(1946- ) British artist. After studying graphic design at Chesterfield College of Art, Taylor initially worked in advertising before shifting his attention to book covers in the mid-1970s. Since that time he has painted about 300 book covers, mostly for works of Fantasy, though he has also done covers for a number of sf novels and has increasingly devoted his energies to gaming-related illustration. Among other accomplishments, he provided interior illustrations for Jeff Wayne's album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978).
Taylor's artwork is consistently colourful and skilfully executed but rarely impressive, explaining the paucity of honours and awards in his résumé. Certain motifs regularly recur, including a central human figure staring out at readers, and tiny people standing or on horseback who gaze in awe with readers at a landscape with enormous natural wonders or structures. His best work, oddly enough, may have been his four covers for Interzone magazine, a venue where he perhaps felt free from commercial pressures: he garnered British Science Fiction Association Award nominations for his March 1991 cover (depicting a strange creature in a dark forest) and his December 1994 cover (enigmatically showing a cityscape with a large skyscraper while a burning book hit by lightning, with the same scene on its cover, floats in the foreground), but his June 1994 cover was equally meritorious, a wraparound image of a woman standing in a pool behind a fallen stone idol lying in a forest. However, such assignments presumably did not pay as well as the other, less inspired tasks that have since occupied his time. Strangely, given his proclivity to fantasy art, Taylor recently published an instructional book on How to Draw and Paint Science Fiction Art (graph 2011), though a companion volume focused on fantasy is presumably in the works. [GW]
born Lancaster, Lancashire, England: 1946
Previous versions of this entry