Hugo Recommendation Season: Galen Dara

Edit: Since I posted this, Lightspeed has announced that, as of 2015, they no longer qualify as a semi-prozine, which means Dara’s 2015 art for Lightspeed is considered professional in Hugo terms, namely her illustrations for And You Shall Know Her By The Trail of Dead, He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth, and Time Bomb Time.

Galen Dara is another artist I’m recommending for the Professional Artist category. Most of her work this year seems to have been in semiprozines like Lightspeed or Fireside (and semiprozine art can be considered only for the Fan Artist category), but she’s also done work that qualifies her for the Professional Artist category.

This year her work has appeared on the cover of Kevin Hearne’s Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles and in the short-story collection Three Slices, including the illustrations for Chuck Wendig’s story “Swallow” and Delilah Dawson’s “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys,” both shown below.

Swallow

Not my Circus, Not My Monkeys
I think Dara really excels at using impressionistic brushstrokes and bold color contrasts to produce visceral, dynamic images. Dara won Best Fan Artist in 2013 and was nominated for Best Professional Artist in 2014. But she hasn’t yet taken home a Hugo in the latter, and I really think she merits another shot for this year’s work.

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