Sometimes, you can get into some rather far-out discussions on the crazy-net. Last night, in a dragon group I recently joined on Facebook, another member of the group and I were discussing whether or not the magic user in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” (which originally appeared as cover art for the July 2013 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY) would actually be able to defeat the dragon he is confronting in the piece. The other member of the group stated that, since dragons are high-class wizards, magic won’t work against them. I said it depends; it depends on the power of the wizard, how magical the dragon is, and the details of the particular lore or fantasy universe. I also pointed out ‘twas magic that destroyed the dragon Vermithrax in the movie DRAGONSLAYER (1981). The other member replied by stating that wisdom and huge magical powers makes dragons’ roles. I responded to that by saying that not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly intelligent or capable of speech. Therefore, not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly magical spell casters. I also asserted that there is room for ALL sort of dragons, highly intelligent or not, in greater dragon lore. The other person in the discussion then suggested “who knows who is this dragon?”
Who knows who is this dragon? Um, well, I do. To be perfectly honest, the dragon is who I say it is. As I told the person debating the point of whether or not the wizard in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” stands a chance of defeating said dragon, I drew it. If I say the dragon is more monstrous-but-mundane animal than magical entity, if I say the wizard stands a chance of defeating it (though that’s not entirely clear from the artwork - the wizard MIGHT be toast), then that’s the way it is. My creation, my story, my rules.
I also pointed out that I tend to draw a lot of my inspiration from traditional folklore rather than from current fiction or New Age beliefs (or role playing games - forgot to mention that last night). I drew the dragon in “Confronting the Dragon” as a creeping lizard-type creature (though with wings), and I did that deliberately to reflect the dragons of European lore. Though I have drawn other dragons that I consider to be much more intelligent (I certainly think they are intelligent-looking), I intended the one in this work to be more animalistic in nature. At best, he’s along the lines of a Smaug.
Anyway, I know art is open to interpretation, but if I say the dragon in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” may be defeated by magical means, then it may be defeated by magical means. After all, dragons ARE imaginary creations, the stuff of folklore and fiction. Within the broader parameters of what makes a dragon a dragon, dragons can be whatever their creators want them to be.