343 Ontario Drive
Livermore, CA 94550
The biographical facts about George Barr, one of the greatest
artists to enter the fields of science fiction and fantasy are
relatively simple. He was born in Tucson, Arizona, but raised
in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he attended elementary, junior
high school, high school, and spent eighteen months in a
commercial art school. He became a professional illustrator
in 1961, moved to Los Angeles in 1968, then to San Jose in 1972,
where he lives to the present time in a modest home in a
relatively quiet neighborhood.
As with several other well-known illustrators, George
his career in the sf/fantasy fields by doing illustrations for
fanzines. His first piece of professional work was done for
the March, 1961, issue of FANTASTIC and which, for those with
discriminating eyes, marked him as an artist to watch for. He
was soon working steadily in the field, getting commissions for
both cover and interior artwork. The long list of magazines for
which he did illustrations include AMAZING, DRAGON Magazine,
DUNGEON, GALAXY, IF, ISAAC ASIMOV'S Science Fiction Magazine,
ISAAC ASIMOV'S Science Fiction Adventure Magazine, FORGOTTEN
FANTASY, WEIRD TALES, and MARION ZIMMER BRADLEY'S
FANTASY Magazine. He's done book covers for such publishers as
Ace Books, DAW Books, Donald M. Grant, Pulphouse Publishing,
Owlswick Press, Cheap Street, Arbor House, Alyson Press, and many others.
George Barr is perhaps one of the most creative and flexible
artists working in the field today. Besides doing cover and
interior art for books and magazines, he has also produced art
for game books and covers for computer games. Among the former
are KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE KINGDOM OF SORCERY,
THE WRATH OF OLYMPUS, THE DUNGEON MASTER'S Design Kit,
DRAGON LANCE Adventures, and QUEEN OF THE SPIDERS.
Among the latter are STAR CONTROL I (from Accolade, and one
of the hits of the past several years), ARCHON ULTRA, and JORUNNE.
And George has done other interesting work as well. One
more famous paintings was the poster for the cult movie, FLESH
GORDON, which he did primarily to support the work of his friends
in the special effects department. At another time, he did the
makeup for the "space hippies" in the Star Trek episode, "The Way
to Eden" (he was not particularly pleased with that episode, which
makes him not at all unusual). He is also an excellent sculptor,
although he does not do it nearly often enough.
All artists are influenced by other artists, parts of
often show up in their work. George's often delicate artwork is
influenced by "everything I see and like," but especially by his
appreciation for the works of Arthur Rackham, Maxfield Parrish,
Edmond Dulac, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, and Hannes Bok as well as
"innumerable comic book illustrators and newspaper cartoonists."
Rackham and Parrish are the central influences; Rackham for his
feel for line, Parrish for his expressive use of color.
He has been nominated five times for the Hugo Award for
Artist and won the award in 1968. He was nominated once for
Best Professional Artist, and was the winner of a Lensman Award,
an award which is voted on by his professional peers.