I returned home late Monday night from Worldcon in Anaheim. It was a spectacular time. More on that very soon.
First, back to that word, "wow."
This is one of those occasions when that tiny word is the only thing that could remotely communicate how I feel. Last Thursday night at Worldcon in Anaheim, I won a Chesley Award. This time, it wasn't just A Chesley Award, but The Chesley Award for Artistic Achievement. I wasn't speechless because I know I said a few words when I accepted, but outside of thanking my fiancee Traci, I don't quite recall what those words were. I was so grateful at that moment, and I still am. The great Tom Kidd presented the award to me, and that made it all the sweeter. My fellow nominees in the category this year included John Jude Palencar, Real Musgrave, David Hardy, and the late Keith Parkinson.
In case you're wondering, this particular category is basically ASFA's acknowledgement of an artist's body of work over the previous calendar year. I grant you that the phrase "Artistic Achievement" makes some folks think "Lifetime Achievement" and I heard that comment a few times at Worldcon. I don't think I'm finished quite yet though...:)
In fact, this award only makes me want to work even harder. Take a look at the history of past winners in this particular category, and you'll see what I mean.
Like I said.
1985 Carl Lundgren
1986 No winner
1987 Alex Schomburg
1988 Frank Frazetta
1989 Don Maitz
1990 Don Maitz
1991 Michael Whelan
1992 James Gurney
1993 James Gurney
1994 Frank Kelly Freas
1995 Frank Frazetta
1996 Thomas Canty
1997 Don Maitz
1998 Vincent Di Fate
1999 Bob Eggleton
2000 Stephen Hickman
2001 Frank Kelly Freas
2002 Donato Giancola
2003 Tom Kidd
2004 Todd Lockwood
2005 Omar Rayyan
2006 John Picacio
Congrats to all of the nominees and winners this year! It was a stellar list of Chesley Award winners this year, and I'm incredibly proud to be amongst these individuals. (List courtesy of The Art Department, Irene Gallo's must-read blog.)
Hardcover: Stephan Martiniere for Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Paperback: Tom Kidd for The Enchanter Completed edited by Harry Turtledove
Magazine: Donato Giancola for Prometheus on Asimov's
Interior: Brom for The Plucker by Brom
3D: James Christensen for Sleeper Lost in Dreams
Unpublished Color: Charles Vess for Companions to the Moon
Unpublished Monochromatic: Paul Bielaczyc for Nightmare
Product: Justin Sweet production design for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Gaming Related: Gabor Szikszai & Zoltan Boros for Blazing Archon, Magic The Gathering card for Ravnica: City of Guilds
Art Director: Irene Gallo
Contribution to ASFA: Julie Faith Rigby
Artistic Achievement: John Picacio