Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Science Fiction meets Fantasy, Who is the stranger?















Occasionally while taking a break from my freelance work I do a drawing or painting just for me, just to get my mind and imagination flowing in another direction. This is sort of my self-therapy. So three and half hours ago I completed this image. Sure this is not as detail or as refined as my usual work but that's the beauty of it it's my own monster good or bad.
The idea for this painting actually occurred while looking at an older piece I created for a role playing game as it depicts a fantasy barbarian in battle with some sci-fi Orcish creatures with sci-fi weapons.
However rather then writing about this older image I decided to just do a new one. Any excuse to do something for myself is always a good thing :).

So back to my initial topic and the reasoning for this painting. I've always loved Sci-fi and fantasy, be it movies, comics, novels or illustrations. I love both equally and I am a huge geek and fan of each. There are qualities of both that I admire and can instantly relate to. Sci-fi for me is not about what is plausible through advance technology but the unknown reality that could be a possibility in our world and out there in the universe. An example would be life on another world or undiscovered life for instance in the depths of our oceans. This is what draws me to Sci-fi the excitement the beauty and sometimes the horror of an unknown reality within our world or another out in the universe. As an artist I am so fortunate as many artist are to be able to visualize our ideas and those of other dreamers and visionaries.

Fantasy has has always been the dark horse of genres in the sense it's not been taken very seriously as a form of art be it in illustration, literature and film until just recently. This is due to a few body of of works namely Tolkein's Lord of the Ring, and few other highly regarded works of literature and films. It's amazing how just about 70% of fantasy literature,film, games etc continue to use Dwarfs, Elves and Orcs in their works, that's how much impact Tolkien has had on the genre. There a few Fantasy works that create new mythos and creatures, hopefully we will see more themes that pop up that stray from whats been done before.

Though the cliches of the Fantasy genre are all around us in pop culture there are always gems that we find. Gems that are created by artist and writers who are not afraid to break the cycle of the norm. This is what appeals to me about Fantasy is that as an artist you can explore so many ideas be it Mythology, Folklore or your own crazy dreams it's so broad. Fantasy maybe should not be defined as a genre by any structural or set visual or literary elements. Basically it is what the creator/artist/writer wants it to be.

So back to my painting. I've depicted a "Fantasy like female centaur creature" meeting a few "Sci-fi beings". After looking and thinking about the piece I ask my self this question (have I really defined either genre?) what makes it sci-fi? or fantasy?. Those aliens could be mythological gods in the Centaurs world or maybe she is an Alien from another planet who's entered their world or even their dreams or sub conscious. So you see the stranger is neither. The painting is perceived by the creator the way he or she wants but also the viewer can perceive it in any way as well. I feel the line between Fantasy and Sci-fi are not always defined by the subject and themes. I also feel some of the most interesting examples of both genre's are those that mix them both seamlessly.

JP

1 comment:

Rayford said...

Wow right on! I love this drawing too:) It is funny how much we take for granted Tolkien's influence on 'fantasy' lore. It's completely true and yet needs not be so. I'm sure he and Frazetta would agree:) It's quite liberating to realize that no?

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