mini-series Merlin.

As a result of his work on the 100th anniversary edition of the books, director Peter Jackson contacted Alan Lee to work on his acclaimed cinematic trilogy of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. After being nominated for The Two Towers the year before, in 2004 Alan Lee shared the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration with art director Grant Major and set decorator Dan Hennah for their work on The Return of the King. The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook is a portfolio of his conceptual artwork for all three films.

Trailer for The Hobbit

The Hobbit The artist is currently based in New Zealand, where he is working again with Jackson on the eagerly-anticipated prequels The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

"I'm very flattered to be asked to be Artist Guest of Honour," says Alan Lee, "and happy to accept the invitation. "I'm meant to be finishing on The Hobbit movies some time this year, so I should be back in the UK. My work on the The Lord of the Rings films went on for six years beyond what I was originally anticipating, but even if I am still involved I can arrange my annual trip back to England to coincide with the convention. I look forward to seeing everyone in 2013!"

Prints of Alan Lee's work are available from:


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