With the deadline for Spectrum fast approaching, I thought I'd touch on some reasons why I thing Spectrum is such a wonderful thing for the genre of Fantasy and Science Fiction Art.
That initial, overwhelming response after seeing the premiere issue of Spectrum back in 1994 still rings clear: 'I've gotta be a part of this!' And the second chime: 'Damn, how did I miss out on being a part of the first issue?' For the first time in my life I held in my hands an annual which spoke directly to the genre I was an intimate part of. Here was a book dedicated to the professional craft of picture-making sampling the best of the best. A proverbial who's who in the contemporary field of science fiction and fantasy. Cathy and Arnie Fenner are fans of art, all kinds of art, but felt the need to start a collection bringing together the best of what was left out of so many other shows. By creating a venue for Fantasy and Science Fiction, they have brought a higher level of awareness and prestige to the artists associated with this genre. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for making this field a better place and bringing together the community in a tighter and grander way. Spectrum has been instrumental in achieving my career goals as well as launching the careers of scores of other artists.
To paraphrase a question Irene Gallo once put to me:
Why? Why spend numerous hours stressing over and preparing prints, tear sheets and samples to send into a juried process,on the chance of admission into an elite publication? Why?
Acceptance into Spectrum confers not only validation that your art is professional, cutting edge and of the highest quality, but the show is juried by the best artists, art directors and art appreciators working in the business today. Peer acceptance and recognition is the highest compliment I can receive... any artist can receive. To know you are an 'artist's artist' carries the utmost of compliments: an act of sincerity beyond words. Every annual of Spectrum is bounded full of these acts.
And people take notice.
It is a publication used by art directors, art buyers and fine art collectors world wide. My experience abounds with tales of referrals, licensing of commercial reproduction rights, new commissions, and original art purchases all stemming from my direct involvement with Spectrum. It has been one of the most instrumental aspects in the development of my reputation as a career artist. I cannot afford not to make it into each annual, and rue the day I will not be selected by that year's jury.
So evaluate what you have create this past year, send in your entries, and hope that something you do strikes a chord with enough of the jurors to grant you that ticket ride to stardom...
Best of Luck!