(UPDATE: This original artwork was for sale today — and it sold in less than an hour. WOW. Thank you and congratulations to author Mark Van Name for scoring this for his collection. Most importantly, we’ve chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds to Mexican earthquake relief, and are now deciding which charitable conduit is best. NEXT: I’ll have FIVE previously not-for-sale Loteria original artworks available for purchase, with portions of proceeds going to further help victims of recent natural disaster in Houston, Florida, the Islands and Mexico.)


Like many of you, I’ve been trying to do my part to help Houstonians devastated by Hurricane Harvey, as well as Floridians and Islanders impacted by Hurricane Irma. The Mexican Earthquake victims have not left my daily attention, since that massive 8.1 earthquake struck on September 7th. They need our help there, even as they’ve been heroically offering their own relief assistance to the United States.

Sixteen years ago this week, Americans felt compelled to rally around our own. Whenever I look at this piece of original art, I think of 9/11. I had become a fulltime professional illustrator in April of that year, resigning my job in the residential architecture field. More than anything in the world, I wanted to be a professional sf/f book cover artist. It was a heady time. I was slowly building a pro art career, as publishing clients were beginning to take notice of my early cover and magazine work. That morning, I was sketching ideas for the cover of Brian Hodge’s collection Lies and Ugliness. The phone rang, and I heard my mother’s voice, “Are you watching?

“TV’s not on.”

“A plane crashed into the World Trade Center. It’s on fire.”

Oh my god. What channel?”

All of them,” she said.

“OK. Love you. Bye.”

I watched a towering grey cloud billow across a field of blue, as my drawing hand went buzzy and tingly — and then the second plane hit. I don’t remember any work after that. What I do know is this cover idea was born on that terrible day because one of the morning’s thumbnails eventually evolved into the final artwork you see here. I’ve always called this artwork “Lies and Ugliness” because that’s the name of the book it illustrated, but those words and their synchronicity resonate more profoundly as years unfold.

In those fledgling days, I was experimenting across a wide range of media. I still have people ask me, “When are you going to do another shadowbox assemblage cover?” This cover was one of those, and the answer is “not anytime soon” because these were so time-consuming. I did my assemblage covers by hand, with traditional media. The drawing and painting wasn’t the time-consuming part. It was the search for found objects, the construction, and then the careful installation of the pieces. It added an uncertainty and vitality that was incredibly fun, but not the most efficient process either. I was learning lessons and working through my influences at that time — Cornell, McKean, Bantock, Rauschenberg, and so on.

In my 2006 art book Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio, I shared what I thought about the manuscript, and what I was thinking when I did this artwork, “Upon closer study, there was a common denominator: the exploration of faith and sexuality and their effects on the mundane and epic — especially their effects on the perception of the ‘truth’. In many of the stories, Hodge almost seemed to relish in the violent ideological collisions between the pagan and the Christian. There’s a mad love of ritual….”

I also described how the original was created. “I drew and painted the Christ figure in mixed media on masonite, and then positioned it into a homemade wooden box that was built and painted proportionally to the cover dimension. The gargoyle is a a found object that I carved, textured and painted to make it more fearsome. After carefully melding the painting and the gargoyle, the two were surrounded with silk roses, which I painted and touched up individually by hand to make them look just right.”

So here we are — sixteen years later — and I’d like to use this original artwork to help people in need, as best I can. I’m donating 10% of the proceeds from this one to the food bank or relief charity of the buyer’s choice. I’m also pricing this original lower so that it gives the best chance for a donation to occur. For example, my Loteria original graphite drawings (11″ x 18″) currently sell in the $5000 range, so the price listed below for this early shadowbox original is a rare bargain for my stuff — and these shadowbox originals almost never become available. 🙂

Dimensions: 12.5″ wide x 19″ high x 2.5″ deep

Weight: 7 lbs. (before shipping)

Price: Only $1500 (includes free shipping within the continental United States / please add $100 for shipping outside of the United States)

Contact: john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com — Email me with the subject line “Lies and Ugliness”. First come, first serve. We’ll exchange emails and I’ll give the payment contact info so that we can finalize the sale via Paypal. I’ll then donate to your favorite food bank or relief charity — and ship your artwork to you.

Good luck, all!

Deluxe Yoda Drawing For Sale!

IMG_0543Heads up, STAR WARS fans!

I’ve got my ticket to see ROGUE ONE this weekend, and I can’t wait. To commemorate this awesome release, I’m making my very first STAR WARS original artwork available at a special reduced price for the first collector who grabs it. This is a unique collectible — an original proposal drawing for a potential series of tarot-inspired STAR WARS drawings. What better card for Yoda than “Temperance”?

Details as follows:

Title: Temperance (AKA “Feel The Force Flow”)
Dimension: 18″ x 24″ sheet size (11″ x 17″ image area) / Unframed
Media: Graphite and gold acrylic on Strathmore illustration board (the gold shimmers across the whole surface, alternating through coppers and bronzes, as light shifts)
Sale Price: $995 (includes shipping within the continental U.S. and reduced from $1495 list price)

Ships flat. Can only ship to buyers within the continental U.S. for this one. Shipping cost to locales beyond that is prohibitive.
Please email: john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com
Subject line: YODA!

Once I respond to your note and verify that the art is available, you can pay via Paypal at:
picacio (at) grandecom (dot) net

Note that there is only one of these, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I’ll post a notification here when it’s sold.

May the Force be with you! 🙂



VERITYsq2picacioA. Lee Martinez’s The Last Adventure of Constance Verity debuts today in hardcover from Saga Press, and I illustrated the cover art for this one. Here you see the final cover art, an enlarged detail of the final graphite drawing, and the finished cover with typography. The final drawing is 22″ x 28″and I had fun drawing Constance big.

Who is she? As the author says, “she’s Nancy Drew, John Carter, and a little bit of Doc Savage all rolled into one. She’s fought aliens, vampires, and dinosaurs. She’s been to the edge of the universe, the center of the Earth, and the beginning of time.” She’s done it all, folks. So what does someone this super want more than anything else? Read the book and find out. 🙂 A funny tale full of absurd humor and snark awaits you. Seriously, if you like your fantasy snarky — and so many of you do — THIS BOOK IS YOUR JAM.

There’s another good reason to pick this one up this week, and to illustrate that, I want to talk about the depiction of race on book covers. We’ve seen so many fails, face palms, and missed opportunities (understatement) when it comes to the depiction of non-white characters on book covers. When Saga Press’ editorial guru Joe Monti sent me the manuscript, I discovered there was very little description of Constance’s physical features. It was clear that this was done on purpose, and thus, I had to question how much I wanted to reveal her features on the cover, as I designed the character. I decided early in the process that I wanted to propose we not hide Constance, and that we not default her toward being an exclusively Caucasian character. I wanted her to be multi-ethnic. I wanted to see some Mexican@. I wanted to see some Asian. I wanted to see if I could create a character that could include more of us rather than only some of us.

For those that don’t work in publishing, I know this sounds like a perfectly innocent idea, but trust me, that this kind of visual proposal makes many sales/marketing/editorial/art departments VERY NERVOUS. There’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in publishing amongst many (but thankfully, not all) that says, “COVERS FEATURING NON-WHITE CHARACTERS DO NOT SELL.”

Let me say for the record — I would love for all of us — you, me, and the person next to you — to finally kick that ridiculous mentality from here to oblivion, never to return. We have a long way to go. We can do this though. Want to be a part of the winning?

Buy this book during its release week. Tell friends to do so. Spread the word. Shock the publishers and the bookstores, and send this book to a second printing in record time. Publishers love success, and other publishers love to copy that success. This mission is doable and IT SENDS A MESSAGE THAT NON-WHITE CHARACTERS ON COVERS DO SELL BOOKS.

And if you don’t care about race issues on covers? No worries — Lee’s book stands on its own with an action-packed story that will leave you wanting more Constance in your life.

Final note — this was a TEAM effort to allow me to draw Constance this way. I asked to do so, but you can thank Saga Press’ editorial chief Joe Monti, art director Michael McCartney, and the author himself for saying, “Sure. Why not?” Without all of them saying those three little words, Constance would be someone else, instead of being a little more of us.



Here’s my final cover art for the 60th anniversary edition of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Earlier this year, Simon & Schuster / Touchstone’s senior art director Cherlynne Li approached me to cover-illustrate this classic Jack Finney novel, originally titled The Body Snatchers. First serialized in Collier’s Magazine in 1954, the book was collected by Dell into a single volume in 1955. Since then, it’s been re-packaged countless times. Hollywood has morphed it into four major screen adaptations, where the title was changed to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (which apparently caused publishers to retitle the book itself).

When I began brainstorming cover art concepts, I realized that even though I had never read the original novel or seen one of the films, I felt like I ‘knew’ the story. Sleepy American town is creepily assimilated by alien beings who take over people’s minds, one by one. The narrative is virtually an archetype at this point, but of course, it wasn’t enough to ‘feel’ like I knew the story. I read Finney’s text in its entirety and realized another thing. While very much a story of the 1950’s, Finney never intended the narrative to be a metaphor for the American paranoia toward Communism. I suppose that hysteria was what the early film adaptations played upon, but reportedly, that wasn’t Finney’s original intent.

Instead, the story seemed to be about a different kind of fear — the fear of loss and change — of losing the one you love the most, of losing your identity, and even completely losing yourself in a changing world. These aren’t just 1950’s themes. These are themes that resonate thunderously right now.

That was the eureka moment that inspired my cover art.

We live in a time of sweeping and sometimes terrifying change. Many of us are fighting against centuries of aggressive assimilation. We all seem to willingly allow ourselves to be assimilated daily by technologies of our making, and yet we’re all trying to hold on — to our loved ones, to our values, and to ourselves — to be something meaningful before our precious time is snatched away.

If there’s a reason to read a familiar story, it’s to be reminded how to summon the will to overcome our own challenges. It’s no wonder this book is still resonant as ever after sixty years.

For more on the book vs. film connections, check out Sandy Ferber’s review via



The Force is strong with you, San Antonio.

Yesterday’s STAR WARS: THE FORCE OF ART exhibition at the Centro De Artes in downtown SA was a celebration of all things Jedi and Sith, and it was a phenomenal event. Texas A&M University / San Antonio owns the facility and said it’s the most successful audience attraction that the building has had since the days of the Museo Alameda. It was a one-day art extravaganza sponsored by Alamo City Comic Con, and there was a line of fans out the door and down the steps before the show even opened.

Waves of huge crowds surged all day long, despite rainy weather and a busy holiday shopping season. I was one of the featured artists and presented a large-format conceptual sketch for a Yoda tarot card (pictured above). Artworks by Drew Struzan, Stephan Martiniere, Adam Hughes, Terese Nielsen, Tommy Lee Edwards, Scott Harben, Lawrence Reynolds, Mike ‘Comp’ Arguello, Adrian De La Cruz, Alfredo Lopez Jr., Gary Villarreal, and so many more made for a dynamite collection.

Apple De La Fuente and members of the 501st at Star Wars: The Force of Art in San Antonio.

Apple De La Fuente and members of the 501st at Star Wars: The Force of Art in San Antonio.

This is the first time Alamo City Comic Con has ever organized and sponsored an art event of this type, and huge congrats to Apple De La Fuente, Austin Rogers, Wes Hartman, and crew for a bigtime success. Special thanks to Brandon Oliver, the 501st Legion, ACCC volunteers, and the South Texas Collectors Expo as well. Saturday’s show planted another seed toward San Antonio becoming a pop culture art mecca, and ACCC has already announced that they’re sponsoring their next museum celebration on March 19th celebrating ‘Batman v. Superman’.

It was a great day for San Antonio, and I think there are more great ones ahead for this kind of art in this city.

Art by Scott Harben.

Art by Scott Harben.

Art by Stephan Martiniere.

Art by Stephan Martiniere.

Art by Mike 'Comp' Arguello.

Art by Mike ‘Comp’ Arguello.

Art by Drew Struzan.

Art by Drew Struzan.

Art by Lawrence Reynolds.

Art by Lawrence Reynolds.

Art by Gary Villarreal.

Art by Gary Villarreal.

Art by Adrian De La Cruz.

Art by Adrian De La Cruz.

ACCC 2015: Amazing!

Alamo City Comic Con was almost two weekends ago, but I’ve been so swamped by deadline work that I’m only now getting to post my thoughts on the event.

I exhibited in Artists Boulevard for the third year in a row and I can definitely say that with all of the road work I do in a given year, this show is one of my favorites anywhere, bar none. Why?

1) I don’t know what the attendance was this year, but last year, this con pulled 73,000 people. That was in only its SECOND year! The first effort garnered an amazing 35,000+. The attendance looked at least as big as last year, but it was hard to tell as the con had expanded to consume the vast majority of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. In terms of floor space, the show was bigger than ever. What I love is that this con is still in its early years, and it’s already experiencing exponential audience growth. Attendees are there for the comics, for the celebs, for the wrestlers, for the cosplay, for the toys, and most definitely — for the art. I can definitely tell that the art-buying audience is growing, and it still has a lot of ceiling to expand that audience even more. If the con keeps catering to those folks, I think it will grow in ways that a lot of comic cons never will.

2) There are a lot of things to love about ACCC attendees, but one of the best is that San Antonio LOVES Loteria. I’m talking to you, SA. All of you. THANK YOU for buying so many of my Loteria Grande cards and posters. THANK YOU for packing my Loteria session and making me run out of tablas because there were so many of you wanting to play the oldskool Loteria game. (Next year, I’ll bring even more!) And thanks to all of the Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fans who bought my prints all weekend long. I had a blast visiting with all of you! Special shoutout to my Artist Boulevard neighbors: Chet Phillips, Scott Harben, and Lawrence Reynolds.

3) Last but not least — this con has an incredible staff of blue-collar demons and gold-hearted heroes. They’re gracious, professional, and they give their all to make a world-class event. I’m talking about Apple De La Fuente, Austin Rogers, Wes Hartman, Garrett Killian, Fred Bronaugh, Karla who runs the Volunteer Staff, and everyone who staffs, volunteers, and raises their game every year to make this con one of the best in the country. It’s astonishing what these people have built in three short years. Take a bow, Apple. Take a bow, everyone.

I looked at every one of these people after the show was over, and the only problem with them taking a bow is they all looked like they were going to keel over because they had given everything they had. So had I. It was a terrific weekend, and I’m already ready to do it better next year.

The 2015 Chesley Award Finalists!

The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists has announced this year’s Chesley Award finalists, and wow — I’m grateful and honored to be nominated for FOUR Chesleys! It’s a stellar list of art and amazing illustrators across all categories, and my thanks to ASFA voters for recognizing my work amongst such great company.

My nominated works are:

Best Cover Illustration / Hardcover
John Picacio • ENDYMION by Dan Simmons
(for the Subterranean Press limited edition, December 2014)
Art Director: William K. Schafer

Best Interior Illustration
John Picacio • Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza
(for the story by Carrie Vaughn)
Art Director: Irene Gallo

Best Product Illustration
John Picacio • ‘La Calavera’ Loteria Card
(for Lone Boy)

Best Monochrome Work • Unpublished
John Picacio • ‘El Venado’
Medium: Graphite

Thank you to Irene and Bill for making two of these nominations possible. I’m also gratified to see that two artworks from my ongoing, creator-owned Loteria efforts — ‘La Calavera’ and ‘El Venado’ — are recognized this year. ‘Means the world to me. Thank you to Carrie Vaughn for writing a terrific Wild Cards story that inspired the art for Nuestra, and to George R. R. Martin for editing Wildcards, one of my favorite of all fiction universes. A mighty blast of Loteria karma to Leigh Bardugo — her Grisha Trilogy (and especially Shadow and Bone) is the waking dream that helped birth ‘El Venado’. I can’t wait for her new book, Six of Crows, releasing in late September.

The complete list of 2015 Chesley Award Finalists. Congrats, all!

Best Cover Illustration / Hardcover
Julie Dillon, Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology edited by Brandon Sanderson; Dragonsteel Entertainment, June 2014
Jon Foster, Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi; Subterranean Press, 2014
Todd Lockwood, The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan; Tor, March 2014
John Picacio, Endymion by Dan Simmons; Limited Edition, Subterranean Press, December 2014
Michael Whelan, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson; Tor, March 2014

Best Cover Illustration – Paperback
John Harris, Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie; Orbit October 2014
Jon Sullivan, The Return of the Discounted Man by Mark Hodder; Pyr, July 2014
Raymond Swanland, The Lady by K.V. Johansen; Pyr, December 2014
Danielle Tunstall, Unseaming by Mike Allen; Antimatter Press, October 2014
Raoul Vitale, Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 edited by Kij Johnson; Prometheus/Pyr

Best Cover Illustration – Magazine
Julie Dillon Analog April 2014
Matt Dixon, Clarkesworld #90 March 2014
Wayne Haag, Interzone #253 July/August 2014
Patrick Jones, Analog March 2014
Jae Lee, Batman/Superman #14 DC Comics October 2014
Peter Mohrbacher, Lightspeed #48 May 2014
Dan Dos Santos, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #3 Dark Horse, March 2014

Best Interior Illustration
Anna Balbusso and Elena Balbusso, “Ekaterina and the Firebird” by Abra Staffin-Wiebe;, January 2014
Galen Dara, “A City of Its Tentacles” by Rose Lemberg; Lackinton’s #1 February 2014
Julie Dillon, Imagined Realms: Book 1 July/August; Kickstarter December 2014
Scott Gustafson, Classic Bedtime Stories; Artisan, September 2014
Karla Ortiz, “The Walking Stick Forest” by Anna Tambour; May 2014
John Picacio, Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza; October 2014

Best Gaming Related Illustration
Noah Bradley, Drown in Sorrow Magic card, Born of the Gods; WotC, Feb. 2014
Eric Deschamps, Ephara, God of Polis Magic card, Born of the Gods; WotC, Feb. 2014
Michael Komarck, D&D The Rise of Tiamat; WotC, Oct. 2014
Peter Mohrbacher, Pharika, God of Affliction Magic card, Journey into Nyx; WotC, May 2014
Karla Ortiz, Ghoulcaller Gisa Magic card, Commander 2014; WotC, Nov. 2014
Chris Rahn, Ajani the Steadfast Magic card, 2015 Core Set; WotC, July 2014

Best Product Illustration
Frank Cho & Brandon Peterson, Fast Food New York ComicCon 2014 art print
Donato Giancola, George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire 2015 calendar Bantam, 2014
Patrick Jones, Conan The Conquered Illuxcon promotional art
John Picacio, La Calavera Loteria card Lone Boy
Raymond Swanland, One with the Light Limited Edition Giclee on canvas Acme Archives 2014

Best Color Work – Unpublished
Linda Adair, Dragonsbride oil
Michael C. Hayes, Alegretto oils
Reiko Murakami, Giving Name Photoshop
Mark Poole, Omens oils
Dorian Vallejo, Crossing oil on canvas
Annie Stegg Gerard, The Lady of Lorien oil on linen

Best Monochrome Work – Unpublished
Kristina Carroll, “Dragonslayer” charcoal
Sean Murray, “Gateway: The Storkfriars” graphite
John Picacio, El Venado, graphite
Olivier Villoingt, “The Soul of War” graphite & acrylic
Allen Williams, “Sphynx” graphite
Rebecca Yanovskaya, “Wisdom” ink & mixed media

Best Three-Dimensional Art
Dan Chudzinski, The Mudpuppy, resin & mixed media
David Meng, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King
Michael Parkes, Meditation, bronze
Forest Rogers, A Fish from Versailles, Kato polyclay
Virginie Ropars, Morrigan, polymer clay & mixed media
Vincent Villafranca, Modernity’s Squeaky Child, bronze & steel

Best Art Director
Lou Anders, Pyr
Shelly Bond, DC/Vertigo Comics
Irene Gallo, Tor &
Jeremy Jarvis, Wizards of the Coast
Lauren Panepinto, Orbit Books

Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
Kinuko Craft
John Harris
Gregory Manchess
Iain McCaig

The awards ceremony will be held at the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, WA on August 19-23, 2015.  If you’re an ASFA member, make sure your dues are up-to-date! You have until June 30th at 11:45pm (East Coast time) to submit your final ballot. (NOTE: The final ballot is accessed with the “VOTING” tab in the red toolbar at the top.) If you’re not currently an ASFA member, join! It only costs a measly $35 and you gain full voting privileges.

I’ll be in Spokane for Worldcon. Congrats again to all of the nominees!

Austin, TX: Winter Is Coming!

'The Others'. Detail from the limited-edition A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE print art by John Picacio.

‘The Others’. Detail from the limited-edition A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE print art by John Picacio.

And so is Loteria! 🙂 Alright, Austin — so I know the temps are hitting 90 degrees right now, and it definitely doesn’t feel like winter. That’s for sure.

So where are my Austin-area Game of Thrones fans? You out there? If you’re glued to every episode like I am, then you know that the series finale is coming soon! BREAKING NEWS: I’ll be appearing in Austin the day before on Saturday, June 13th to talk about the show with fellow fans at Dragon’s Lair (2438 W. Anderson Lane), and I’ll have some of my limited-edition A Song of Ice and Fire prints at special prices for you.

In addition, you’ll have a chance to score my all-new Loteria Grande cards and posters too, and some lucky Dragon’s Lair customers are going to win cool prizes when we play the game of Loteria together that day! Never played Loteria? It’s easy. Think Mexican Bingo. Totally fun. Totally addictive. And it’s the best of times. For all who grew up playing this traditional game of chance with their family and friends (as I did), gather your homies (and any friends who love card games and tarot cards) and come play with me at Dragon’s Lair on Saturday the 13th. Let’s pack the house!

See you there from 12noon to 4pm, Austin!!



The SA Express on Loteria Fest!


Can’t wait for tomorrow night at Salud Tequila Bar. The San Antonio Express-News has a writeup about Loteria Fest in today’s Weekender section. I’m hearing that we may have some Game of Thrones fans arriving in costumes inspired by my A Song of Ice and Fire artwork? So good. Cosplayers — bring it. All costumes welcome. And if you’re like me and you won’t be in costume, you’re still gonna have a blast.

Be there tomorrow night, San Antonio. Play Loteria. Enjoy the best tequila selection in town. Win prizes and get your Loteria Grande cards and posters + A Song of Ice and Fire art prints. I’m stoked. 🙂

UPDATE: My Loteria Grande ‘Once’ card sets will be available at the signing for only $20, while supplies last! Limited-run posters of my ‘La Luna’, ‘El Corazon’, and ‘La Calavera’ art are no longer available online but they WILL be available at this event for only $15 each.

And Game of Thrones fans — BONUS: I’ll have a special reduced price on my 17″ x 22″ signed and numbered A Song of Ice and Fire archival prints. These retail online for $125, but at Loteria Fest, they’ll be available for an exclusive event price of $80 each (including free archival bag and archival backing board). First come, first served, please. I’ll also have a limited supply of archival 11″ x 14″ prints (which are not available online) for only $25 each.

So if you or your friends are Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire fans — see you at Salud Saturday night!

‘El Mundo’: SPECTRUM 22 Selection!


Hooray — my Loteria Grande card art for “El Mundo” has been selected for the Institutional category for Spectrum 22: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art!

I’m especially pleased to see this piece make the annual because “El Mundo” is my first official artwork featuring my daughter. Every time she spots the piece, she says, “There I am!”

She was thrilled when she heard the news last night, and I was too. Thanks, Spectrum jurors!


CREATIVEFIREspectrumpicacio2Heads up, Spectrum fans and art lovers — here’s a work that was displayed at the most recent Spectrum Retrospective, and it can be yours!


• 17″ x 22″ archival print on Hahnemuhle paper, professionally framed and matted, with glass, enclosed in 23″ X 27″ frame.

• Artist signature on back of frame.

• The illustration was created for the cover of Brenda Cooper’s novel The Creative Fire: Book One of Ruby’s Song.

• This framed artwork was on display this past fall at the Society of Illustrators in New York City for the 3rd Spectrum Retrospective, and was juried and featured in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art 20.

• One-of-a-kind item, produced especially for the Spectrum show.

• Special reduced price of $600 (originally $750).

• Free shipping.

First come, first serve! Interested buyers may contact me at john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com.

Thank you!


Wow! Fan-designed Elric of Melniboné Tattoo Sleeve!

Wow! Fan-designed Elric of Melniboné Tattoo Sleeve!

I love when fans create cosplay based on my artwork — and even better? When they’re tattooing themselves with my art! 🙂

Of course, what’s on this guy’s arm is not exactly my art. It’s an adaptation of it, interpreted by a tattoo artist. You can also see a tribute to Michael Whelan‘s legendary Stormbringer cover art, in this passionate sleeve design.

Hats off to the tattoo owner, who very kindly requested to remain anonymous, but had no problem sharing these photos. And BIG shoutout to the tattoo artist who did the design work — way to go!!!

I’m honored — it’s a real labor of love.

So much good genre TV happening right now. Couple that with the wave of social change that’s happening, and it just feels like the time is right for Michael Moorcock’s Elric of MelnibonĂ© to become a pop culture phenomenon. He’ll always be an icon of counterculture for me — and to truly be Elric, he always has to be — but I think the mainstream may finally be ready for him and his sword’s soul-sucking glory. Who’s with me on this?

Here are the artworks that inspired these tattoos:

Cover art by Michael Whelan for Michael Moorcock's STORMBRINGER.

Cover art by Michael Whelan for Michael Moorcock’s STORMBRINGER.

Cover art by John Picacio for Michael Moorcock's ELRIC: SWORDS AND ROSES.

Cover art by John Picacio for Michael Moorcock’s ELRIC: SWORDS AND ROSES.

Cover art by John Picacio for Michael Moorcock's ELRIC: THE SLEEPING SORCERESS.

Cover art by John Picacio for Michael Moorcock’s ELRIC: THE SLEEPING SORCERESS.

Elric art by John Picacio, created for MicroVisions. Original art owned by The Sean Lackey Collection.

Elric art by John Picacio, created for MicroVisions 2012. 5″ x 7″ on illustration board. Original owned by The Sean Lackey Collection.


Featured in the new art book INSPIRED, clockwise from top left: Art by John Picacio, Rebecca Yanovskaya, Wylie Beckert & Marc Scheff

Sample art from INSPIRED, clockwise, top left: Art by John Picacio, Rebecca Yanovskaya, Wylie Beckert, Marc Scheff

Yesterday, I received word that three of my artworks will be included in the forthcoming art annual, Infected By Art 3.

Today, I want to share news of a forthcoming fantastic sf/f art book called Inspired. It’s the brainchild of Chesley Award-winning art director and Art Order mastermind Jon Schindehette. The collection features a juried selection of works from over 30 international artists via Art Order’s “Inspiration” Challenge. I’m honored to be included amongst the artists chosen for this volume, and you can see the full list of selected artists here.

The jury for this book — an amazing lineup of sf/f luminaries:

Irene Gallo — Associate Publisher,

Julie Bell — Illustrator

Lauren Panepinto — Creative Director, Orbit Books

Rebecca Guay — Illustrator / Founder of Illustration Master Class & smArt School

Terese Nielsen — Illustrator

Terryl Whitlatch — Illustrator and Creature Designer Extraordinaire

Inspired is going to be a dynamite art collectible and the print run is limited to only 1000 copies — now taking pre-orders!

BONUS! All pre-orders also receive a digital copy of the book for free!! You can score your books here.

‘Can’t wait to see the finished product, and be inspired. Congrats to Jon — and thank you for creating not only this book, but potentially a new art book model where all parties share the revenue pie. Thank you to the jury, and congrats to all of the artists that were selected!

THREE IBA3 Jury Selections!

Great start to 2015! Three of my 2014 artworks have been jury-selected for the forthcoming Infected By Art 3 Annual, including two that were “Unanimous Selections”! Very grateful to be included in this book with some AMAZING artists!

Wanna see all of the art that was jury-selected for the book? Here you go. Congrats to all of these creators — some truly inspiring work here!

Special shoutout to all of the Grand Prize Winners! Way to go, all!

My three selected works are:

"El Mundo" / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

“El Mundo” / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

"La Calavera" / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

“La Calavera” / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

"El Corazon" / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

“El Corazon” / Loteria artwork © John Picacio.

All three of these are from my Loteria series, and that makes the news even more gratifying. “El Mundo” and “La Calavera” were voted “Unanimous Selection”.

Thank you to the jurors: Donato Giancola, Rebecca Guay, Greg Hildebrandt, and Jon Schindehette! And thank you, IBA — grateful and honored to be included.

Selected 2014 Published Works

PICACIO2014Here’s an abbreviated one-stop gallery of selected highlights from my 2014 published works, including cover illustrations, interiors, and product artworks.

The awards nomination season is here again (Hugos, Chesleys, World Fantasy Awards, etc.). When voting, it helps to know which works from a creator are eligible for which awards categories. If you wish to reference this list for future deliberation and sharing, I hope it proves helpful!

I invite all of my fellow authors, illustrators, sculptors, visual artists, art directors, editors, and bloggers to add links to YOUR eligible bodies of work for this year’s various awards in the Comments. This is your chance to remind voters that you’re in the running. Best of luck, all!


NEW! Loteria Grande / Series 1

Loteria cards by John PicacioGood news, Loteria fans! 2014 finishes in grand style with the release of a new Loteria Grande card series from Lone Boy, including “La Calavera”, “El Corazon”, “El Venado”, “El Mundo”, and “La Escalera”! These cards feature the same production value and giant size as the Grandes originally released with my 2013 Calendar’s Kickstarter campaign — 4.5″ x 7.5″ on thick, durable cardstock, with rounded corners. All cards also include my final pencil drawing for each artwork reproduced on the reverse side.

I’m remodeling my blog and web store, and moving it all to WordPress over the New Year’s holiday. Once that work is done, my store will be taking orders for Loteria Grande / Series 1 during the first full week of January.

Here are the rest of the cards included in Series 1.

Happy New Year, all!

Loteria Grande cards by John Picacio