Bob Eggleton

Art Is a Journey by Bob Eggleton

“Art? So you want to do art for a living? Do you know what the chances of success are?”

Those words echo in my head, some twenty-seven years later after my last year in high school. They were the words of a provincial and so-called “guidance counselor.” Whenever anyone suggests they’d like to have a career in the arts, specifically art and illustration, it is often met with such sarcasm and negativity that one can only feel sorry for the lack of wonder and vision in these people. After all, haven’t all manner of people been bombarded with some form of advertising art over the last one hundred years or so?

Perhaps, had I listened to this person, had I followed his suggestions, I would be in some highly “safe” but dismally predictable job. I might never have found out the extent of my reach or potential if I had taken his advice to heart. I don’t know, and frankly, I can’t picture myself any other way than I am now.

Quality of Communication

Encouragement in the arts is an uphill battle. Putting it simply, to some, art—writing, music, and also entertainment—is seen as some kind of marginal and dispensable need: something that is not necessary for day-to-day living. Those people do not know how wrong they are, because without it, they are not living. Art enriches lives with understanding and communication on a very basic level. As L. Ron Hubbard once said: “ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. It therefore follows the laws of communication.” And truly, being an illustrator is being a communicator in a visual language all can understand.

There are many ways for someone to recommend “tips” and suggestions on success in this chosen field. Some are general ideas that will work, and still, for others, it is a case of what works for another may not work for you. A lot of it is a combination of drive, talent, and most of all, luck. But then I believe in creating luck—by being determined to succeed.

A suggestion that I found worked for me early on (and I still stand by it), after I found it led to essentially dead ends was: never work for free. Even in this book that you hold in your hands, the writers were paid for their stories and illustrators for their illustrations. But that’s all beside the point in this case, as in both instances, winners and finalists got a wealth of suggestions and critiques worth far more than money, and, well, the thrill of winning a wonderful accolade. So, that said, they can’t now retreat and do something for nothing; this is, unfortunately, a world where there are unscrupulous people who will surely take advantage of an illustrator/writer/creator inexperienced in business. I’m not saying don’t give of yourself to your favorite good cause or charity—something where the reward is in the helping. I am saying: don’t do a fantastic piece of artwork and then simply sign away your rights as having created the work, and someone else goes on and makes money off your labors. Donating your talent and time to a good cause is just being a nicer human being—and that comes back to you, I have found. However, being taken advantage of is another thing. There is nothing more discouraging than that.

Camembert Cheese?

Achieving fame is another issue. What’s important is not whether you are famous, but rather do you love what you do? And, if you do achieve a kind of fame, I warn you, never ever believe your own press. That is to say, let nothing go to your head too much, positive or negative. Salvadore Dali did his epic painting Persistence of Memory (the one with the melting clock) and critics praised this as some life-changing, almost existential, self-defining work of inner truth. In reality his entire inspiration was from … Camembert cheese. That was it. It does not detract at all from this fine work, but some people who wanted to read something more into it felt betrayed.

This also means avoiding being “lofty” or “high and mighty.” How can you be in the business of communication, as Mr. Hubbard reminds us, if you don’t communicate in a way people can understand? To some it seems to be the way to more wealth and power, but, in the end, it’s a losing game to pursue. And I also warn you, should you reach the heady heights of success and/or popularity … there are those few in the shadows who delight in trying to destroy that. It’s called “Tall Poppy Syndrome” and is usually practiced by those who are in opposition to what you do, are trying to make themselves feel superior by belittling your creation, or are jealous, or just petty. There are still others, in all ignorance, who, no matter how much money you make or how happy you are, will never see “art” as a “credible living.” They’ll forever see it as a hobby and possibly ask when you are going to get a “real job.”

The “up” factor is that the majority of people will find something that “speaks” to them in your work. And it’s always exhilarating, no matter how much you achieve in your life, to see an image or written piece you’ve created in print form. Hold it in your hands and say, “I did that.” It’s also nice to get paid for it.

What About Technique?

I’m often asked about techniques and ways I work with materials. My reply to that is: each to his, or her, own. There is no instruction manual; learning what is right (or wrong) for you is just trial and error—experimentation. However, I will add that art is a journey—an ongoing learning experience—one that will probably consume the rest of your life. My usual answer to “What is your best piece?” is “My next one!” because for me, it’s a quest to see what I can do next. I try to use different media—pencils, pastels, oils, collage, acrylics, gouache, watercolors and markers—simply because it motivates me to explore. Finding ideas in the paint and the paper itself. At least that’s what I tell myself, and it keeps me going. It is always the next piece that will be better than this one. You hope, anyway.

The idea of “the next piece” suits me well in meeting deadlines. I don’t have time to fuss around wondering if this will be the defining piece of my life. It’s due Thursday and that’s what’s more important at that time. Deeper works will come with more time and in perhaps creating something just for oneself.

Computer Generated Vs Traditional Art

Recently, there is another debate raging in science fiction art circles: computer art versus traditional methods of brushes and paint. Advances in technology in the computer seem as though it makes anyone an artist. This is not true. It can give someone the illusion that they are able to be an artist, but to really be a good illustrator—painter or draftsman—it takes many years of practice and observation. A computer and the various programs can be excellent tools if that is what you wish to create with. But, one has to have the basic skills and, I believe, the talent to breathe life into one’s chosen subject. If the talent is there and the skills are honed, the style, expression and communication will show through any media. My personal feeling is that I like a painting—a physical piece of art to show for what I have done. Many publishers have entirely gone to using digital computer art. The idea of doing an original painting seems to be viewed as quaint. In fact people are genuinely struck that I “still work the old way.” Interestingly, I get calls to do illustrations because I can do them “the old way.” We are approaching a time when there will be fewer and fewer original, physical paintings and drawings. Conversely, digital storage is not as permanent as one would like to think it is. Computers, programs and storage media go out of date faster than yesterday’s newspapers.

I do believe that using digital can be a good thing, if used in tandem with creating an original painting. This works especially well in doing concept art for motion pictures. Working for motion pictures is quite an experience, because unlike doing a single illustration for a story or a book cover, the artist is asked to do many pieces of artwork, usually working the same idea over and over again to find the ultimate vision that speaks with its own “voice.” Scripts change, directors and producers change their minds; it is an ongoing process of creation and re-creation. It’s less important to do a finished illustration than it is to come up with a lot of ideas. And usually, it has to be done quickly. More ideas are better, and even ones that are discarded give life to still other ideas. But, it is no different than the basic idea of communicating.

The Chinese Finger Trap

In regard to health, it is important for the artist to get out and exercise. Good health is good for creating. Breathe the air, see the sunset. The more you see “reality” the better your fantastic imagery will be because it is grounded in something people can understand. Quite often when I am stuck on a solution I find just such breaks extremely helpful not only to my state of mind, but in finding the best idea for a given assignment. The danger can be like a Chinese finger trap—keep pulling your fingers and you won’t get much but panic and confusion. Relax, and the trap loosens. However, and I make this solid and beneficial suggestion: try to keep “working hours” within a regular schedule, say nine to five, as it were. And, unless it’s really necessary, don’t work weekends. Try to do something for yourself or with your family then to avoid burnout. Balance is very important: the well-being of the creative spirit as well as the physical body.

Being an artist is like a jester doing the juggling act. While the idea that an artist sits in his or her studio creating illustrations and the world falls at their feet is a romantic one, it is certainly not the reality. The reality is balancing life around that—making sure the bills are paid on time, the laundry is done and the dishes washed; to sleep, eat and breathe. And you still have to make those deadlines.

What Works for Me

I try to suggest to people something that does work for me—be the best artist you can be; don’t worry about being the best there is. You’ll be a lot happier in the long run. Later on, history will judge your work to be the work of some genius—or not. Then again, it could all be the Camembert cheese.

Bob Eggleton

Bob Eggleton

Bob Eggleton is the winner of nine Hugo Awards in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He also won twelve Chesley Awards, two Locus Awards and the New England Science Fiction Association’s Skylark Award. Bob has worked in the film industry, including the Warner Bros. animated film The Ant Bully. He has an asteroid named after him—113562bobeggleton—and is an expert in all things relating to Godzilla and giant monsters and was an extra in a Godzilla film. He is married to artist Marianne Plumridge from Australia. He has been a judge for the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future Contest since 1987.

This article was originally published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future volume 22.

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Writers of the Future Golden Pen Award and books published by the winners

Some Important Facts You Should Know About Writers & Illustrators of the Future

The Writers of the Future Contest began in 1984 and the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest followed 5 years later. Both have grown to become the largest merit competitions of their kind in the world. While we never give the exact number of entries, we can say that there are thousands of entries each year with contestants submitting from 177 countries.

So far, the Contests have honored 404 Writer winners, 80 Writer published finalists and 334 Illustrator winners hailing from 44 nations over the first 34 years. In addition, they have awarded nearly $1 million in prize money to the winners.

Why This Is Important to Your Career

A review of the 34 years has found that of the 484 writer winners and published finalists, 336 went on with their writing career publishing at least one story and 192 are still active with a writing career—that’s 40% still writing!!

Now combine the above with the fact that the number of new books published annually is now over 1 million. The average new book also sells less than 250 copies in the first year. And less than 1% of the new books published have a chance of being stocked in a bookstore.

What Industry Professionals Have to Say

See why established professionals in the business say what they do about the Contest and to its value to the future of science fiction & fantasy.

So, isn’t it time you entered?

For the Writer Contest:

For the Illustrator Contest:

Another article you may be interested in: Brand New Science Fiction

Illustrators of the Future Class of 2017

Writers & Illustrators Workshop Wrap-Up

At the beginning of the week, I had said that this was a contest like no other and that remains true today, as this is the largest on-going contest for Writers and Illustrators in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In 2013 I was a winner in Volume 29, it was my first entry and I had done many school projects that had become successful in their own right. But I had no business plan for myself. Coming here I was inspired by the guest lecturers and the Judges. I remember being overwhelmed by the generosity and felt obligated to make sure I was successful enough that I could do the same in the future.

Coming back I can see some of the faces have changed and the content has changed but the spirit stays the same. The hunger of the winners for the knowledge and the desire from the Judges to assist all the winners, those things never change. With a revamped business section, new experiences and fields of art to draw from have added a new perspective for the Winners. These changes can be seen throughout the days but it all builds from the same spirit set by L. Ron Hubbard and that is to “pay it forward.”

The seminar doesn’t stop once leaving the Contest. As an award winning Illustrator (and Writer), you have a network of working professionals that help support each other. Everything from paperwork and practices, to advice and contacts. As a winner you become part of the rising tide and along with each other, we all rise.

To those who have yet to experience this contest, I recommend it. If you are doubting your work is good enough, stop self-rejecting yourself and submit. If you have graduated and have found it is hard to get published and don’t know where to start, submit your work. If you think that you are living too far away to start a career in illustration or writing, submit your work. If you think you are too old to start, submit your work; then we will be waiting for you and will see you in the future.

Pictured above (L to R): Illustrator winners Hanna Al-Shaer, Michael Michera, Preston Stone (2016), Joshua Meehan (2013), Illustrators of the Future Contest judges and instructors Echo Chernik, Val Lakey Lindahn, Lazarus Chernik, illustrator winners Yader Fonseca, David Furnal, Rachel Quinlan, Anthony Moravian and Ryan Richmond.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

Bob Ciano

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 – Day 5

Day 5. Portfolio day. The winners have been through the gauntlet. They pushed through their assignments and have the tools to succeed.

Larry Elmore started the day giving his advice to the winners. Listening to him is a special treat with his amazing wealth of experience. He spoke about how technology has influenced his work for reference gathering and about lens distortion when taking your reference. His tip was to use an 80mm lens as it will be similar to the human eye. Regardless of technology, he has used models for 40 years and gave sound advice for keeping everything legal to protect yourself. One of the beauties of technology is the distribution outlets for your projects. While many of the older publications are now gone, new outlets have evolved thanks to the internet. So the age of technology has really made it an incredible time to add revenue streams that make you money while you sleep. All this advice was really good, but the primary force of the talk was about how an artist sees. Not just look but to really see it, to the point where you understand the shapes and patterns. Cataloging your visual library is a lifelong journey but is vital to an artist’s visual vocabulary and once you understand the shapes and patterns you can manipulate them, distort, and make something new.

Bob Ciano, has worked as a Creative Director for Wired magazine, St. Mary’s College, Life magazine and the New York Times. He gave his lecture with the illustrators about their business plan and reinforced their usage rights as artists. He asked some great questions which the winners will need to ask themselves regularly. Questions like: What art do you make? Who is your target? What has the response been to your art? Are you getting work? Because if you are not making your living on your art you are not a professional. He talked about the invoice, the basics being: Who it goes to. When it’s due. How much. The most important thing he looks for in promotional material is to do something different, even if it’s something small. You must market yourself. This includes research on your other illustrators. You must be a good designer, and a good marketer using a website and social media. Make sure you are making projects that stand out, not just portfolio pieces. Don’t worry about the rejection letters as it usually takes 3-5 years to have enough clients to not work a day job, but it works that way in all industries. He discussed how to sell by targeting who you want to work for. Do you have a promotion piece and are you going to send it to them every month until they tell you to go away or give you a job. Art Directors and Creative Directors are busy people and it takes many tries sometimes to get the timing right and the right project to come along. The key is to never stop sending.

The Winners broke for lunch and then upon returning conducted round robin style portfolio reviews with each of the visiting judges providing a vast wealth of knowledge to draw from. Each Winner had 20 minutes for each session with their choice of Ciruelo, Larry Elmore, Bob Ciano, Echo Chernik, Lazarus Chernik, Val Lindahn and past winners. With so many biases and different experiences each Portfolio Review would be different and it seemed to be a pattern that after the timer quite a few artists and judges went over their time. That just speaks to the level of art that is winning the competition, each year builds higher from the year before.

Past Illustrators of the Future winner Ven Locklear came to talk and showcased his work and his experiences working at Liquid Development. He has worked on games ranging from Farmville to Halo 5, and with companies like WB Games, Zynga, Disney Interactive, 343 Industries, and Bethesda. Most of his presentation was how he entered into the industry and provided avenues for the winners if they would like to pursue a similar career path. In this case there were a couple winners who definitely have that style and they were able to converse further after the fact.

Most of the night the winners spent rehearsing at the theatre where the event is fast approaching, all anyone could talk about was the humongous dragon that wrapped around the stage. If you cannot attend the event personally make sure to catch the live streamed event to see all the winning pieces as well as who wins this year’s Golden Brush Award.

Photos from today’s workshop, HERE.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 – Day 4

On Day 4 it was another early morning. The artists had been working throughout the night and into this morning. The drive and passion of the winners has been an inspiring part of this year’s seminar.

We had an awesome lecture from Maria Ragusa-Burfield, owner and founder of Altpick. A Professional Portfolio site for artists. It provides a vehicle for talent to utilize the web and connect artists to more buyers. She was very impressed with the work and provided some great advice on how to advertise themselves by talking about their process and promoting their work through a website, email list, and social media platforms to build a network. She surprised them with a page for each artist and with an article to promote their work with the Writers of the Future anthology!

The seminar then covered the different ways you could self-publish your work through sites like Patreon and Kickstarter. Each needs a different business model to be successful and we focused on Kickstarter since more of the winners were interested in it. Lazarus and Echo have done 13 successful Kickstarter projects and showed the kits and campaigns they had run. Then the clock struck 11 AM and it was the deadline for their assignment.

All the judges, the past and current winners huddled around each artist as they presented their final piece. Each one had a unique and stunning take on the work over the course of just two days. Yader Fonseca had an incredible painting that used the silhouette of his three tigers to look like a mythical Cerberus. While Rachel Quinlan’s art had such a successful composition and the most integrated use of “the dragon” curveball included in the brief. Anthony put his reference to great use and had a great value structure. Ryan Richards could be seen down in the lobby every night working on his piece and the work paid off creating a very complete piece. Chan ha Kim’s work was filled with fantastic details in her pen and ink drawing. David Furnal’s art had one of the strongest uses of shapes to frame the main character. Michael Michera’s piece had the most ambitious composition and Hanna Al-shaer’s art really had a Saturday Evening Post vibe. All in all, it was an impressive display and we were able to review all before lunch.

After Lunch we had 4 esteemed judges present their work, Val Lakey Lindhan, Sergey Poyarkov, Ciruelo Cabral and Rob Prior. Each shared their process, experiences and advice that is quintessential to their work. Then the writers came down as we setup to sign the first batch of books. The assembly line really grew into an efficient machine. Although for many artists this was their first book signing. So it took some getting used to and would be a good warm up for the coming weekend.

Then to top it all off the Winners were invited to a barbecue hosted by Author Services up on their roof! As the sun sets and the lights began to glow we could feel the anticipation in the air for the event that would come up this weekend! Get ready for a show!

Photos from today’s highlights can be seen HERE.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 - Day 3

Illustrators of the Future Workshop – Day 3

It was an early start for the winners and based on the look on their faces they didn’t get much sleep. They were busy working on their assignments. Some worked digitally and some worked traditionally. Lazarus began the morning early and presented the theme for the day: Portfolio Presentations. Each day there has been a recurring overall theme, “You are good enough to do the work, that is why you are here.” Today the winners would learn how to sell their portfolio to clients.

Part of selling to the client is making sure to hit all of the important parts within the brief. In the assignment “the Red Dragon,” handling client curveballs (where the client changes what they ask for) became a point of critique. This became a good example of how to communicate and take care of your client. Between critiques, the Illustrator winners had now proceeded to the reference gathering part of the creative process. Creating a good sketch is important, helping to ensure the gestalt or “the overall” is working well, as well as structuring the message for one’s eventual audience. Yet it is the reference that the artist can use to really sell the image. The winners took turns posing as each other’s references for their pieces, setting up lighting, using props. Anthony Moravian’s reference piece was particularly extensive and everyone was happy to jump in. With many expressive faces, we all gathered together to scream at the imaginary horrors. With each winner’s reference pack, they were able to flesh out their ideas and really tighten up the drawings for presenting later.

The winners were then gotten to “sell” their portfolio in a controlled environment. It really helped the winners work out the kinks and see the order of presentation and how to comport themselves. Each artist would present their work and for some, it was their first time in public speaking, yet all went full force and impressed the judges. For David Furnal, we all gathered around his tablet and really got into the great line work. Including his graphic novel “Another Girl, Another Planet.” After seeing each presentation we broke for lunch.

After lunch, the seminar continued with judges portfolios. Lazarus showcased his “Brand Management” portfolio. Echo had her many fantastic art nouveau works and many different styles. This was a way to specifically show how to organize your portfolio and how to sell it and showing how your clients will go through your portfolio. Winners were coached on what they should sharpen and fine tune for stronger presentations. One interesting point that Lazarus talked about was to “Walk the customer through” your portfolio instead of letting them walk through your work. Show the client what fits their need and sell your services to fix their problem. The artists began their one-on-one sessions on how to orchestrate their portfolio. Each artist had different approaches. And by the end of the day, they had strong portfolios and even stronger websites. The art was already good, it was just a matter of how they told the story through the portfolio.

The rest of the day was tuxedo fitting and fellowship … until when the surprise hit! As the tuxedo fitting was taking place, the writers’ room was completely filled with easels of each piece of art in the upcoming Writers of the Future Volume 33. As the illustrators stood by, writers entered the room, reviewing the art display to find their piece. Once found, their illustrator would come up to the writer to introduce themselves! As an artist, there is a lot of work that has to go into a cover piece. Reading the story multiple times to pick up on the minute details and tone. The artists and writers were thrilled to meet each other and instantly hit it off. A very cool moment that they will remember forever.

There were just a few more surprises. With such a full day, the perfect capstone to the night was the Salon Figure Drawing session. The artist gets to just relax and get into the heart of what the winners love to do—draw. Everyone had different styles, tools, and techniques. As a special treat, they could even sketch side-by-side with the judges, seeing their masterful strokes.

After such a great day the winners were sent off with a complimentary t-shirt featuring Larry Elmore’s “Crimson Dawn” from this year’s book cover!

Tomorrow the artists will be presenting their assignments, so look forward to that.

A ton of cool pics from today’s highlights can be seen HERE.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

Illustrators on their way to the workshop.

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 – Day 2

On day 2 the Illustrator Winners started bright and early, meeting down in the lobby of the Loews Hotel. They began with a tour of the famous Author Services building. Floor to ceiling, the sheer prolific nature of L. Ron Hubbard’s career is always a great milestone to aspire to. Towards the end of the tour, Joni brought them into the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Lounge where, in addition to all the published works from past writer and illustrator winners, photos of all the judges were up along the walls, along with each of the 32 volumes of the Writers of the Future anthology proudly displayed. Now knowing the full breadth of the Contests’ legacy that they were now a part of, the winners headed down for the opening seminar.

Echo and Lazarus began at a ferocious pace providing a lot of information. Luckily each winner had their notebook to write down their questions for later, of which there were many. During the beginning of the seminar, Echo and Lazarus went over several subjects including Illustration vs. Fine art, the many hats you must manage as an artist, and how buyers see your service—already providing considerably more than the “20-minute optional class on the business of art” Echo had received when she was in art school.

In the afternoon the winners returned to another informative session. Lazarus broke down how to price one’s work for the bare minimum fee, enlightening the winners about pricing in general and ethical guides. Echo and Lazarus provided handout kits with information on licensing, negotiations, business plans, sample contracts, who you contact and how to read creative briefs.

Our newest Illustrator judge, Ciruelo, just arrived from Spain, brought his advice learned from over 30 years of experience of having worked with publishers from all over the world. He reinforced the importance of being able to recognize and communicate the needs of the client so as to make the client happy. This involved knowing why they hired you, and then how your work should go beyond just fulfilling the needs of the client. He reminded the winners to nurture their artistic voice so that they continue to grow. Val Lindahn also reflected on the importance of doing your personal work as the passion will shine.

In addition to different guest speakers who will be addressing the illustrator winners this week, we also have a guest photographer covering the Workshops–notable Thorsten von Overgaard, Danish writer and photographer. His photographs of the Illustrator workshop are here.

A ton of cool pics from today’s highlights can be seen HERE.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 winners and instructors

Illustrators of the Future Workshop 2017 – Day 1

Illustrators of the Future is a contest like no other. There’s prize money sure, but what is truly inspiring and unique is the week-long workshop where you will meet with many artists who have established themselves and learn the sage advice you didn’t learn in school. This investment into the artist is what paying it forward is all about and will make the journey for these artists one they will never forget.

This year’s winners, who came from all different backgrounds, would not yet realize the common bond they all share. Flying from all over, they arrived one by one at the Loews Hotel, where at 7 pm they all converged for the opening night kick-off of the Illustrators of the Future Workshop. Along the way, we grabbed the iconic group shot of all the judges and winners. Up in the hospitality suite, Joni started it off by getting the winners to introduce themselves. They were then introduced to the judges. With over 30 years experience as an artist Ciruelo Cabral, fresh off an 18-hour plane flight from Spain, provided his initial words of welcome. Echo and Lazarus Chernik broke down the week and showed what winners should expect, which includes learning the business side of their careers.

A lot of adventures will be had between this group of winners. The excitement is very real, as seen when Michael Michera was surprised in the lobby with his new article in the Polish News!

With so much in store for the week ahead… The reoccurring sentiment: let’s get started!

A ton of cool pics from today’s highlights can be seen HERE.


Joshua Meehan

Joshua Meehan

Guest blogger, Joshua Meehan.
Joshua Meehan is a freelance science fiction and fantasy illustrator. He was an Illustrators of the Future winner in 2013 in Volume 29. His client list includes Paizo Publishing, Analog Sci-fi magazine, Fantasy Flight and Bethesda. Joshua’s illustration for Robert J. Sawyer’s short story “Gator” is in the latest Writers of the Future anthology, Volume 33.

4th Quarter Illustrators of the Future Contest Winners

4th Quarter Illustrators of the Future Contest Winners


Here is the list of our Fourth Quarter
(July 1 through September 30)
Illustrators of the Future Contest
Winners & Finalists


Congratulations to all!


Asher Alpay
from the Philippines


Rachel Quinlan
from Michigan


Ryan Richmond
from Indiana



Dominick Critelli from Florida
Katie Croonenberghs from Washington
Darryl Knickrehm from Japan
Vytautas Vasiliauskas from United Kingdom



Joseph Gutierrez from Arizona
Renaise Kim from Washington
Whitney Tiedeman from Nebraska
Alena Zhukova from Russian Federation


Click HERE for data on how to enter the Illustrators of the Future Contest.


Illustrators of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners

2nd Quarter Illustrators of the Future Winners


Here is the list of our Second Quarter
(1 January through 31 March)
Illustrators of the Future Contest
Winners & Finalists


Congratulations to all!


Christopher Kiklowicz
from California


Shan Shu Man
from British Columbia, Canada


Jason Park
from British Columbia, Canada


Stephen Glatfelter from Pennsylvania
Anthony Moravian from New York
Dianna O’Briant from Tennessee
Pavan Rajurkar from India

Click HERE for data on how to enter the Illustrators of the Future Contest.