"These prints made from my paintings are a revelation. I've compared the original oil paintings with these prints, and their truthfulness is beyond belief. The colors, the textures, the flow of my paint-laden brush over the canvas: hesitant one moment and surging forward in a confident sweep the next. There's so much information in these prints that studying them made me recall how they'd been painted. Astonishing."
By Clive Barker, 13 January 2014
"I don't know any other way but to be a visual thinker. I describe in my stories what my mind sees. And I find words that are most economically and stylistically effective in describing the internal vistas which come inevitably to me. I can't see another way to be. I understand that other people do write without seeing images in their heads. I don't know how that happens. I'm a journalist who records the figurescapes that congregate, and transform, and argue, and make love inside my head.
"[Imaginer is] the missing element... I think it adds the root element - the element that precedes me in every way. I was a visual artist before I was a literary artist. If people want to know who I am or where I get my ideas from or why I write the things that I do, Imaginer is the answer to that question."
Hellraiser Creator Reflects on Decades Worth of Influential Visual Art
By Graeme McMillan, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 August 2014
"I do this stuff without really thinking about it too much. People often don't know that I paint. Recently, though, with Thomas Negovan of Century Guild having taken hold of my work in a major way, and put out the first volume of the Imaginer book, people have begun to understand what I'm doing a lot more. Thomas has become my great apologist and has really made people understand what I'm doing in a way that I never could. I'm really not that great at talking about my own art.
"I'm not particularly good at talking about anything I do, generally. Because I do it with my gut, not with my head."
Return of the Dark Master
By techgnotic, deviantART, 31 October 2014
"Phil and Sarah understand me better than almost anyone on the planet. They have an encyclopaedic knowledge of who I am and what I've done. My relationship with them is one of the great friendships of my life and the permanent placing of my archive with them is a natural culmination of this great, long relationship."
Clive Barker and Mick Garris on The Body Book and The Mummy That Wasn't
By John Nicol, Fangoria.com, 19 November 2015
[Re: Imaginer 4] "I just received a copy of the new Imaginer. I think the Archive has created a book that sets the bar a hair's breadth higher than the previous volume, which was already unparalleled. Thank you for your commitment and vision. The book, like the project, is extraordinary."
E-mail to Revelations
By Clive Barker, 23 June 2017
[Re: Imaginer 5] "I'm seldom lost for words but I am sort of lost for words! It's gorgeous. It's gorgeous - it's the best so far.
"I know I said at the beginning of Imaginer, 'This is probably the best Clive Barker between covers' or whatever it was, you know, about Tom's first book? I feel I need to re-state, because of this, a whole new level of achievement by you guys.
"And I very much feel - I feel so passionate about it - that I want to make sure the world knows that this is not the Imaginer you think you knew! This is, guys, excuse this, it sounds un-humble but it's not un-humble: it's about the achievement I guess we've all achieved, but this is one of the most beautiful art books I've ever seen."
Artist And Imaginer
By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 7 September 2017 (note: full text here)
[Re: completed Imaginer series] "They remind me of my favourite books as a child – which was a set of twelve encyclopaedias, which
were copiously illustrated – no photographs, illustrated – and my favourite illustration was a page long, down the length of the
page, tracing the Amazon from the source to the sea. It passes through mountains, it passes through places where there are
cannibals and I would look at this, literally for hours and study it and, again this is something I’ve never said to anybody:
If there is something in my fantastic fiction, if there is some influence on my fantastic fiction which I can point to and say
‘it’s that,’ it is that page.
"There were, I think, 12 of them and they were maybe a third of the thickness of an Imaginer, very brightly coloured, and copiously illustrated, so there wasn’t a single page that didn’t have something illustrated on it... it was their lushness that I loved. It was what I get from Imaginer – it was opening it and knowing that on every page there would be a surprise."
Plucking Apples of Silver and Gold
By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 9 - 24 April 2020 (note: full text here)
Thomas Negovan: "Imaginer is the first comprehensive volume of the artwork of Clive Barker. Featuring over 75 artworks and over 160 pages, the book will be a gorgeous large format of 10" x 13" inches. There have been marginal explorations of Clive's artwork in the past, but the most important part of this project is that the book is composed of entirely ALL NEW and ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION image captures. The detail is impeccable, and Clive flatteringly declared the difference in detail of the new captures compared to previously printed ones like the difference between 'chalk and cheese'. (Which means they're really, really good!)
"The purest, most direct path from the raw creative mind of Clive Barker to our world is through his artworks. We are in the process of exhuming and documenting a lifetime of genius; these artworks are the origin points of characters we recognize, and hold hints of stories yet to come. We expect this first book to be the beginning of a series of volumes examining his work in great detail, and are also in the process of documenting his creative process on film for a documentary titled Clive Barker: Imaginer.
"This is an art book of the highest quality, and is being created with the utmost attention to detail to present the artwork as though you were witnessing the paintings and drawings in person.
"What makes a 'fine art' book?
"The capturing of images is incredibly important- for this book we have used a high-resolution scanback camera with a Hasselblad lens; all artworks were carefully lighted, and are being painstakingly color corrected as we speak. Many books that you see are 8.5" x 11" or smaller because it's a cutoff point for pricing. The next plateau is 9" x 12". The artwork of Clive Barker looks best printed in an even more dramatic 10" x 13" format- since we are going directly to the fans with this we can avoid the demands and concerns of mass-market publishing and print this book at a beautiful large format that shows the artwork in the best possible manner!"
By Thomas Negovan, January 2014
Thomas Negovan: "The most important element of any printing is the capturing process. Making sure to have files of the highest resolution is one aspect, the other is color correction. For this volume, we created completely new files of the absolute finest quality using a high resolution scanback camera with a Rodenstock lens and a digital focusing system to make sure that we have the crispest possible detail. The artworks were then painstakingly color corrected to make certain that viewing the artworks in this book are as close as possible to the actual physical experience."
By Thomas Negovan, April 2014
Thomas Negovan: "Imaginer 1 was the first comprehensive volume documenting the artwork of Clive Barker; the format of Imaginer 2 is identical - with all new words and images. Featuring over 75 artworks and 208 pages, the book will be a gorgeous large format of 10" x 13" inches. The book is composed of entirely ALL NEW and ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION image captures, painstakingly color corrected to the original paintings. The detail is impeccable, and Clive flatteringly described the difference in the detail and accuracy of the new captures to any previously printed ones as the difference between 'chalk and cheese'.
"This is an art book of the highest quality, and is being created with the utmost attention to detail to present the artwork as though you were witnessing the paintings in person."
Imaginer 2 Kickstarter
By Thomas Negovan, October 2014 (see the Kickstarter page here)
Thomas Negovan: "All the files used for Heaven and Hell were disturbingly low resolution, and fewer than 10% of the pages appear to be even remotely color corrected. For Imaginer, we are taking all-new high resolution scanback camera captures, and spending a LOT of time and money color correcting each image to match the paintings perfectly. Clive complimented us by saying the old book was like being fed chalk instead of cheese! If you lay them next to each other, it's like comparing 8-track tapes to CD quality."
By Thomas Negovan, Facebook post, 2 November 2014
Thomas Negovan: "The Imaginer books are... going to be focussing on 1993 through 2012... Imaginer - the black book - is going to be one book that is, like, sixteen hundred pages divided across eight volumes.
"I think that what I would expect would happen is that once the entire eight books are done and that as much of that period of Clive's life that we could possibly have documented has been documented, that's when maybe some truncated version would come out that's, you know, 100, 150 of the best paintings with a few different people commenting on them and making some specific relationship commentaries. But that's years away, I mean, we're five years away from anything like that."
Thomas Negovan Returns
By Ryan Danhauser and José Leitão, Clive Barker Podcast, 5 February 2015 (note - full audio online at www.clivebarkercast.com/).
Century Guild : "Clive Barker: Imaginer Vol. 2 has an introduction commenting on Clive's early years in the theater, and features some rare early posters illustrated by Clive!"
By Century Guild, 10 April 2015
Thomas Negovan: "We are also pleased to announce today that, following the shipping of Imaginer 2,
Century Guild is handing the torch of publishing the Imaginer series over to Phil and Sarah Stokes of The Clive Barker Archive
for all future volumes, starting with Imaginer 3 early in 2016...
"Phil and Sarah Stokes (who if you haven't read their words have provided the afterword to Imaginer 2) have been working with Clive for almost twenty years, documenting and presenting his output for readers, viewers and academics - their official Clive Barker Archive is the natural home for the ongoing project of archiving Clive's body of artwork, which the proceeds of the Imaginer Series are funding.
"We couldn't be happier that this important endeavour is now being placed in the safe hands of The Clive Barker Archive. Phil and Sarah have been nothing but supportive of the process from the very first moment and are perfectly placed to continue this long-term cultural project. They've been an absolute joy to work with for my entire time in the Clive Barker universe and I am excited that you'll now experience the pleasure that I've had in interacting with them."
Imaginer 2 has Arrived... and News for the Future!
By Thomas Negovan, Kickstarter Update, 17 December 2015
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "Century Guild's vision conceived the Imaginer Series and the meticulous
process of digital preservation of Clive's oil paintings and for this we are very grateful. We are delighted to be inheriting
this archival work from them. Clive's creativity is our passion and the Imaginer Series, supported by this incredible Kickstarter
community, will form an important part of allowing access to Clive's archive - artwork, sketches, manuscripts and working process
- in both digital and physical spaces.
"If you missed Volume 1 or want to know where to get copies of either edition, all remaining copies of Volumes 1 and further copies of Volume 2 can be purchased from The Clive Barker Archive."
Imaginer 2 has Arrived... and News for the Future!
By Thomas Negovan, Kickstarter Update, 17 December 2015
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "The clamshell editions of Imaginer Volume 2 are now all signed by Clive and
are set to start shipping from Seraphim (Clive's company)... We are waiting for the regular editions
to arrive in Los Angeles and anticipate that these will ship from Century Guild in April.
"Today's big news is that there is happily no further delay to the series and Imaginer Volume 3 is already written, crammed full of another wonderful selection of Clive's artwork, and features an afterword from the influential dark artist, Chet Zar!
"Imaginer Volume 3 is therefore poised to be sent to the printers, for delivery of finished books this summer."
Imaginer 3 News
By Thomas Negovan, Kickstarter Update, 14 March 2016
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "We've been happily involved with the Imaginer series since its inception and we're delighted to be bringing the whole venture into the Archive project. Our goal is to bring the finest quality books and other materials to the many friends we've come to know through Clive's works over many years. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone in advance for your support!"
Imaginer Volume 3
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, March 2016.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "Clive is delighted with this new volume of Imaginer (phew!) and has been leafing the pages of the colour proofs. On the final pass, he offered just a few last-minute gracenotes and the inclusion of a couple of additional images.... We're already working hard on Imaginer Volume 4 and that one's right on track for early next year."
Imaginer 3 - Update
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 29 May 2016.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "Shipments of Imaginer Volume 3 have arrived in our twin hubs of London and
Los Angeles and we're delighted to report that the very first of the pre-order copies went out in the mail earlier today to
new homes all around the world!
"Clive says he 'adores' this new volume and we're incredibly pleased with both the quality and the content. Huge thanks again to Chet Zar for his afterword in this one...
"Early news: we're deep into preparation on Volume 4, with canvas selection and image capture already underway - more updates on that one as we go."
Imaginer 3 - Now Shipping
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 3 August 2016.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "Clive has just signed off on the selection of canvases for the fifth Imaginer
volume which is being laid-out as we speak - more on that very soon!
"And still we keep going - Clive has also been talking through the painting selection for the sixth volume and beyond (actually, he keeps thinking of ideas for new series beyond these eight - we'll try to keep up!!)
"In the meantime, and before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we're really impressed with the fourth volume - everyone in the production and design teams continues to work incredibly hard to maintain the quality of this fabulous series."
Where is Imaginer 4..?
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 30 April 2017.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "We're delighted to reveal the latest Imaginer cover image and to announce
that pre-orders will open later today! These pre-order prices will remain available until publication, when full retail prices
will start to apply.
"As with previous volumes, all pre-ordered books will come with an exclusive A5 art card featuring art from the Imaginer series, and all copies will also include an A4 mini-poster.
"Thanks again for all the wonderful feedback on previous volumes - we can't wait to get the next Imaginer out to you!
"This time around, Clive wanted to share some of his thoughts on Imaginer 5 - so do please head over to Revelations where you can read the full conversation with him as we look through some of the art selected for this latest volume."
Pre-Order Imaginer 5
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 18 September 2017.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "Volume 6 of the Imaginer series, the ongoing presentation of brand new digital capture images of Clive Barker's astonishing artwork, will be published by the Clive Barker Archive in autumn 2018."
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 26 June 2018.
Phil & Sarah Stokes: "We're delighted to reveal the cover art for the eighth and final volume of the
"We anticipate that we'll be shipping these out in mid - late March 2020, hard on the heels of book 7, but we’ll update on both books before then.
"A huge 'thank you' from us and Clive to everyone who's followed the series to completion - you've helped to create a formidable set of books that chronicles a huge part of Clive's diverse creative world and we hope you'll enjoy the books for many years to come!"
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, The Clive Barker Archive, 18 February 2020.