The almighty Smaug surveys his kingdom. I was 9 years old at the time. The date leads me to suspect that this was a gift for my father's birthday.
When I was a kid I was completely devoted to sci-fi and fantasy novels and artwork. My idols were Frank Frazetta, Ralph McQuarrie and Ralph Bakshi (all of whom I hold in very high regard to this day). My Hildebrandt Brothers Middle Earth calendars were totems of worship. I spent hours poring over Starlog, Fangoria and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines and dutifully gave my Sunday afternoons over to Channel 19's Hammer House of Horror Creature Double Features. You get where I'm going with this, right? I was a frothing nimrod. I was graceless and tubby; cursed with minimal athletic ability and a fragile artistic temperament. As a result I spent the majority of my free time with a pencil in hand (and a french bread pizza in the other), trying to unlock the images held captive in my fertile imagination. I dreamt of a day when I could share these images to the world at large- maybe even joining the ranks of my heroes and illustrating book covers or movie posters.
Cut to some 35 years later, and I'm a breathtaking tower of humanity carved in rippling muscle and sprinkled with stardust. My friends and admirers are too numerous to count, and who has the time to count anyhow? I'm too busy jetsetting and hobnobbing. That corn-fed lump of a mouth-breathing fantasy geek is but a speck in my rearview. Except...
I still kinda like drawing science fiction and fantasy stuff. This one art directed with inestimable skill and lightness of touch by SJB for Assets International.