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Alan Lee

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Alan Lee
Biographical information
BornAugust 20, 1947
LocationDartmoor, Cornwall, UK

Alan Lee (1947) is a renowned British artist. He has illustrated numerous Tolkien Calendars as well as books. Lee and John Howe were the lead conceptual designers for Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings.



Alan Lee was born in London, and attended the Ealing School of ArtTemplate:Ref. At the advice of a friend, he read The Lord of the Rings when he was 17, and it greatly influenced his professional work. He had at that time never heard of J.R.R. Tolkien or The HobbitTemplate:Ref. He moved to Dartmoor and married Marja Kruÿt. They have one daughter together, VirginiaTemplate:Ref.

Alan has suffered many deaths in his lifetime, including his father's when he was only 13 years of age.

In his paintings, Lee uses watercolour. He describes his style as a combination of Realistic and RomanticTemplate:Ref.

He works mainly as an illustrator, also a visual producer for movies, as well as an advertising artist.

Alan is a quiet person. He usually locks himself in his studio, and it’s where he spends most of his day. He even has a mattress there because he sleeps there when he works late. People in his neighborhood claim him to be such an imaginative person, talking about mythical creatures a lot and rarely talking about the current way of the world. News such as a new war will reach him months after it started, for he doesn't read the newspaper or even have cable. The only time the television is used is to watch fantasy movies. He is a calm and peaceful person living in his own mythical world, as does his wife.

Alan rarely drinks or smokes. He believes that drinking clouds your mind so that you do not have freedom with it.

Alan says that in his early years, he used to be a loser in school, for his mind was obsessed with myths and legends and he rereads the Lord of the Rings. He claims to have read it at least 23 times in his 60 years of living. He says that he proposed to three women before he proposed to Marja. Marja agreed only because she herself was obsessed with myths and art.

The way Alan completes a masterpiece is first, he makes a rough sketch of it in a small paper, and resketches until he is happy with the design. Afterwards, he copies it onto a bigger scale. Sometimes, he keeps his artwork this way, and sometimes he paints it.

Alan is the role model for many fantasy artists around the world, mainly because of his sayings. The way he talks always has a connection with myth or art.

Alan believes that music is the best way to relax. When he was asked what type of music he likes, he answers that nothing compares Mother Nature's music. Though he then says that he likes Blues and Jazz and other soft music. He despises hip hop, heavy metal and all the very hard and loud music. He feels that its unnatural vibe would damage your audical view of nature, and takes away the beautiful peace.

One of his favourite games is Chess, because he thinks that it enhances the mind's power, thus enabling yourself to imagine farther. Although he likes it, he is not particularly good at it. His daughter beats him every time at the game.

His favourite book, he says, is without a doubt, Lord of the Rings. He claims to have read all of Tolkien's work and loves every one of them, particularly The Children of Hurin, in which he illustrated. He says that he only illustrates books that he likes, which is why he takes the time to illustrate them.

Alan usually wears something comfortable, except in formal occasions. He says that his favorite thing to wear is his silk pajamas, because it is comfortable. These pajamas are patched so many times and are worn out with paint stains, but he stills wears it when he has the chance.

The only reason he does not buy another is because he believes that it would be a waste. Silk costs money, particular the type he wants but he believes it wrong that the money he uses to buy these pajamas will feed an entire family for at least a month. So he gives a lot of charity. The money he made from illustrating the Lord of the Rings (which was a fortune), he gave 5% of it to charity.

Alan dreamt of a son, though he or his wife had a fertility problem which stopped this from occurring.

Alan also is too lazy to brush his teeth, comb his hair or shave. He only does this in formal occasions.

Alan is Christian, so he does believe in God, although he is obsessed with mythical creatures. Alan has read the bible a little less times than he has read Lord of the Rings. He is most interested in the conflits and the stories that happened to Jesus and others.

Alan’s favourite foods are watermelons. He loves the taste the most of all fruits. He loves almost all the food, and almost all the vegetables, though he hates squash and broccoli. He is not totally against eating meat. He actually enjoys the taste, but eats it weekly because of the cost and because he does not like to victimize the animals.

He is our favourite artist, our favourite myth fanatic, our favourite half vegetarian, our favourite reader, our favourite sucky chess player and our favourite good ol’ friend of Tolkien. He is the one and only Alan Lee.

Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring

Two pieces of artwork were used in the epilogue of this game; one with Frodo and Sam, and one with Gollum. He does not appear in the game's credits.

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings

On November 13, 1997, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson sent a parcel containing "Forgotten Silver" and "Heavenly Creatures", and a letter explaining an upcoming movie project, then still for Miramax. Jackson was greatly inspired by Lee, and wanted him to be part of the crew. Lee watched the movies, and phoned back 3,5 hours later to say yesTemplate:Ref. Three weeks later he flew to New Zealand, where he and John Howe joined the Weta Workshop. He would live in New Zealand for six years, before returning to DartmoorTemplate:Ref. His daughter Virginia also worked on the movie; one of her contributions was woodwork for the throne of ThéodenTemplate:Ref

Lee has two cameos in Peter Jackson's movies: he appears as the second from the right of the nine Kings of Men in The Fellowship of the Ring, and as a man of Rohan at the armoury of the Hornburg in The Two Towers.

Lee has expressed interest in working on The Hobbit, "[B]ut it would have to be a pretty special film to match the experience of working on The Lord of the Rings"Template:Ref.

Published artwork



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