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31 July 2001



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Bob Eggleton: The Big Picture August 2001

Bob Eggleton began selling SF book and magazine covers in 1984. Since then, he's won 5 Hugos for Best Professional Artist, 11 Chesley Awards, and in July 2001 won the Locus Award for Best Artist.

Compilations of his work in book form are Alien Horizons: The Fantastic Art of Bob Eggleton (1995), The Book of Sea Monsters (1998), and Greetings from Earth: The Art of Bob Eggleton (2000). Prints of his work are also available through He lives in Providence RI.

Excerpts from the interview:

‘‘For any artist, it’s great to go back and look at some of the Old Masters’ work. I am fascinated by it. A lot of young guys look at Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan, Boris Vallejo, and then go out and do their take on that. They’ve started doing it to me too. They’re getting into this cycle where they’re just becoming clones of what we’re doing, and all of a sudden you feel there’s no originality. What I learned to do -- had to do -- is go back and look at museum work. Turner is huge to me. Delacroix did some fantastic work. John Singer Sargent. I saw things in their work I was just blown away with. Winslow Homer is another one I love. Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt. Gustave Moreau, Gustave Doré. Moreau did fantasy art way back before it was even called fantasy art!’’

Photo by Beth Gwinn

Official site:
The Fantastic Art of Bob Eggleton

for books by Bob Eggleton


‘‘My next project is a book for Paper Tiger, Dragonhenge, with writer John Grant (AKA Paul Barnett). I did a drawing, just for me, of a dragon with some Stonehenge-like structure around it, and it triggered one word: Dragonhenge. I thought about it and then said, ‘There’s a story in this someplace.’ Paul Barnett, who is also the acquiring editor for Paper Tiger, was more than just hinting that he’d like to write it, so I said, ‘Great, let’s propose the idea.’ It will be a new project for me, pencil work along with roughly ten paintings in oils, and then there’s going to be a whole lot of watercolors and softer work. It will show a different side of my work. When I did Book of the Sea Monsters, I also wanted to experiment, play around with some stuff and present what I could do.’’


‘‘I do 20 or 30 book covers a year. It’s always a little bit of me, but it’s also a bit of the author and the editor and the art director. But when you’re doing something that’s solely for you, it’s totally your vision. I love to do both. I love to do illustration, because I know it gets on covers and people see it and like it. People can spot a ‘Bob’ cover from a mile back, and that’s very flattering. I love working with Baen Books and with Tor. Jim Baen likes the pulp feel of science fiction, and he’s not afraid of that. It’s great when you can not only do an illustration that pleases people and get paid for it, but do a piece of art you can look at and say, ‘That’s a nice little painting.’ ’’


‘‘Art being ‘appropriated’ on the Internet doesn’t worry me. I did a search and put my name in to see how many times it came up, and there were thousands of references. It’s one thing if sites are appropriating your work and making money off it, but if it’s just fans appreciating your work, they’ll do it out of sincere admiration. I would send them a nice letter, saying ‘You can keep it on there, but just have a link to my site.’ I did some screensavers with Second Nature Software, and they sold 60,000 units of the first set. They’re still going to buy prints -- it’s not going to eat into that market. The Internet encourages people to follow the artists. If you’re a writer or an artist, you can’t imagine doing anything else. That’s your thing. And it’s going to work itself out. I’m glad I’m a part of science fiction, and science fiction’s part of me.’’

Bob and Godzilla

Photo by Bob Blackwood

The full interview, and bibliographic profile, is published in the August 2001 issue of Locus Magazine.


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