IRIS COMPIET

illustrator & visual artist

She's the epiphany of a creator of whimsical creatures. Mother of fairies, witches, elves and everything fantasy, Dutch artist Iris Compiet has distinguished herself as a true young talent to watch in the fields of illustration and character design. She has worked on the illustrations for Wizards of the Coast and Harper Collins' House of Furies, as well as illustrating an official Dark Crystal Bestiary. She also successfully funded her Kickstarter campaign for the publishing of her art book: Faeries of the Faultlines.

Iris Compiet was born in 1979 in a small town in the Southern part of the Netherlands. From a very early age Iris spent her time painting and drawing creatures she read about in the countless fairytales that were her favourites. At the age of seven she had nearly exhausted the children’s literature section of her local library and she ventured out into the “forbidden section”, better known as the adult section. There she came across the book Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee. It was this exact book that made her realise this was what she wanted to do, paint and illustrate fantastical beings and share them with the world.

She studied graphic design at university in the Netherlands, her love for fantasy art always on the surface and graduated with honours with her final project called Schneewittchen Unglückskind. This visual retelling of the fairytale of Snow White laid the foundation for her future career, she wanted to show people the power of visual storytelling. Iris works primarily in traditional media, such as watercolor, gouache, oils and also likes to use clay to breathe life into her creations.

Iris Compiet is the winner of the 2020 Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist, and a 2020 nominee for the Chesley Award for Best Gaming Related Illustration. She is the illustrator The Dark Crystal Bestiary and of The Labyrinth Bestiary, and most recently, winner of the 2021 Chesley Award for Best Interior Art for The Dark Crystal.

 

Iris’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Spectrum, Infected by Art, ImagineFX, and 3D Total. Some of her other clients include Wizards of the Coast, Harper Collins, Insight Editions and Netflix, and her art has appeared in publications around the world. She draws inspiration from European folklore, nature, mythology, fairy tales, ghost stories, tombstones, Victorian photography, movies, and music. In her recent work Faeries of the Faultlines Iris guides readers through a world of fantastical creatures from beyond the veil.

According to Iris,  the two touchstones of fantasy are voice and vision. “Voice is the ability to ask of the spectator or reader the willing suspension of disbelief, to travel in company of the Trickster, to see the fantastical hidden behind the commonplace. Vision is the clairvoyance that enables the artist to see – and depict – what only they can discern: glimpses of the wildly wonderful realms of the imagination.
Those special places between worlds, where they encounter one another and occasionally overlap, are the ley lines of the fantastical. They are the cracks, the fissures in the mundane, the fault lines through which we can briefly catch sight of what does not exist.”

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