Home Articles The wonderful fantasy world of Brian Froud

The wonderful fantasy world of Brian Froud


TOBY-W-DAV-LAB2101If you love fantasy and fairies, then you should probably know who Brian Froud is. If not, please also read on – he is an amazingly talented fantasy illustrator (and the father of Toby – the little baby in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth).



“I paint the spirit and soul of what I see.” ~ Brian Froud



13322_origBrian Froud (born 1947) is an English fantasy illustrator. He lives and works in Devon with his wife, Wendy Froud, who is also a fantasy artist and an internationally acclaimed doll maker Wendy Froud.

The landscapes in his paintings are frequently inspired by Dartmoor. Froud was the conceptual designer and costume designer for the films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth (both in conjunction with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop).

tumblr_lnngrm5j6q1ql1jpho1_1280He collaborated with Terry Jones, who was a screenwriter on Labyrinth, on The Goblins of the Labyrinth (1986, re-issued in abridged form as The Goblin Companion: A Field Guide to Goblins in 1996), and subsequently on a number of non-Labyrinth-related books about fairies and goblins, namely of the “Lady Cottington” series, such as Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book. He has also worked with American writer Ari Berk on more recent books, including Goblins and “The Runes of Elfland”, and produced art books such as Good Faeries/Bad Faeries. One of his most famous art books, Faeries, produced in collaboration with Alan Lee, was the basis of a 1981 animated feature of the same name.


Here is some of his most famous illustration works:

  • Romeo And Juliet (1971)
  • The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate (1972)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1972)
  • Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos by Lin Carter (cover illustration)
  • Ultra-violet catastrophe! Or, The unexpected walk with Great-Uncle Magnus Pringle (1975)
  • Are All the Giants Dead? (1975)
  • The Wind Between the Stars (1976)
  • The Land of Froud (1977)
  • Master Snickup’s Cloak (1979)
  • Faeries (1979) — With Alan Lee
  • The World of the Dark Crystal (1982)
  • Goblins: Pop-up Book (1983)
  • Goblins of the Labyrinth (1986)
  • The Goblin Companion: A Field Guide to Goblins (1986)
  • The Dreaming Place (1990)
  • Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book (1994)
  • Quentin Cottington’s Journal of Faery Research: Strange Stains and Mysterious Smells (1996)
  • Good Faeries/Bad Faeries (1998)
  • The Faeries’ Oracle (2000)
  • The Runes of Elfland (2003)
  • Goblins! (2004)
  • The Secret Sketchbooks of Brian Froud (2005)
  • Chelsea Morning (2005)
  • Brian Froud’s World of Faerie (2007)
  • Heart of Faerie Oracle (2010)
  • How to See Faeries (2011) — With John Matthews

 He also did a lot of great conceptual work for well-known movies:

  • Faeries (television and VHS) (1981)
  • The Dark Crystal (1982)
  • Labyrinth (1986)
  • The Storyteller (1988)
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1988)
  • The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (2000)
  • Peter Pan (2003)
  • Mythic Journeys

You can visit his website – www.wordoffroud.com