On June 3rd, legendary fantasy artist Ken Kelly passed away at 76 years old. Ken Kelly in addition to being such a prolific fantasy artist, also created iconic album covers for KISS, Rainbow, and Manowar.
According to his bio on Kenkelly.com, in 1968, Ken Kelly approached the king of fantasy art, Frank Frazetta. Ken showed Frank some of his art and Frank was so impressed he pushed Ken to pursue his career into fantasy art. Not only did Frazetta inspire Ken, but he also took him under his wing to study under him (A fantasy geek’s dream come true).
In Ken’s own words, Frank “acknowledged me as an adult and asked me to show him what I could do art wise. And that’s what started it all.”
Ken Kelly would also create numerous album covers like KISS’s “Destroyer” and “Love Gun”, RAINBOW‘s “Rising”, several albums from MANOWAR, and Ace Frehley‘s “Space Invader” record.
I highly recommend taking a few moments in your day to check out Ken’s massive archive of images or take a quick Google search. I can guarantee if you love illustration, fantasy and just art in general, it will not be time wasted.