Jay Johnstone - Jay's Tolkien


A stunning collection of paintings, manuscripts and sculptures that could have been made in the monasteries of the of Middle Ages or the libraries of Minas Tirith

Jay made his debut with his Tolkien inspired work in 2012 exhibiting at Return of the Ring. This was the largest ever Tolkien conference, held at Loughborough University and organised by The Tolkien Society. His unique and fresh approach to Middle-earth astounded everyone and from there he has exhibited globally. He was artist guest of honour at 2014 TheOneRing.net Oscar party in LA supporting Peter Jackson and the nomination for The Hobbit. He lectures frequently on his artwork, inspiration and techniques at the Tolkien Society annual meeting Oxonmoot in Oxford, most recently in 2021 sharing his passion and knowledge on the works of Pauline Baynes.

Jay Johnstone - Jay's Tolkien
About Jay

Jay has exhibited across Germany at Ringcon, Hobbitcon, TolkienTag and Tolkien Ting. He has also given talks and lectures on his work and was guest of Honour at The Tolkien Lectures at Aachen University, Germany. Many of his works can be seen in the Greissinger Museum in Switzerland and The Middle-earth exhibition at the Lucca, Italy.

There are currently two books by Jay Johnstone; Tolkienography Middle Earth inspired Manuscripts & Tolkienography, Isildur’s Bane with commentary by Thomas Honegger.

The second book is a deep immersion in Tolkien’s myth through the artwork of Jay’s Manuscripts, produced between 1999 and 2018. It provides the reader with a novel artistic rendering of Tolkien’s sub-creation, provoking new interpretations of its characters and essential themes.

“Johnstone’s artistic interpretation of Tolkien’s work warrants the same attention as that of Alan Lee or John Howe; his emphasis on characters rather than scenes or landscapes is itself a distinctive quality, but the iconography is what truly sets Johnstone’s work apart. Anyone with a broad interest in Tolkien’s work will find Tolkienography a pleasure to view, but those interested in Tolkien’s reliance on medieval and theological sources will find the book especially enriching. Indeed, this reader is unsure if one can properly interpret Tolkien’s work without referencing the iconic threads woven through the story; that Johnstone and Honegger have captured this thread so saliently makes Tolkienography perhaps one of the most interesting works on Tolkien published in many years.”

Lance A. Green
Journal of Inklings Studies University of St Andrews

Jay is also the founder and driving force behind the sci-fantasynetwork.com. This science fiction and fantasy online news channel was founded in 2015 and has a dedicated following for sci-fi and fantasy lovers. He is also the Owner of Hunter Johnstone Marketing Solutions an award-winning design and marketing agency based in Newcastle he founded in 2000.



2012 Return of the Ring, Loughborough UK

2013 Hobbit Con 2, Germany

2013 Oscars – Onering.net , US

2013 Tolkien Tag Barlow, Germany

2013 Tolkien Ting, Germtany

2013 Greissinger Museum, Switzerland

2013 Oxonmoot , Lady Margret Hall Oxford

2013 Ringcon, Germany

2013  Guest of honour – Tolkien Seminars Aachen Germany

2014 Oxonmoot, Lady Margret Hall Oxford

2015 Hobbit Con 3, Germany

2015 Tolkien Weekend, Newcastle

2015 Oxonmoot , Lady Margret Hall Oxford


2016 Hobbit Con 4, Germany

2016 Oxonmoot, St Anthony Oxford

2016 Ringcon, Germany

2016 Tolkienshop, Holland

2017 Oxonmoot , St Anthony Oxford

2017 Hull University Tolkien Centenary

2018 Follycon, Harrogate

2018 Oxonmoot, St Anthony Oxford

2019 Tolkien 50th Anniversay Tolkien Society, Birmingham

2020 Oxonmoot, Online

2021 Oxonmoot, St Annes Oxford

2022 Guest of honour – Athens Tolkien Symposium II



Tijaran Tales: SERIES 1-6 Francessca Barbini Cover Design  by Jay Johnstone 2015 -19
Aragorn: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Undervalued Hero  Angela Nicholas Cover
Design by Jay Johnstone 2017

Steampunk Writers Around the World – Volume I, Cover Design and
page art by Jay Johnstone 2017

The Return Of The Ring Volume 1&2 Cover Design by Jay Johnstone

Tolkienography Manuscripts of Middle Earth Jay Johnstone 2017

Tolkienography  Isildur’s Bane  Jay Johnstone 2019

Sub-creating Arda Dimitra Fimi and Thomas Honegger
Cover Art Jay Johnstone 2019

Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist by Oronzo Cilli & Tom
Shippey Cover Art Jay Johnstone 2019

On Eagle’s Wings – An Exploration of Eucatastrophe in Tolkien’s
Fantasy Anna Thayer Cover Design by Jay Johnstone 2019

The Sub-Genres of British Fantasy Literature AJ Dalton Cover Design
by Jay Johnstone 2019

Gears of Change (The Infinity Machine Series) Anthony Laken – Cover
Design by Jay Johnstone 2020

Death and Immortality in Middle-earth: Peter Roe Series XVII – Cover
Design by Jay Johnstone 2020

Tolkien and the Classical World Hamish Williams Cover Art Jay
Johnstone 2021

Osric The Extaordinary Owl Brian Sibley, Pauline Baynes &Wayne
Hammond Designed and produced by Jay Johnstone 2021

Friendship in The Lord of the Rings, by Cristina Casagrande.
Art Jay Johnstone 2021



Jay Johnstone - Jay's Tolkien


Keep up to date with the latest news, artwork and exhibitions

    Johnstone's work in that sense is a perfect complement to Tolkien's History of Middle Earth, presenting a different context to the many others who have attempted to illustrate Tolkien.

    Excerpt from ‘A companion to JRR Tolkien’, Edited By Steart D. Lee

    I first met Jay Johnstone surrounded by his artwork at the Return of the Ring conference in Loughborough in August 2012 – and was struck by two things. First, the impact some of his pictures had on my psyche, and second, by Jay’s dedication to his craft.

    Thomas Honegger- Professor of Old English Languages at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

    What they say

    Johnstone's artistic interpretation of Tolkien's work warrants the same attention as that of Alan Lee or John Howe; his emphasis on characters rather than scenes or landscapes is itself a distinctive quality, but the iconography is what truly sets Johnstone's work apart. https://doi.org/10.3366/ink.2020.0086

    Lance A. Green - The Journal of Inklings Studies