OWWW ! You clicked right into me!
Okay, so you found where I've been hiding all this time while you were reading all the babble we spout about all our lovely goodies on this amazing fantastically artified website!
And where has that got you? More gabble from yours truly! Well, what do you want to know from me? Why did I start Artists UK way back in 1994?
Well, guess what, I'm an art fan! Big surprise there! Okay, so who do I really like? Loads of stuff but I'm not going to go on at great length about it all. Oh, all right, if you insist! Just a bit! I grew up with loads of comic books so all the original Marvel artists have a place in my heart . DC were pretty crap back then for the most part and it was Marvel that set the pace artistically. DC had the most famous characters - Superman & Batman but Marvel had the best artists - Jack Kirby (until DC stole him!), John & Sal Buscema, John Romita, Neil Adams, Steve Ditko and many others but not forgetting the grand master artist of them all as far as we were concerned - Jim Steranko -- if you've never seen Shield No.1 where he did the whole thing you haven't lived! It was way ahead of its time and the concepts, layout and technical expertise of the artwork are just out of this world. Bold yet delicate, touching then violent with the story, text and art all melding together into this amazing creative starburst.
Then I bought an album that had a William Blake painting on the cover - no more clues on that one - go on, email me now and tell me how ancient I am! (BUT how did YOU know? Aaaaah!). Then there were loads of album covers by a guy with a simple no-nonsense name - Roger Dean. He revolutionised album art. Albums became literally works of art and by the mid-seventies who the hell were you if Mr. Dean had not painted at least one of your album covers? You were probably not a hard rock band for a start, although that didn't stop Tamla Motown from getting him to do their Chartbusters covers. From there on it was a downhill slide into enraptured art-loving.
My father is an artist, many of my close friends are artists and I have all the artisic ability of a deranged kangaroo clutching a magic marker. But you learn a lot around artists and you get to see how a great artist manages to hide his weaker areas. You learn what a pain figure drawing can be and how innovative artists can be in achieving something that they invisaged but have been unable to get onto the page. The great artists push back the frontiers and in droves all the copycats follow them. Pretty much like any creative field really.
Obviously, the artists that we've published are all big favourites - Josh Kirby's great work for the Terry Pratchett Discworld series was a strong part of the phenomenal success of that incredible writing talent and it is very sad that he is no longer with us. Alan Lee and Brian Froud must be at the very peak of the world's fantasy artists. Both have a unique talent and are master crafstmen with long careers in publishing. Patrick Woodroffe as a self-taught artist has stunned the world with his incredible techniques. There are far too many other great names to mention them all but it has been a privilege and an honour to have worked with these people and all the other great artists around the world whose Limited Editions, prints and posters etc have been supplied by Artists UK.
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