- Arts and Design
John Howe - Tolkien Art
John Howe was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1957 and is best known for his artwork on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories.
Interested in art as a child Howe would buy books for their cover art – “I collected paperbacks for the covers, and even read what was inside. Frank Frazetta assumed demigod status, and was the object of dozens of copies in oil pastel. This was before the Ballantine editions, so his paintings were only available on book covers. No musty second-hand paperback pile went unturned.” An excerpt from the book - John Howe - Myth and Magic published by HarperCollins.
Howe read The Lord of the Rings as a youth and was inspired into illustrating Middle-Earth when he saw Tolkien calendars by the Brothers Hildebrandt.
He has also illustrated Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-Earth and Unfinished Tales. In 1999 he published a portfolio titled - Images of Middle-Earth (HarperCollins).
Along with fellow artist Alan Lee, Howe worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) as conceptual designer.
He also worked on the movies King Kong (2005) and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).
Howe is now working on Peter Jackson’s three upcoming Hobbit movies - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2014).
Howe has illustrated many other books including a limited edition of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin and books on myths and legends such as Beowulf. He has created covers for many of Robin Hobb’s fantasy novels.
He currently lives in Switzerland with his wife and son.