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Spectrum 25 is Here!

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The art annual book, Spectrum, has released its 25th issue, complete with all the best in science fiction and fantasy art. This field, called Imaginative Realism, has categories to which artists or employers can submit their work, for a fee, to win a silver or gold award. Categories ranging from book illustrations and advertising, to the most difficult to win personal category, to Magic’s institutional, and all are highly competitive. Winning a category is a major achievement for artists where titans compete for name recognition and art collector visibility.

I write on the book each year, with Spectrum 24 having the most Magic inclusions ever. The awards for Spectrum 24 were announced at Spectrum Live in May, with a Magic artwork winning the Gold Award, Stasis by Seb McKinnon, for the first time ever. What isn’t presented is all the other art that made it into the book but wasn’t known until the books actually arrived.

When people ask for what is the objective best art, there is no single work per set that is on a technical level higher (other than Cartography by Donato Giancola of course). By having a judged panel of art, usually by major artists or art directors, and peers, choose the best art for the Spectrum book, it comes close. Obviously some art is not submitted that is phenomenal and some sublime personal work never makes it in.

Collectors look for the most played cards, the hot staple in sets and that’s great! But what works will stand the test of time, what museums will eventually want, are artworks like this. Look below for traditional paintings. Those are the pieces people should be clamoring for today. Frankly, most are already long sold by artists. But every so often, one can find a Pyxis of Pandemonium that made it into Spectrum and can be picked up from the artist.

Art directors don’t get a ton of credit for their work. I try to interview them to get them some visibility, but I strike out a lot. Often, by being more visible, they get hounded more at events or sent even more mail, if that’s possible. It’s notable how many different art directors get included each year and while I exclude them from this list, don’t think for a second that their efforts are minimal. They push people and remind folks to stay hungry, such that art becomes continuously better. By being one of the top houses to commission new art in the world, keeping quality high is a must and soon I’ll write more on them and how they are able to achieve such quality so consistently.

Enjoy the art, these are all technically superior creations and will stand the test of time as being more than just good. These are great.

-Vorthos Mike

Agents of S.N.E.A.K. by Ralph Horsley

Oil on panel, 36 x 35.5”

Contraptions: Goblin Explosioneers by Steve Prescott

Acrylic on board, 23 x 32”

Attune with Aether by Wesley Burt

Digital

Frilled Deathspitter by Zoltan Bros

Digital

Silvergill Adept by Slawomir Maniak

Digital

Angel of Condemnation by Slawomir Maniak

Digital

Mighty Leap by Sidharth Chaturvedi

Digital

Dr. Julius Jumblemorph by Simon Dominic

Digital

Deadeye Harpooner by Ryan Pancoast

Oil on board, 14x18”

Ripjaw Raptor by Ryan Pancoast

Oil on board, 12x16”

Doomsday by Noah Bradley

Digital

Inspiring Cleric by Randy Gallegos

Oil on panel, 18 x 24”

Etali, Primal Storm by Raymond Swanland

Digital

Party Crasher by Mike Burns

Digital

The Locust God by Lius Lasahido

Digital

Clocknapper by Marco Teixeria

Digital

Pounce by Lucas Graciano

Oil on panel, 18 x 24”

Merfolk Branchwalker by Kieran Yanner

Digital

Colossal Dreadmaw by Jesper Ejsing

Acrylic on board, 12 x 16”

Aven of Enduring Hope by James Ryman

Digital

Crashing Tide by Carmen Sinek

Digital

Heirloom Blade by Carmen Sinek

Digital

Drover of the Mighty by Eric Deschamps

Digital

Squirrel-Powered Scheme by Even Amundsen

Digital

Giltgrove Stalker by Chris Seaman

Acrylic on board, 12 x 16”

River Heralds' Boon by Alex Konstad

Digital

Cuombajj Witches by Seb McKinnon

Digital

Duskborne Skymarcher by Seb McKinnon

Digital

Apocalypse Demon by Piotr Jablonski

Digital

Trapjaw Tyrant by Chris Rahn

Oil on panel, 8.25 x 11”

Huatli, Radiant Champion by Chris Rahn

Oil on panel, 11.25 x 15”

These artworks were finalists nominated for awards.

Vraska, Relic Seeker by Chris Rahn

Oil on birch plywood, 22 x 30”

Dinosaur Hunter by Tianhua X

Digital

Silver Award

Moaning Wall by Piotr Jablonski

Digital

Gold Award

Stasis by Seb McKinnon

Digital