When the fantasy illustrator opens their toolkit, out drifts the supernatural: some call it magic. Magical places, supernatural creatures, windows between worlds, all populate the pages of the fantasy illustrator's sketchbook.
You may not find too many normal people as subjects of their designs unless they are trying to escape vampires, witches, or trolls.
The shapeshifters of the design world, fantasy illustrators have one foot in the real world and the other in the unreal. They capture the phantasmagoric, the surreal, and the bizarre, in full color. Fairytale, folklore, mythology all in one: the key to successful fantasy illustration lies in convincing the viewer of the reality of the improbable.
A perfect mix of reality and fantasy is what the fantasy illustrator has mastered in both technique and rendering skills.
Great fantasy writers like J. R. R. Tolkien, inspired generations of fantasy illustrators with fantastic themes such as those in The Lord of the Rings, blurring lines between the real and surreal.
Renaissance painter, Hieronymus Bosch, considered one of the earliest fantasy artists, brought fantasy illustration to the attention of the world with his Garden of Earthly Delights, a world of giant strawberries and transparent spheres.
Fairies, minions, and angels alike, give thanks to the magical fantasy illustrator for without these ethereal beings, supernatural characters would never grace the covers and pages of the fantasy novels we have come to love.