Ted Nasmith

Ted Nasmith
  • Illustrator


Ted is a widely published illustrator of J.R.R. Tolkien and other fantasy fiction. He is also a formerly accomplished architectural renderer (now retired), and his career has also included diverse forms of book and advertising illustration, along with automotive portraiture. He lives and works in Newmarket, Ontario, and frequently appears as both a speaker and exhibitor at international fantasy conventions.

Ted, gifted from an early age, studied commercial art at Toronto’s Northern Secondary School from 1969 to 1972, graduating with honours. He was soon hired by Visual Concept, a studio in which he was trained in architectural renderings, which he quickly excelled in, and then built a career upon.

From the early 70s onward Ted pursued art devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien in his spare time, and dreamed of having his paintings published in the annual illustrated Tolkien calendars. Initial indifference from publishers did not deter him, and after several years, when the breakthrough came, he had created dozens of paintings. In the years that followed, he came to recognize Tolkien art as his main vocation, as accolades and fan interest accumulated. His Tolkien calendars appeared frequently through the 90s and 2000s, beginning in earnest in 1990, when his first solo calendar appeared. Architectural work soon was overtaken by his growing reputation as a Tolkien illustrator.

His credits now include several Tolkien book covers, and in the late 90s he was commissioned to illustrate The Silmarillion, a crowning honour. His Tolkien art has been licensed in a number of other applications; games, puzzles, plates, role-playing cards, music recordings and documentaries.

More recently, Ted has come to be associated with the ‘Ice and Fire’ series of novels by George R.R. Martin. He was a chief contributor of artwork to The World of Ice and Fire and illustrated the 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. He most recently illustrated A Game of Thrones, a deluxe signed and numbered collectors’ edition in two volumes, published in April 2015.

Ted’s other interests include music, whether listening, performing or composing, as well as book-reading in a variety of genres, movies, live theatre, photography, and a deep love of skies, weather and natural beauty. He recorded a highly praised music CD in 2007, fulfilling a longstanding ambition for his musical side, and hopes to expand on this side of his art in future. He continues his lifelong love of JRR Tolkien, most recently taking on a series of private commissions.