Spectrum 26 Awards Nominations

The jury for Spectrum 26: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art has nominated the top five artworks in eight categories for consideration for either a silver and gold award. Judges Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole debated the merits of hundreds of pieces of art before finalizing this list on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Flesk Publications offices in Santa Cruz, California.

Established in 1993 by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, the first Spectrum annual appeared in 1994 from Underwood Books; for over a quarter of a century it has attracted participants from around the world and has set the standards for excellence in fantasy and science fiction art. John Fleskes became the Director and Publisher of Spectrum in 2014 with volume 21.

The recipients will be announced at the Spectrum 26 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, March 30, 2019 . The 2019 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.

For more information about Spectrum visit: www.spectrumfantasticart.com
www.spectrumfantasticartlive.com

Congratulations to all of the artists who have been nominated!

Text only list is followed by the list showing the art.

ADVERTISING CATEGORY
Justin Gerard – Lair of the Firebreather
Donato Giancola – Reach
Valentin Kopetzki – After the Flood
Victo Ngai – Earth Species Project
Greg Ruth – Annihilation variant

BOOK CATEGORY
Jaime Jones – Winter Road
Vanessa Lemen – I am the Light
Yuko Shimizu – Japanese Tales 1: The Invisible Man
Chase Stone – Dragon Lords: Bad Faith
Francis Vallejo – Charlie Florida

COMIC CATEGORY
Alex Alice – Castle in the Stars: Book 4, page 1
Thomas Campi – Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman cover
Paul Davidson – Blue Vortex 1
Kang Minjung – Kang Hearts Out 1
Jeffrey Alan Love – The Thousand Demon Tree

CONCEPT ART CATEGORY
Te Hu – Golden Temple Through Time we Converge: End
Carlyn Lim – Dwarf
Danny Moll – The Banner Saga 3: Juno in the Black Sun
Abe Taraky – Submerged Statue of Tyr
Zhengyi Wang – Big Hunt

DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY
Matthew Corcoran – Vivicus
Paul Komoda – SwampThing
Patrick Masson – Reflection
Mark Newman – Gallevarbe
Dug Stanat – Justice

EDITORIAL CATEGORY
Chris Buzelli – Structure
Qiuxin Mao – The Remains
Victo Ngai – Human: Opener
Tim O’Brien – Stormy
Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY
Ed Binkley – Mantis
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme – Etrata
Jesper Ejsing – Slippery Bogle
Tyler Jacobson – Opt
John Jude Palencar – The Nights Watch

UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY
Julien Delval – The Stranger
Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov – A Walk in the Woods
Ronan LE FUR – Sent by the Gods
Eric Pfeiffer – Racing Season in Empire City
Annie Stegg Gerard – The Serpent

ADVERTISING CATEGORY

Justin Gerard – Lair of the Firebreather
Donato Giancola – Reach
Valentin Kopetzki – After the Flood
Victo Ngai – Earth Species Project
Greg Ruth – Annihilation variant

BOOK CATEGORY

Jaime Jones – Winter Road
Vanessa Lemen – I am the Light
Yuko Shimizu – Japanese Tales 1: The Invisible Man
Chase Stone – Dragon Lords: Bad Faith
Francis Vallejo – Charlie Florida

COMIC CATEGORY

Alex Alice – Castle in the Stars: Book 4, page 1
Thomas Campi – Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman cover
Paul Davidson – Blue Vortex 1
Kang Minjung – Kang Hearts Out 1
Jeffrey Alan Love – The Thousand Demon Tree

CONCEPT ART CATEGORY

Te Hu – Golden Temple Through Time we Converge: End
Carlyn Lim – Dwarf
Danny Moll – The Banner Saga 3: Juno in the Black Sun
Abe Taraky – Submerged Statue of Tyr
Zhengyi Wang – Big Hunt

DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY

Matthew Corcoran – Vivicus
Paul Komoda – SwampThing
Patrick Masson – Reflection
Mark Newman – Gallevarbe
Dug Stanat – Justice

EDITORIAL CATEGORY

Chris Buzelli – Structure
Qiuxin Mao – The Remains
Victo Ngai – Human: Opener
Tim O’Brien – Stormy
Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY

Ed Binkley – Mantis
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme – Etrata
Jesper Ejsing – Slippery Bogle
Tyler Jacobson – Opt
John Jude Palencar – The Nights Watch

UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY

Julien Delval – The Stranger
Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov – A Walk in the Woods
Ronan LE FUR – Sent by the Gods
Eric Pfeiffer – Racing Season in Empire City
Annie Stegg Gerard – The Serpent

Congratulations again to all of the Spectrum 26 nominations!

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photos copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Videos © 2018 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 26 Artist List!

Spectrum 26 Call for Entries Poster by Tyler Jacobson (detail)

The complete list of artist names selected for inclusion into the twenty-sixth volume of Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art is now available!

The five member jury selected over 600 works works by 335 artists that will make up Spectrum 26. These creators that work in every style and medium–both traditional and digital–represent the finest in the fantasy, horror, science fiction and the surreal genres from around the world. You will find top industry names who serve as the current definition of excellence and discover the rising stars who are being published for the first time.

Individual emails to those artists accepted will begin to go out this week. Full details regarding the next steps will be provided.

From everyone here at the Spectrum and Flesk offices, we would like to thank all of the artists who submitted to Spectrum 26. We couldn’t do what we do without your support. This includes putting out the Spectrum annual each year, organizing and running the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event, putting on the Spectrum Awards Ceremony where we hand out the Spectrum awards, and making the artist feature videos that we post online. You have our most sincere gratitude. Thank you!

A

Rob Alexander
Sara Alfageeh
Alex Alice
Evan Amundsen
Eren Arik
Tommy Arnold
Fian Arroyo

B

Daren Bader
Kathryn Beesley
Douglas Bell
Julie Bell
Steve Belledin
Julie Benbassat
Audrey Benjaminsen
Ed Binkley
Steven Russell Black
Chelsea Blecha
Jori Bolton
Paul Bonner
Zoltan Boros
Noah Bradley
Andy Brase
David Brasgalla
Bruce Brenneise
Brom
Lane Brown
Thomas Haller Buchanan
Christopher Burdett
Kirt Burdick
Wesley Burt
Chris Buzelli

C

Rovina Cai
Thomas Campi
Antonio JavierCaparo
Bill Carman
Kai Carpenter
Allan-Diego Carrasco
Robert Carter
Leslie Casilli
Clint Cearley
Milivoj Ceran
Sidharth Chaturvedi
Lynn Chen
Marcos Chin
Frank Cho
Yongjae Choi
Jehan Choo
Dylan Choonhachat
Alex Chow
Dan Chudzinski
Christina Chung
Sebastian Ciaffaglione
Hasani Claxton
Miguel Co
J.A.W. Cooper
Matthew J. Corcoran
Stephanie Cost

D

Sarah Dahlinger
Jessica Dalva
Paul Davidson
Olivia De Berardinis
Andrea De Dominicis
Peter de Steve
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
Julien Delval
Kring Demetrio
Jieyu Deng
Luc Desmarchelier
Mark Dewes
Peter Diamond
Anna Dittmann
Daniel Dociu
Andrew Domachowski
Dan dos Santos
Allen Douglas
Pierre Droal
Chris Dunn

E

Jesper Ejsing
Craig Elliott
Rudy Ellis
Elvisdead
Micah Epstein

F

Crystal Fae
Rita Fei
Lyli Feng
Diego Fernandez
Fesbra
Thomas Fluharty
Jessica Fong
Jon Foster

G

Cosimo Galluzzi
Reinier Gamboa
Su Gao
Axel Rangel Garcia
Caroline Gariba
Shaun Gentry
Annie Stegg Gerard
Justin Gerard
Donato Giancola
Lamnho Giang
Gary Gianni
E. M. Gist
Anke Gladnick
Cory Godbey
Kevin Zamir Goeke
Oleksiy Golovchenko
Lucas Graciano
David Greco
Nicholas Gregory
Julia Griffin
James Gurney
Scott Gustafson

H

Mary Haasdyk
Brian Haberlin
Marie-Alice Harel
Dwayne Harris
Michael C. Hayes
Alex Herrerias
Stephen Hickman
Cleonique Hilsaca
Michael Hirshon
Alexandra Hodgson
Sijia Hong
John Howe
Limei Z. Hshieh
Te Hu
Lu Hua
Robert Hunt
Lake Hurwitz

I

Frazer Irving

J

Tyler Jacobson
Mate Jako
He Jie (Mona)
Jaime Jones
Romain Jouandeau

K

Will Kalkanis
MinJung Kang
KARAKTER Design Studio
Gomesh Karnchanapayap
Sam Keiser
Priscilla Kim
Edward Kinsella III
Nic Klein
Chris Knight
Fernanders Koak Chan Sam
Julian Kok
Paul Komoda
Alex Konstad
Michael Kontraros
Valentin Kopetzki
Bartosz Kosowski
Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov
Maxim Kozhevnikov
Svetlana Kudakova
Guido Kuip
Sudarshan Kumar
Anita Kunz
Eelis Kyttanen

L

Luis Lasahido
Mathieu Lauffray
Ronan LE FUR a.k.a DOFRESH
G-host Lee
Doug Lefler
Elizabeth Leggett
Vanessa Lemen
Andrew Leung
Meagan Lillich
Carlyn Lim
Jason Liu
Todd Lockwood
Loopydave
John Loren
Yoann Lossel
Travis Louie
Jeffrey Alan Love
Ashly Lovett
Howard Lyon

M

Lawrence MacDougall
MAD
Elliot Mallon
Greg Manchess
Qiuxin Mao
Victor Marin
Matteo Marjoram
James Martin
Juan Pablo Corredor Martinez
Patrick Masson
Victor Maury
Iain McCaig
Seb Mckinnon
Tara McPherson
Miranda Meeks
Gustavo Mendonca
Eddie Mendoza
Petar Meseldzija
Brett Mich
Victor Adame Minguez
Danny Moll
Ivan Montoya
Allen Morris
Sarah Morris
Jason Mowry
Iris Muddy
Meris Mullaley
Reiko Murakami
Scott Murphy
Sean Andrew Murray
Muhammad Mustafa

N

David Auden Nash
Alexandru Negoita
Greg Newbold
Mark Newman
Yin Shian Ng
Victo Ngai
Tran Nguyen
Terese Nielsen
Irina Nordsol

O

Tim O’Brien
Takeshi Oga
Ben Oliver
Yuta Onoda
Gal Or

P

Roberto Ribeiro Padula
JJ Palencar
David Palumbo
Ryan Pancoast
Dustin Panzino
Richard Pellegrino
Lucas Pina Penichet
Eric Pfeiffer
Ismael Pinteno
Alessandra Pisano
Colin Poole
John Powell
Brian Pratt
George Pratt
Luisa J. Preissler
Jeff Preston
Theo Prins

Q

Shan Qiao
QueenStudios

R

Andrea Radeck
Chris Rahn
Henrique Rainha
Chris Rallis
S. W. Rand
Omar Rayyan
Corinne Reid
Rob Rey
Wayne Reynolds
Brad Rigney
Aaron Riley
Pablo Rivera
Zack Rock
Virginie Ropars
Jakub Rozalski
Feifei Ruan
Steve Rude
Tim Von Rueden
Shawn E. Russell
Greg Ruth
Oliver Ryan
James Ryman

S

Leonardo Santamaria
Dominick Saponaro
Rafael Sarmento
Phil Saunders
Christopher Schenck
Paul Scheruebel
Mark Schultz
Audre Schutte ‘Charamath’
Danny Schwartz
David R. Seeley
Arantza Sestayo
Cynthia Sheppard
Yuko Shimizu
Jessica Shirley
Kaysha Siemens
Douglas Stanat
John Stanko
Stephen Stark
Matthew Stewart
Alex Stone
Chase Stone
William Stout
Paul Sullivan

T

Shaun Tan
Stacy Tang
Abe Taraky
Ken Taylor
John Tedrick
Thom Tenery
Kyriakos Theodossiou
Andrew Theophilopoulos
Allison Theus
Viktor Titov
Paul Tobin
Anthony Trujillo

V

Gavin Gray Valentine
Francis Vallejo
Randy Vargas
Svetlin Velinov
Erin Vest
Armando Veve
Beatriz Martin Vidal
Magali Villeneuve
Johannes Voss

W

David Wachter
Yiyi Wang
Zhengyi Wang
Tatsang Wang
Marisa Ware
Jonathan Way$hak
Owen William Weber
Sam Weber
David Thorn Wenzel
Taylor Wessling
Sam White
Allen Williams
Jeremy Wilson
Stijn Windig
Rob Wood
Sam Woodfin
Ben Wootten
Bayard Wu

X

Zi Xu

Y

Joy Yang
Kieran Yanner
Lixin Yin
Chieh Ying Yu

Z

Mark Zahaczewsky
Eytan Zana
Amir Zand
Luye Zhang
Aaron Zonka

Thanks again everyone!

With our very best,

John and Kathy

Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2019 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2019 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.


Spectrum 26 Judging Event! Saturday, February 9th

Thank you again to everyone who submitted artwork to Spectrum 26 this year! We are excited to present your work to the judges this upcoming Saturday, February 9th at our Flesk offices in Santa Cruz. We will be hosting this year’s panel of judges consisting of Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole who will be reviewing the Spectrum Call for Entries submissions.

The first phase of the day consists of the judges voting anonymously on the works they feel have achieved a standard of excellence for inclusion into the book. A majority consisting of three of more votes from the five member panel guarantees the art for inclusion into Spectrum 26. This year, Colin and Kristine will be voting as a pair.

Phase two of the day brings the jury together for a group discussion to determine the silver and gold awards nominations for each of the eight categories.

We feel that it is essential to have a group of diverse and exceptional artists working together to select the art for Spectrum. Together, they represent all aspects of the art industry and community. This is important because the jury is an example of what Spectrum stands for: a community working together to help create a collection of art to inspire others.

We have spent the last few days cleaning our office and turning into a studio space for our judges. We will have everything set up in time to welcome the judges and will be excited to share the day’s activities with everyone during the event as well.

We wish everyone luck!

John and Kathy

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum Friends!

Kristine and Colin Poole. Photo by Greg Preston

Hi, everyone,

When I took over Spectrum Fantastic Art with Spectrum 21 I never imagined the friendships that would form. With the annual books–as well as with the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (SFAL) event—there was a bonus beyond seeing all the amazing art and learning about the artists. There is a welcoming within the community that is open to all. New and inspiring friendships were quickly formed when I started, and they continue to strengthen with each passing year.

The list is far and great, but just a few people who I met through Spectrum is Daren Bader, Petar Meseldzija, Bill Carman, and J.A.W. Cooper—all of whom I had the privilege to publish books on. Then there are the Spectrum judges, such as Cory Godbey, Justin Gerard, Annie Stegg Gerard, Allen Williams—all of them! All the judges have been wonderful. Then being able to meet artists who I’ve idolized. When you meet them they are the best of human beings, such as Paul Bonner. It’s staggering to think about everyone who I’ve met and talked to since I have had this honor of being the current Spectrum caretaker.

A couple who has been an absolute pleasure to get to know and to call friends is Colin and Kristine Poole. They attended one of the early Spectrum shows without ever having taken part in anything Spectrum before. We met, we talked, we soon became friends, I inquired if they would like to make the new Spectrum awards, they did, then they suggested a Rising Star Award, I said yes, and they have been on the stage of the Spectrum Awards Ceremony ever since to present the award. All this from two people who decided to check out the Spectrum event with no expectations or connections. It just goes to show how everyone is welcome.

I’m so very pleased to host Colin and Kristine here in our Flesk office next month for the Spectrum judging event. These two greatly care about the individual artists and the community. They will do a wonderful job as judges.

If you’d like to submit to Spectrum 26, the deadline is Thursday, January 24th. Here is the website with more details: http://spectrumfantasticart.com/

To learn more about the Spectrum Awards Ceremony, you can visit this website: https://www.spectrumfantasticartlive.com/

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum: The Gift of Community

Hi, everyone,

When people learn that I’m an art book publisher, the number one question that they ask is if I am an artist.

The answer is that my gifts lie elsewhere. Instead of being an artist, I have this fortunate position to be able to bring people together, to help raise the awareness of the art community, to be able to make books on the artists whose work that I love, to share who these artists are with others, and to raise artists up, while playing a part in putting the spotlight on them. In addition, I am humbled by being able to participate in running the Spectrum awards ceremony. This ceremony goes far beyond simply handing out awards. We get to recognize the entire fantastic art community on stage, in a prestigious theater. This was a dream for Arnie and Cathy Fenner to be able to to one day. And now this vision has become a reality where hundreds of people can participate.

Fantastic artists, on stage, in the spotlight, being recognized for outstanding achievement, among their peers, the fans, and the community. It’s unlike anything else.

So no, I’m not an artist. I was not given that gift. But, I’m ecstatic that so many others have this gift and that I can help share your gifts with others.

I hope you can join us at the Spectrum 26 Awards Ceremony that will be held on March 30, 2019 at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO.

Thanks for making so much beautiful art, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community.

If you are interested in submitting to Spectrum 26, you have until Thursday, January 24th.

More information on submitting to Spectrum 26:
http://spectrumfantasticart.com/

More information about the Spectrum Awards Ceremony:
https://www.spectrumfantasticartlive.com/

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

The Spectrum 26 Call for Entries Deadline is Thursday, January 24th!

Hi, all,

There’s just two weeks left to submit to Spectrum 26!

Click here to learn more or to submit to Spectrum.

This is an invitation to all professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artists’ representatives to submit entries to the 26th Annual Spectrum International Competition for Fantastic Art. All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible. Fantastic art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: There is no unacceptable way to create art, and there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts. Click here to submit.

The Spectrum 26 Call for Entries Poster was created by the renowned artist, Tyler Jacobson.

To join our mailing list to receive your complimentary poster, please click here.

The Spectrum 26 jury is comprised of a five member panel of some of the most exceptional artists working in the industry today consisting of Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole. Find out more about the Spectrum 26 jury here

“It is an honor to assemble such a prestigious group of artists for the Spectrum 26 jury,” shares John Fleskes. “I greatly admire the art that these six individuals have created during their careers. I also have a high regard for the educational opportunities that they have provided to others while giving back to the community. I look forward to bringing them together to view the call for entries submissions in February 2019.”

For over twenty-five years the Spectrum annual has been a showcase for the best and brightest creators of fantastic art from around the globe: it serves as an invaluable resource book for art directors, art buyers, publishers and agents world-wide. Our purpose and singular agenda is the promotion of the art and artists. We believe that Spectrum functions as a cost-efficient promotional forum and provides a bridge between creator, client, and aficionado as well. Spectrum is all about facilitating opportunities for creators, about growing the audience for imaginative work in all its forms, without pretension and without prejudice.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support of Spectrum! Please let us know if you have any questions.

For more information on Spectrum please visit spectrumfantasticart.com.

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

New Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Website Launched!

Hi all,

New Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website launched!

Kathy and I made a new website for SFAL. The latest news for the Planet Comicon/SFAL collaboration, the Spectrum Pavilion, the special guests, Spectrum Awards Ceremony and more can be found here.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all on March 29-31, 2019 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

https://www.spectrumfantasticartlive.com/

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Spectrum 26 Call for Entries!

Hi everyone,

Here’s a reminder that the Spectrum 26 Call for Entries is open.

The deadline to submit your works is January 24, 2019. All art works in all mediums embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, comics, horror, and the surreal are welcome!

Through Spectrum, our mission is to promote the fantastic arts and provide an annual showcase for contemporary artists.

Click here to submit.

The Spectrum 26 Call for Entries Poster was created by the renowned artist, Tyler Jacobson.

To join our mailing list to receive your complimentary poster, please click here.

The Spectrum 26 jury is comprised of a five member panel of some of the most exceptional artists working in the industry today consisting of Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole. Find out more about the Spectrum 26 jury here.

You can learn more here:

http://spectrumfantasticart.com/

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Flesk Book Sale!

Hi all,

Heads up! The Flesk Book Sale is live!

Over the weekend I dug through the warehouse and pulled out overstock, titles that are out of print with only a case or two left, and dinged books to offer at huge discounts. There’s 12 books at only $10 each, then a bunch of book sets that run as low as $5 per book when you select the pack.

The sale ends on Friday, December 7th.

Follow the link to see what’s available!

https://www.fleskpublications.com/discounted-books

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 25 and 26: Behind the Scenes

Hi, all,

Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art is Here!

We received our copies of Spectrum 25 a few weeks back. We packed the complimentary artists copies and shipped them right away. We also mailed the pre-orders at the same time.

The arrival of this book culminates a year-long process from the initial Spectrum Call for Entries that begins each year in mid-October. The deadline for artists or their representatives to submit their art falls toward the end of January each year. For Spectrum 26 this will be on Thursday, January 24, 2009.

In no particular order, here’s some behind the scenes details about how the Spectrum process works.

We typically receive a flood of entries, phone calls, and online and email inquiries during the final week prior to the deadline. Because of this, we are usually working full time confirming all of the entries for everyone for up to a week after the deadline. Kathy and I developed a process that lets us double check every entry to make sure that their information, payment, and artwork all aligns. I’m also checking to make sure that the art is clear and appears large on the computer screen. If I feel that the resolution of the digital file is too low, then we’ll reach out to the artist to get an improved file. I want everyone to have the best chance to be seen by the jury.

I made one change for Spectrum 26. This was to eliminate the option of sending in hard copy prints through the mail for the judges to review. We introduced the option to submit online for Spectrum 21. I felt it was important to provide a 5-year transition period to allow those who may have preferred to send in their works as prints to familiarize themselves with the online process. By Spectrum 25 we had such a small amount of print entries that I felt it was time to phase out that option.

I wrote a history of Spectrum that you can read in Spectrum 25. Originally, I wrote a more typical Year in Review essay. I ended up abandoning the initial direction that I took after realizing that I would enjoy documenting the humble origins of Spectrum instead, especially considering that this was its 25th anniversary.

The Call for Entries poster for Spectrum 25 utilized the talents of Spectrum Grand Master Scott Gustafson. Scott is one of only two artists who have been featured in every volume of Spectrum. (The other is Brom.) For the 25th anniversary I wanted to celebrate this occasion by highlighting Scott’s art. I don’t always consult with Arnie and Cathy Fenner when making decisions regarding the jury and call for entries poster artists, but for this occasion I wanted to make sure that I got their recommendations. They agreed that an artist who painted traditionally and who has been popular during the full tenure of Spectrum’s history would be an excellent choice.

I oftentimes make the jury selection over the course of a few days during June of each year. This timing directly corresponds with when I turn Spectrum into the printer on July 1st of each year. In that way I can include the names on the last page of the book where I promote the next volume. The first thing that I do to determine the candidates is to page through the most recent volume of Spectrum. Since I don’t want the jury to be limited to those who submitted to or have been in Spectrum before, I’ll pour through Facebook and Instagram postings by various artists and see who else grabs my attention. I typically spend 15 minutes a day on these two social media platforms to stay in tune with the general tone and direction of the art world. I want Spectrum to capture the most current picture of the industry, so it’s important that I invite those who I feel will embrace the most current and relevant art forms for the book. Spectrum must always be looking forward and embracing change, while also being respectful to those who came before. I want everyone to feel welcome from a new art student to a legend who has been in the business for 40 years. I aim to find a jury who welcomes all sensibilities and forms no judgments or biases.

Spectrum is a big job. The first half of the year is primarily focused on Spectrum, while the second half of the year leans more toward my Flesk book-making duties. I work on both year-round, but during these seasons I can get pulled more in one direction more than the other. When I work on Spectrum my focus is on the community as a whole. When I work on Flesk books my focus is on the individual artists who I am working with. It’s a good balance. The contrast between the two working methods keeps things fresh for me. I don’t really care much schedules or making plans too far in advance. I feel that I lose my creativity and whatever I’m working on at the time loses its spontaneity and looks too rigid if being organized takes precedence. While this method works for me, it’s very hard to teach, and if I’m working with someone who likes to write things down and cross off steps on a list we usually don’t function too well together. I see it as freedom, for others it may drive them insane and possibly make them anxious worrying about how things will get done. I am always confidant that what we need to get done will be wrapped up by the time it needs to be.

After the Call for Entries deadline passes and we have finished confirming all the entries we begin to prepare the Flesk office for the judging event. We cover the traveling costs of the judges and put them up for the weekend in Santa Cruz, California. We start with a dinner on the Santa Cruz Wharf that overlooks the ocean the night before the judging event. This gives the jury a chance to relax after their day of travel and allows them with the opportunity to get to know one another better.

The day of judging is a long day. The jury looks over all the entries anonymously. They do not know how the others vote. A majority vote, three or more picks, guarantees inclusion into the book. Then afterward, the jury gathers as a team and decides upon the silver and gold nominations and recipients for each of the eight categories.

The Spectrum 26 Call for Entries poster was done by Tyler Jacobson. I saw one of his pieces in a previous Spectrum that I loved. It has a lot of energy to it with a high fantasy feel. I inquired with Tyler if he was willing to make the new poster and only pointed out the piece that I liked as an example of the tone that I was looking for. I don’t like to art direct the artists for the poster, and usually do not see a preliminary of finished piece until it is turned in. I select people who are professionals and trust them to do the job.

The poster was designed by our very own Kathy Chu. Like with Tyler, I only gave her very minimal feedback regarding the tone, then trusted her to select a font and to do whatever she wanted. When I trust someone, I don’t look over their shoulder. I also like the idea that not everything is designed by me, nor is limited by my thinking. I like to stay fresh and that can only be done by welcoming the creativity of others into the mix.

As Spectrum 25 reaches the hands of fans and people throughout the industry I get to look at the Spectrum 26 entries as they arrive. We have a fabulous group who will be joining us for the judging event. They include Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole.

The Spectrum 26 Awards ceremony, which will be held on Saturday evening, March 30. The gala will be held at the historic Folly Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, adjacent to the Kansas City Convention Center and will be open to all Planet Comicon and SFAL exhibitors, creators, guests and attendees. I hope you can join us!

Thanks for reading. Thank you to everyone who has supported Spectrum!

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2018 John Fleskes. Photos and videos © 2018 John Fleskes / Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2018 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.