Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2017

I’m back in studio from Spectrum Fantastic Art Live and this was my favorite SFAL yet. What a tremendous weekend of world-class art, amazing friends, and celebration. Thank you to John Fleskes + Cathy and Arnie Fenner for making this all happen, along with incredible collaborators such as Carl Anderson, Jeff Smith, Mark Roth, Kathy Chu, Monica Carson, Arlo Burnett, and more.

It was an honor to be one of the Spectrum Award presenters Saturday night, and that felt like a perfect culmination of the jury responsibility. I was grateful to be a part of the effort, and I’m really proud of the finalist and medal selections that my fellow judges and I chose for the upcoming annual. So much emotion during this year’s ceremony. It was great to see, as was the energy of this show from both pros and fans.

I loved the new facility and thought the artist booth layout fit well. I’d love to see SFAL happen here in future years. I think there’s no longer any question that Kansas City can carry SFAL on a permanent basis. It’s not because of any one particular factor, and it wasn’t because of any massive influx of attendees, but I think it’s the feeling that the group of people listed above are made of too much win for this effort to fail. I think SFAL is a few key personnel away from being a major international art destination for art buyers. Kansas City can support this show without a doubt, and we’ll wistfully look back on these formative years as the ‘remember when you actually had elbow-room at SFAL’ years. The quality of the artists in attendance, the quality of the show’s signage and the operation, as well as the overall production value of the whole event — those are rock-solid and world-class. The level of outreach and marketing will catch up, but it’s not because of a lack of effort or brainpower. It’s a matter of a few more foot soldiers and a few more key champions behind-the-scenes to complement the extraordinary team that is already in place. They’re giving max effort and I’m especially in amazement at the job that Carl, Jeff, and Mark do. They seem to have eight arms and the ability to teleport. When this team gets a few more key pieces to carry the buildup to the event, this show will explode to a whole new stratospheric level.

As it stands right now, there’s no other art happening quite like SFAL, and if you missed this year, then you missed out bigtime. The energy, camaraderie, and inspiration from both the art and the artists was off-the-charts. On a personal note — I had my most successful sales year ever at an SFAL, thanks to my ‘La Botella’ drawing selling to one of my favorite collectors. Loteria Grande Cards sold briskly. I loved watching my fellow artists such as Donato Giancola, Allen Williams, Colin and Kristine Poole, and more have really solid sales at this event as well.

It was the best of times, and I hope we get to do it all over again next year, Kansas City.



This past October, I was proud to exhibit eight of my Loteria final graphite drawings together for the first time at Worlds Beyond Gallery, co-sponsored by Alamo City Comic Con and The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA). I spent many days and nights drawing these, and this was the first time these beloved originals were formally exhibited together. It was fun watching people circulate through the display, eyeballing the work up close. Over the years, I’ve turned down several buy offers because I wanted to present them together at a special occasion like Worlds Beyond.

Now that I’ve done that, these eight originals are now available for sale, and I suspect some of them will sell very quickly. All prices include shipping within the continental United States. Please email me with questions and inquiries. john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com

(below)  LA SIRENAWINNER / 2013 Chesley Award for Best Product Illustration • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / SOLD2sirenagraphite(below)  LA CALAVERAFINALIST / 2015 Chesley Award for Best Product Illustration • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $65007calaveragraphite(below)  EL VENADOFINALIST / 2015 Chesley Award for Best Unpublished Monochrome Work • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $50006venadographite(below)  LA BOTELLA • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $50001botellagraphite(below)  EL ARPAFINALIST / 2014 Chesley Award for Best Product Illustration • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $65008arpagraphite(below)  LA LUNAFINALIST / 2014 Chesley Award for Best Unpublished Monochrome Work • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $65004lunagraphite(below)  EL MUNDO • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $50005mundographite(below)  EL ARBOLWINNER / 2016 Chesley Award for Best Product Illustration • Graphite on Strathmore 500 Bristol • Professionally-framed and matted with Masterpiece Acrylic • 11″ x 18″ (raw original dimension) • 17″ x 24″ (framed dimension) / $70003arbolgraphite

Gift Ideas From Worlds Beyond

If you missed Worlds Beyond Gallery at this year’s Alamo City Comic Con, it was one of the stellar art events of 2016. Brom, Todd Lockwood, Peter Mohrbacher, Ruth Sanderson, Jeffrey Alan Love and I were the six featured artists, and thanks to a partnership between ACCC and ASFA (The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, headed by Sara Felix), this inaugural gallery exhibition / vendor experience was an eye-popping success. Here are six out-of-this-world holiday gift ideas, for the art lovers in your life — or for yourself. 🙂

LOST GODS: For readers who love classic mythology and modern nightmares — the latest novel written and illustrated by Brom is for you. New York Times best-selling author Richard Kadrey says, “LOST GODS is an adventure tale and a mythic odyssey. It’s like Dante played out in muggy rural graveyards and the depths of Purgatory on the eve of a demonic war.” Pictured upper right is an original Brom painting I happily acquired at Worlds Beyond Gallery. It’s one of the header illustrations in the new book. The bottom images feature Brom’s WBG exhibition setup, as he autographs books and prints for ACCC fans.nov25brom

THE GOLDEN KEY: For readers who love classic fairy tales and timeless art — there’s Ruth Sanderson’s brand-new, gorgeously-illustrated version of the George MacDonald classic. And if you order it before December 1st, she’ll send you a free, autographed book plate. Her scratchboard work is masterful, and I was lucky enough to come home with the amazing Green Man masterpiece you see in the upper right. Thank you, Ruth! She had a terrific display of originals and prints at Worlds Beyond, and across her lengthy bibliography of illustrated children’s’ works, I think THE GOLDEN KEY interiors are some of her all-time best.nov25ruthTHE SUMMER DRAGON: For dragon-loving epic fantasy readers — Todd Lockwood is a beloved artist amongst Dungeons and Dragons fans worldwide, and this is his debut novel as an author / illustrator. It’s one of Amazon.com’s Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Books of 2016. Best-selling SHANNARA author Terry Brooks says, “The master of dragon art brings the same skills to dragon storytelling. This is a compelling, fully realized story which is as detailed and exciting as anything since the Pern tales. A sure winner.”

ANGELARIUM: For Magic The Gathering fans and lovers of lush art prints — Pete has a fan following as an MTG artist, but his current, creator-owned Angelarium work is the best of his career so far. If you want one of his time-limited edition prints of Raziel: Angel of Mysteries — ACT FAST because the deadline to order is Friday, November 25th. If you miss out on that, his ANGELARIUM: BOOK OF EMANATIONS is a winner. I love the way Pete’s building his art brand, and I’m already looking forward to ANGELARIUM: BOOK OF WATCHERS.

NOTES FROM THE SHADOWED CITY: For graphic novel fans — I think this is one of the coolest illustrated stories of the year. It’s a book about swords and magic, memory and loss. The format is not the typical ‘sequential art’ format one expects from a graphic novel, but books like this expand the possibilities of what graphic novels can be. I loved Jeff’s spare and elegant display he exhibited at Worlds Beyond, and I was fortunate to acquire a couple of his small original works, pictured upper and lower right.

LOTERIA GRANDE CARDS / SERIES TWO: For card collectors, Loteria lovers, and tarot aficionados — this deluxe five-card set debuted at ACCC, and will only be available online until December 5th! Cards measure a giant-size 4.5″ x 7.5″ and are printed on thick card stock, with my final graphite drawings reproduced on the reverse side. Pictured here are the five cards in the new set, as well as a glimpse of my Worlds Beyond Gallery display, featuring eight of the full-size graphite originals exhibited for the first time together.nov25john

Best wishes to everyone this holiday season!

Say The ‘M’ Word

Closeup detail of "El Mundo", from John Picacio's LOTERIA art series.

Closeup detail of “El Mundo”, from John Picacio’s LOTERIA art series.

Mexican American.

If you are, you should be proud.

And whether you are or you’re not, you hear the American media and our political parties use the words “Latino” and “Hispanic” instead of using the “M” word, when speaking on Mexican stories, peoples and issues. We’ve seen one political party directly demonize Mexican peoples in order to catalyze fear, while the opposing party responded by repeatedly messaging “Latinos” and “Hispanics”, missing the massive opportunity to use the term “Mexican American” as a proud call to action.

It was a costly mistake, as there are 35.8 million people in the US that self-identify as Mexican American — a full 11% of the total US population, and growing. We see that cultural misstep further demonstrated in this week’s post-election analysis, as graphs flash across our screens about a surprising “Latino” / “Hispanic” vote that favored the attacking candidate more than many would have imagined. Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Guatamalans weren’t generalized as ‘rapists’ and ‘killers’. And yet, the media kept choosing not to use the “M” word, lumping Mexican American voters in with a bloc that supposedly operates in lockstep. So wrong. It doesn’t work that way. The Democrats failed to directly appeal to the hearts and minds of MEXICAN AMERICANS. By using the words “Latino” and “Hispanic”, they instead spoke to a coalition made of marketing mirage more than ideological unity.

I have yet to see the voting numbers for Mexican Americans in the election because the skewed headline of a “surprisingly high” Latino / Hispanic vote for the attacking party is the lede. It seems to label Mexican Americans as not caring that they were attacked and demonized, further compounding cultural abuse. Bear in mind that this is not just a right-leaning media framing. Left-leaning media and pollsters make this mistake time after time, even as they continue serving themselves their own cultural polling data in myopic ways. In future, I hope Democrats realize how important it is to address Mexican Americans as Mexican Americans, and stop being fooled by the illusions of the marketing agencies and census bureau agendas that crafted these terms in the first place.

When you want to communicate with someone, you use their chosen name, look them directly in the eye, and speak as equals. You don’t make up a nickname, talk over the person in front of you, while staring over their head at some crowd in the distance. It’s no wonder marketers, pollsters, politicians, and sales honks can’t connect with Mexican Americans. You won’t connect with anyone that way!

Do I think Mexican Americans should wage war on the words “Latino” and “Hispanic”? NO. I don’t think that’s a smart use of energy. Those umbrella terms are appropriate harbors for some people’s dreams and journeys, and they can serve a purpose. But for Mexican Americans, I invite all of us to hereby take our 63% within the “Latino” / “Hispanic” labels, redirect our self-identification, and begin taking charge of our narratives, our power, and our futures. Sail forth. Boldly go.

I had already begun doing that for myself, prior to this country’s latest Day of Infamy, but as part of my own plan-of-action, I hereby pledge to proudly self-identify as “Mexican American” where appropriate and avoid substituting “Latino”, “Hispanic”, “Tejano” or “Chicano” to label myself. I pledge to use some of my forthcoming works to offer new dimensions of hope and inspiration to my Mexican peoples, while working as a creator that can resonate with ALL peoples and audiences, as I have for the last twenty years. My friend Leigh Bardugo said to me last week, “You’re a citizen of the world.” She’s right — first and foremost, I am that. Always and forever.

I’m John Picacio.

Citizen of Planet Earth, here to serve all, and continue giving my all, especially in this time of urgent need for new art, stories, and hope.

American illustrator and storyteller.

Mexican American.

Brown and proud.




2016 Chesley Award Finalist Times Two!

ARBOLpicacioVery proud to be a 2016 Chesley Award Nominee in two categories! Hooray!! 🙂

My Loteria card art for ‘El Arbol’ is a finalist for Best Product Illustration. I’m elated not just because Loteria is my creator-owned property and ongoing ship of dreams, but because ‘El Arbol’ is a tribute to my friend, the great Jay Lake. Even though his novels and stories would always endure, I asked him before his passing if he wanted to live on as a tree of life. He said ‘let’s do it’ and this drawn art was the final result. This one’s for you, Jay.

SNATCHERSpicacioLRIn the Best Cover Illustration / Paperback category, my art for Jack Finney’s classic INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is a finalist as well. Cherlynne Li was my art director on this 60th anniversary cover for Simon & Schuster / Touchstone. Last year, I shared my thoughts that led to this cover art. Thank you to Cherlynne for allowing me the freedom to visually re-present one of science fiction’s classic stories in a fresh way that hasn’t been done before. (And thank you to Joe Monti, with whom this job would not have happened otherwise.)

Congratulations to all of this year’s Chesley Award finalists. These are the awards given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) and wow, it’s a WORLD-CLASS ballot, chockful of stunning work. Special shoutout to my fellow artists who are also nominated in the Best Product Illustration category — Linda Adair, Mitchell Bentley, Rovina Cai, Jacob Murray, and Magali Villeneuve — and in the Best Cover Illustration / Paperback category — Julie Dillon, Tyler Jacobson, Jeffrey Alan Love and David Palumbo. Honored to be amongst all of you, and THANK YOU AGAIN, ASFA.

Final voting is open to all ASFA members and begins today, June 6th, concluding on June 26th. The awards will be announced in August at the World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City.  Join ASFA today to make your voice heard and your votes count. 

JordanCon Art Show Preview!

A few of the archival prints available at JordanCon’s Art Show this coming weekend: The top two rows will be signed, limited-edition 17″ x 22″ and will be selling for $125 each, and the bottom row will be 11″ x 14″ at $50 each.

Hey, ATL: Come see me at JordanCon this coming weekend, April 22-24! I’m the Artist Guest of Honor, and here’s a sneak peek of some of the swag I’ll be bringing to the Art Show. Inquire now if you see something you want. WORD TO THE WISE: Many of these will disappear quickly. Visit the Art Show early! Don’t wait until Sunday. 🙂

If you’re a GAME OF THRONES fan or SONG OF ICE AND FIRE hardcore devotee, I’ll be bringing a VERY LIMITED supply of signed archival ASoIaF prints. 11″ x 14″ will be $50. Selected 17″ x 22″ archival prints will be $125, and will have a free archival bag and archival board included with each purchase — which is a special JordanCon bonus that you don’t receive if you order online for the same price!

Original final drawing of Tyrion Lannister for the 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. Art © 2012 John Picacio.

Final drawing of Tyrion Lannister for the 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. Art © 2012 John Picacio.

I’ll also be exhibiting my Tyrion Lannister original art from the best-selling 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar. GRRM owns several of the originals from this calendar set, and this is one of the few remaining finals available for sale. Bid in the JordanCon Art Show and add this one-of-a-kind to your wall collection!

Heads up — if you have a particular favorite artwork that you want me to bring, ping before 12 noon CST, Tuesday April 19th and I’ll do what I can to check what has been sent to JordanCon and/or try to bring it with me. No guarantees, but it doesn’t hurt for you to ask. Email: john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com

(top): Loteria posters available at Jordancon this weekend (NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE) // (bottom): The first eleven Loteria Grande cards, available as a set at JordanCon for the low price of $20

(top): Loteria posters available at Jordancon this weekend (NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE) // (bottom): The first eleven Loteria Grande cards, available as a set at JordanCon for the low price of $20

I’ll also be bringing a limited supply of my Loteria posters (El Corazon, La Calavera, and La Luna) for $20 each. These posters are NOT available online, so buy early in the Art Show before they sell out. There will also be a limited supply of my popular Loteria Grande cards at $20 per set. Expect these to sell out quickly as they’ll be priced lower than online. If you’re a card collector, art lover, or tarot aficionado, you’ll love these. And speaking of the game of Loteria (AKA “Mexican Bingo”) — come play and win terrific prizes at 4pm on Saturday! (Perimeter Pavilion — Tables 8 to 12).

My complete schedule is as follows:

I’ll be hanging out in the Art Show:

FRIDAY — 4pm to 7pm
SATURDAY — 10am to 12noon / 2:45pm to 3:45pm / 5:45pm to 7pm
SUNDAY — 10am to 11am

Except for the following events and times, where you can find me:

FRIDAY — 1pm to 2:30pm // OPENING CEREMONIES (Carter)

SATURDAY — 1pm to 2:30pm // THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO (Washington)

SATURDAY — 4pm to 5:30pm // LOTERIA (Perimeter Pavilion — Tables 8 to 12)

SATURDAY — 6:30pm to 7pm // JUDGES CHOICE AWARD (Art Show)

SUNDAY — 11:30am to 1pm // FROM METROPOLIS TO THE MATRIX (Tyler)

SUNDAY — 1pm to 2:30pm // PAY THE ARTIST! (Washington)


Holler. 🙂




ARBOLpicacioJust heard that “El Arbol” from my ongoing Loteria series has been selected for inclusion in the 23rd edition of SPECTRUM: THE BEST IN CONTEMPORARY FANTASTIC ART, which will release this fall. Thanks very much to this year’s jurors for the honor. 🙂 It bears mentioning again that this work is dedicated to the late, great Jay Lake who modeled for this before his passing. Salud, Jay, and a big hug and shoutout to his family and loved ones. Back to work here making new Loteria artwork!

Go West!


The World Science Fiction Convention is upon us.

I’ll have a display of works hanging in the Art Show, including a print of the new Loteria art for ‘El Arbol’, dedicated to Jay Lake. I’ll also be bringing limited supplies of Loteria Grande cards and posters AND 11″ x 14″ George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire prints. However, these will NOT be available in the Art Show, as you can purchase them directly from me, while supplies last, at my appearances marked with an (**).

And here’s a special offer just for you, Sasquan — you can reserve and pre-purchase any 17″ x 22″ print from my body of work — including George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire worksfor only $75 each! This is marked down from the usual $125 for the GRRM works, and $90 for all others. How do you get yours? Email me at john (at) johnpicacio (dot) com, with the subject heading: “Sasquan Special”. Let me know the prints you want and I’ll send you my Paypal details OR we can arrange for you to just pay at the con. Pick up your merchandise from me during my Autographing or during the Saturday Artist Alley hours, and you’ll be set. These prints are archival inks on archival Hahnemuhle paper. You’ll need to bring your own protective tube or carrying method, as these will be unbagged and unboarded. Reservation deadline is Monday, August 17th at 12noon CST, and this offer only applies to prints ordered via this offer, for pickup at Sasquan. Why am I doing this? Because I love you, people, but also because I’m not bringing a giant stack of bagged and boarded archival prints on this trip, as it’s too costly. So this is THE ONLY WAY to get big prints at bargain prices from me if you’re coming to Worldcon. Don’t wait to see what I have once you arrive because there won’t be a stack to flip through this time. Reserve your prints today, everyone. 🙂

Here’s where and when you can find me at Sasquan.


** The Art of John Picacio • 11am-11:45am • Bays 111A (CC)
Slideshow + Q&A. I’ll be sneak-peeking and unveiling new work here. If you’ve got questions about my work — past, present, or future — bring ’em!

** Kaffee Klatche • 2pm-2:45pm • 202A-KK2 (CC)
Come one, come all. Bring your questions, and I’ll bring some Loteria Grande cards and posters and talk about what I’m working on + what’s coming.

Chesley Awards Ceremony + Reception • 7pm • 300D (CC)


Tomorrow Stories: Successful Creators and Their Work • 10am-10:45am • Conference Theater 110 (CC)
Panelists: John Picacio, Craig Engler, Jeff Sturgeon, Kevin J. Anderson, Kurt Busiek
This will be fun. We’ll be talking about our creator-owned works in print, TV, and film. Learn how and why these projects came to be, and where they’re headed, in a world where more and more pro creators are owning their creative destinies.

** Autographing • 12noon-12:45pm • Exhibit Hall (CC)
Neil Clarke, William Dietz, Rhiannon Held, Mary Soon Lee, John Picacio, Charles Stross, Jo Walton


** Artist & Author Alley • 10am-1:45pm • Between Art Show and Dealer’s Room
I’ll have a spread of original art and merchandise here at great prices. First come, first serve! 🙂


** Loteria • 12noon-12:45pm • Exhibit Hall C / Guinan’s Cabaret (CC)
This is gonna be a blast. Wanna win prizes playing Mexican Bingo? Be here. Easy to learn and so much fun!

After Worldcon is over?

I’ll be coming your way, Santa Fe. Be at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema on Thursday, August 27th at 7pm. LOTERIA FEST!!

And then it’s your turn, Bubonicon. 🙂

See you soon, West Coast.

In Loteria We Trust.

ARMADILLOCON 2015: Where To Find Booze And Free Stuff. And Me.

NUESTRApicacio800I’ll have new work on display and for sale in the Armadillocon Art Show (hint: Invasion of the Body Snatchers + 2015 Chesley Award nominated works). For the first time, I’ll also be manning a table IN the Art Show during selected Saturday hours (see below for schedule). THIS is your chance to score Loteria Grande cards, posters, and A Song of Ice and Fire limited edition prints at special prices!

Heads up — there will only be a limited supply of ASoIaF prints available at the con, and popular ones will sell quickly. So if there’s a particular ASoIaF print that you covet (choose from these), drop a comment here and tell me which one before 5pm CST, Thursday, July 23rd, so that yours will be reserved. You can then pay and pick up at the con. Easy. And that means you don’t have to knife someone in the side and whisper “For The Watch” when said individual stands between you and that coveted ASoIaF print that should be yours. 🙂 (Online price for these limited edition prints is $125 each, but at Armadillocon only, the sale price is $100 each, while supplies last.) Get ’em before they’re gone, people.


ART SHOW BONUS! For the first time ever, everyone who bids on one of my Art Show display works will receive a free signed Loteria poster of their choice! So even if someone outbids you in the Art Show, you still walk away a winner with a limited-run Loteria poster! After you place a valid Art Show bid on one of my works, just come see me during my Art Sale table hours to claim yours.


Exploring the faithfulness of the adaptation and the high points of the books vs. the show.
6pm-7pm • Ballroom E • Bakutis, Benjamin, Clarke, Finn, Picacio, Swendson

7:30pm-9:30pm • Lobby


For a limited time — get your Loteria Grande cards and posters + score signed limited edition George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire archival prints. There will also be a quality selection of sf/f first editions featuring Picacio cover art. First come, first serve!
10am to 12noon • Table in the Art Show (look for the giant ‘La Sirena’ banner)

How did our Artist GoH break into the field and make a career, and what has he seen along the way?
12noon to 1pm • Ballroom F • Kelley, Picacio, Zrubek

Want to score cool prizes including DVDs, books, and signed Loteria posters? Come play the classic game of chance (AKA ‘Mexican Bingo’), for multiple chances to win. It’s fun and easy to play! Hosted by Hugo Award-winning artist John Picacio.
1pm to 2pm • Conference Center

If you miss your chance in the morning to score Picacio art merchandise, this is your reprieve. C’mon over and get yours. (Also: There’s a rumor that single malt scotch may be discreetly available at this table, during these hours, for sharing with discerning adult customers and friends. It’s merely a rumor though. ;))
3pm to 6pm • Table in the Art Show (look for the giant ‘La Sirena’ banner)

What can you do as an artist or writer to get people to notice your work, and how do you keep them as fans?
6pm to 7pm • Southpark A • Eudaly, Hoover, Melton, Picacio, Rose

See you soon, Austin.

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!

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




Presenting the final color artwork for ‘La Escalera’ — the latest addition to my Loteria series! In English, ‘La Escalera’ means ‘The Ladder’, inspired by the traditional Loteria cards I played with as a kid, such as this one:

Those who own The 2014 John Picacio Calendar will remember a progress version of my ‘La Escalera’ artwork was featured in the August layout. As with ‘La Calavera’, I liked the concept but felt I could do a better drawing. So I started over, and re-drew the entire thing from scratch, and then added a stronger, final color treatment. Here are the improved pencils, followed by a look at the ‘La Escalera’ Grande Loteria card  — available very soon!

If you’re not a member of the Lone Boy List, send your email addy to info (at) lone-boy (dot) com, and we’ll add you to the List! 🙂


Here’s the next artwork in my Loteria series — “El Venado” (The Deer)!

My concept for this one was inspired by the novels of my friend, author Leigh Bardugo, and namely Shadow and Bone, the first in her New York Times-bestselling Grisha Trilogy, followed by Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.

I had a pretty strong idea of where I wanted to go on this one, even at the sketch stage.

Leigh encouraged me, backing me all the way. Without her, the art would look very different.

This work is definitely a love letter to her Grisha Trilogy. There are homages throughout the middle ground and background. Some of them are overt. Some are subtle. See if you can find them all. 🙂

However, even while paying tribute to these books, the key challenge was to create an iconic Loteria illustration that could stand on its own for those that haven’t yet read them.

I’ll be doing a Grande Loteria card of this one in the near future. If you’re on the Lone Boy List, you’ll know first. If you’re not on the List, now’s a good time to get onboard! Just send an email to

info (at) lone-boy (dot) com

We’ll add you!

Happy Holidays, all.

WFC 2014

Crazy week after returning from the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, D.C. It was a terrific con, highlighted by one of the best art shows (if not the best) I’ve seen at a WFC in the last ten years. Hats off to Mike and Beth Zipser, and the entire art show staff for ringleading it.

To all sf/f conventions who say that paying Art Show artists their sales money upon exit is too hard or impossible to do? Talk to the Zipsers and Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink! They paid all artists immediately upon exit with no hassle whatsoever. Way to go, folks!! 🙂

To Peggy Rae Sapienza, Michael Walsh, Colleen Cahill and the whole WFC staff — take a bow. HUGE applause. This was a dynamite WFC, and you all did a tremendous job!

I conducted a rousing hour of Loteria games on Saturday at the con, and it was a huge success, as it has been all year. It brought literary folk and art folk together, and we had an absolute blast. Thank you to all who came out and played! And THANK YOU to all who bought my Loteria posters at the functions across the weekend. Very appreciated.

I’ve already said on social media how happy I am to see so many of my friends nominated or win World Fantasy Awards this past weekend, but again — congrats to all!! Thank you, Mary Robinette Kowal, for the kindness of the gathering late Saturday night. Best of times. 🙂 And thank you, Jane and Howard Frank, for the kindness of the visit to your house and collection!

As far as the pictures at the top of this post — those are tiny detail shots from my iPhone of seven of my favorite things I experienced during WFC weekend, courtesy of an unnamed offsite visit. They belong to a collection of work that I was privileged to see. Out of respect to the owner, and at his/her request, I will not divulge where I saw these, and would prefer those who know to not share that here. Not top-secret, but it’s the owner’s preference and I’d like to respect that.

Otherwise — feel free to guess or discuss any or all of the artists responsible for painting these! No problem there. They inspired the heck out of me this weekend, and on that note, it’s time to work again. Thank you to all of the friends that shared visits with me at WFC 2014…..it was a great weekend!