Finally, after many long years, I have published a compendium of my fantasy drawings! Ikonographica is a collection of over 115 drawings, both color and black & white, spanning almost 40 years. It features several of my fantasy freelance assignments in the collectible card gaming industry (CCG’s), magazines, and books, as well as a ton of unpublished works, never before seen. Fantasy art lovers will find this book a feast for the eyes!
I’ve been making fantasy art since college, which was a long time ago… This book has been in the planning stage for many years, and I had been laying it out in InDesign for at least three years now. It’s been a long time coming, but Ikonographica is finally here. I usually work in colored pencils, but I also have included a number of my pen & ink drawings as well, and assembled them into what I hope are meaningful groups. The chapters in the book are Magic, Fantasy, Dystopia, Darkness, and Light, which sort out three decades of work in fantasy, sci fi, and horror. In this book, there is everything: angels and demons, ancient artifacts, fantasy creatures, Lovecraft Old Ones, folklore myths, and even a flying pig! If you ever wanted to see an x-ray of my soul, this is it.
One of the most exciting things about this book for me is that it includes an introduction by the legendary Michael Wm Kaluta. Michael was a popular fantasy artist starting in the 1980’s as a frequent contributor to Heavy Metal Magazine, the illustrator for The Shadow for Marvel Comics, his famous comic Starstruck, and so much more. Michael was an artistic hero for me, and I loved his artwork. Many years ago, I met Michael at a dinner I had with old college friends of mine, who hired him to do a cover for their new book, and we exchanged contact info. Well that was many years ago, and we hadn’t chatted in years, but I said to myself, it can’t hurt to try. So I invited him to write the introduction, and to my delight and surprise, he agreed!
Here’s an excerpt from Michael Kaluta’s introduction:
“The images presented here are solidly original, redefining much of what passes for today’s lauded fantasy art, which tries too hard, commenting on itself and ultimately leaving the taste flat on the tongue. It becomes mundane or even trite when severed from the iconography presented here. Stephen makes the well-covered subject completely his own, without subsuming the original eternal idea, but enhancing it, not with teeth, horns and dangly bits — none of the bells and whistles that obscure a true evocation. He has the enviable ability to bring Dream, Vision, and Nightmare into the light of understanding, strongly realized with power and personal authority.”
Ikonographica is 108 pages long, and stuffed full of fantasy and sci-fi artwork. Printed on premium, glossy paper stock, the images really look great with vivid colors and rich blacks. If you love fantasy art, I know you won’t be disappointed. You can see more of the book, and order yourself a copy at: www.AntarcticaArts.com. But if you prefer, it is also available on Amazon, Etsy, and all over the internet.
Ikonographica and all images within it are copyright © 2021 Stephen Barnwell