Illustrators of the Future Workshop

Art Workshop

At the Illustrators of the Future art workshop for 2019, winners learned secrets to perfect their art and how to succeed at the business of illustration. Several famous illustrators gave the contest winners insight into becoming successful professionals; knowledge not taught in universities and treasured as much (if not more) than winning the illustration contest itself. Click here for more information on the Illustrators of the Future.

Award-winning artists Echo and Lazarus Chernik along with fellow judges delivered this year’s workshop, including L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award-winners Bob Eggleton and Larry Elmore and Val Lakey Lindahn, Rob Prior, Sergey Poyarkov, and special guest Brian C. Hailes.

The contest winners and published finalists are flown in from the around the world to attend this exclusive art workshop. Aspiring illustrators enter three pieces of their artwork. They must be science fiction, fantasy, or horror, in nature and they must follow the contest rules to qualify. The contest is free to enter and artists retain all rights to their work—they give none away.

Illustration Workshop

New York Times bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard started the Writers of the Future Contest in 1984, writing that:

“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger-sharp.

“It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” —L. Ron Hubbard, in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 1

L. Ron Hubbard recognized the importance of fantasy and sci-fi art to complementing a story—he sensed what he defined as a “creative synergy” between the written word and the art that illustrates it. Mr. Hubbard studied art and illustration, and many of his discoveries on color, lines, and what defines the quality of art are covered in the workshop.

The workshop instructors, Echo and Lazarus Chernik, give the essentials of illustration, provide real examples drawn from their hard-won experience, and do practical exercises to push illustrators to go further faster.

Art Workshop topics:

  • How to make a good illustration great
  • How illustration is different from fine art
  • Teaming up with artists and art directors
  • Art portfolios, best practices
  • Portfolio presentations, best practices
  • Studio management, best practices
  • Illustration jobs and how to freelance successfully
  • How to write contracts
  • How to win clients and influence people
  • One-on-one portfolio reviews from illustration legends
  • And so much more

Famous Illustrators

As has become tradition, the final days of the art workshop feature candid advice from the judges, past contest winners, and professionals in the industry. They shared their wisdom and tips on how to be a successful artist, giving the winners the benefit of years of experience to help launch their careers.

This year’s Illustrators of the Future art workshop included presentations and art portfolio reviews from: Val Lakey Lindahn, Sergey Poyarkov, Larry Elmore, Rob Pior, Bob Eggleton, Dr. Laura Brodian Freas Beraha, Marianne Plumridge, Brian C. Hailes, and Maryse Alexander, Marketing Director Galaxy Press.

Marketing Plan

The President Galaxy Press John Goodwin, Public Affairs Executive Emily Goodwin, and Lazarus Chernik took the final day to cover the business of illustration and writing: marketing and selling books. Special guests, Dave Chesson, CEO Kindlepreneur, provided insight about Amazon and tips for the new writers and illustrators get started, and Bill Fawcett, American editor, book packager, game designer, and fiction writer spoke about targeting one’s marketing and exceptions to the rules.

Topics included:

  • What is marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Online marketing
  • How to brand yourself
  • How to do media interviews
  • How to do book signings
  • Selling on Amazon

Illustrators’ Success

Writers and Illustrators are now ready to build their careers on a foundation for success. Over the years, hundreds of our winners have gone on to enjoy professional careers—the largest success rate of any workshop or contest for aspiring artists. Winners have gone onto receive all of the major science fiction and fantasy awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy, and industry awards such as the Emmy and even an Oscar.

Past winner and award-winning illustrator Artem Mirolevich, shared his experience with winning the contest and attending the art workshop: “The experience of flying to the west coast, being treated like a star, and also being given an opportunity to learn from some of the best illustrators in the business was priceless. It helped me believe in myself, believe that anything is possible, and that the sky is the limit.”

How to Attend the Illustrators of the Future Art Workshop

Do you want to attend next year’s workshop?

The first step is to complete three illustrations or paintings and submit them to the illustration contest. Only submitted artwork has a chance of winning, and only winners and published finalist are invited to this exclusive art workshop.

To get ahead of the competition, we recommend that you review previous books in the series. This will not only give you an idea of the quality of past winners, but there are also essays with advice on art from L. Ron Hubbard and the judges of the contest, all Grand Masters of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Tap here to download a Writers of the Future volume for free.


History of the Illustration Workshop

The Illustrators of the Future contest began five years after the writing contest was launched. Frank Kelly Freas, the Dean of Science Fiction Illustration, originally led the workshops with these masters of illustration: Bob Eggleton, Frank Frazetta, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Val Lakey Lindahn, Edd Cartier, Vincent Di Fate, Diane and Leo Dillon, Paul Lehr, Ron Lindahn, Alex Schomburg, William Warren, Jr., and H. R. Van Dongen. Today, that list goes on including Larry Elmore, Shaun Tan, Rob Prior, Sergey Poyarkov, and Laura Brodian Freas Beraha.

Contest resources:

Contributed by Lazarus Chernik, Illustrators of the Future Judge since 2016.


Lazarus Chernik

Lazarus Chernik is an experienced brand manager, creative director, and award-winning designer with over twenty years of experience. His clients have included everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 giants. He has directed the creative departments for numerous agencies and corporations, including a Top 15 national advertising agency, a national web development firm, a national retail chain, a catalog retailer, and a retail goods manufacturer.


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