ChainingWhat illustrator Dresden Codak is doing with his Silmarillion Project is amazing. His goal is to “create a painted illustration to accompany every chapter in Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, as well as provide supplementary illustrations to round out the characters and world in general.”

Another goal of the project is to “create a Middle-Earth visually unique from the style of the Peter Jackson films.” Codak is indeed a fan of Jackson’s films but says “I miss the days when there was more diversity and interpretation to Tolkien illustrations.” That is such a great point. Tolkien’s work has inspired so many people, and we’re all inspired in so many different ways.

WoodsAs great as the LOTR and HOBBIT movies are (I personally love them), we cannot let them confine our imaginations. The whole point of reading a great fantasy novel is to spark your PERSONAL imagination. Your vision of the novel comes from deep inside you—your inherent creativity responding to the “message” that the text is sending you.

So there are potentially an infinite number of Frodos, Balrogs, Gandalfs, Saurons, and Middle-Earths. What I love about Codak’s project (besides his superb art skills) is that he brings that infinite creativity to bear. And no doubt his work will inspire others as Tolkien has inspired him.

thirdAnother reason I love it? Because The Silmarillion is my favorite Tolkien book.

Check out The Silmarillion Project right here:
http://silmarillionproject.tumblr.com/