For some reason the dragon has captured the imagination of each generation. From Smaug in The Hobbit to Disney’s Mulan and recently George RR Martin’s contemporary classic “A Song of Ice and Fire”, each putting their own particular spin on the myth.
I must admit that I’m a sucker for a dragon myself. I’ve picked up other dragon art books but found that they mostly focus on their mythology with the drawing of the dragons being an interesting decoration to the page. DragonWorld is completely different; it focuses not just on the dragon, but on the artist behind the dragon.
They have collected together 120 creations from 49 cutting-edge dragon artists. Each one gives a profile (complete with some very interesting pictures) and examples of their work. They are interviewed with every artist being asked what the dragon means to them. It’s clear they have their own ideas about the dragon myth and you can see that projected into their artwork. This makes the book so different and so much more interesting than others you can find.
A couple of personal favourites are Kerem Beyit who has created an amazing steam-punk dragon along with some truly fantastic dragonscapes, Bobby Chiu for his fun and quirky dragons (see the beautiful piece that is Carrot Run) and Natalia Ponce Gutiérrez for the spectacular “The Demise of a God” alone.
There is something in this book for everyone whether you’re looking for the fantasy dragons, ancient Japanese creations or something a little more cartoony. And like the greedy dragon of the Chinese proverb I just wanted more!
Written by Mozley Hayes, 25 July 2011.