“Everything is driven by mood. No matter how many times you use a particular technique or style of image making there should always be room to push back the boundaries and through experiment expand your awareness”.
Ian Miller is a British fantasy illustrator and writer best known for his quirkily-etched gothic style and macabre sensibility, and noted for his interior illustrations, magazine and book covers.
Ian Miller was born in 1947, and raised predominantly in London and Manchester. His mother, who encouraged the artistic vocation, was a theatrical milliner for one of the leading costumiers to the film industry, which, with cinema, he cites as an early inspiration.
As a child Ian Miller experimented with coloured pencils and poster paints producing images of Ancient Egyptians during something he refers to as his 'Ancient Egyptian Phase', followed later by an obsession with cowboys and Indians. At the age of nine Miller attended Mortbane Academy for Boys in Invernesshire, Scotland, where he recalls regular painting expeditions to the surrounding countryside under the tutelage of the art master, nicknamed 'Old Dribble'. Between 1963 and 1967 he enrolled at Northwich School of Art, before embarking upon a degree at St. Martin's School of Art, London where he began in sculpture before switching to painting, and graduating with honors in 1970. Shortly after this he was taken on by an agent and began working in London as a professional illustrator.
Ian Miller is well-known for his work for the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks which rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, providing covers for early titles in the series. He has also contributed to the Games Workshop-published fantasy gaming periodical White Dwarf in which he was featured in an Illuminations exposé in issue 86, and provided numerous illustrations for variousrole-playing and war gaming books and supplements published by Games Workshop during the latter half of the 1980s. In the following decades Miller went on to provide further illustrations for gaming lines published by other companies, including the Everway, Shadowrun, and Earthdawn RPGs. He also has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.
The artistic style of Ian Miller has been variously described as gothic, surreal, grotesque, macabre and nightmarish. Throughout his career he has been experimenting with different media, but preferred making use of charcoal, pencils, watercolour and technical pens. He occasionally combines photography and collage into his artwork as well. To his range of tools an Apple Macintosh computer was recently added.
A number of anthologies of Ian Miller's work have been published over the years. His first, with James Slattery, The Green Dog Trumpet and Other Stories, was published by Dragon's Dream in 1979, and was followed by another, The Secret Art of Ian Miller, and a third, entitled Ratspike, co-authored with fellow illustrator and Games Workshop art director John Blanche and published by GW Books. Miller has also produced imagery for two graphic novels, the first, The Luck in the Head, with writer M. John Harrison and a second with James Herbert called The City, as well as working on an unpublished third called Suzie Pellet.
Ian Miller has exhibited frequently during his career in both solo shows and group exhibitions in Britain and internationally. His current projects include the production of a series of black and white panel drawings called Corpus Pandemonium, and a book called The Broken Novel, a reworked film project called The Confessions of Carrie Sphagnum, a set of Tarot cards, and a theatre project entitled The Shingle Dance.