Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Donato Wins the Hugo!

A huge congratulations to Donato Giancola
for winning this year's Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist!

Donato is one of the best and most influential artists to have entered the field in the last fifteen years. He attacks each and every assignment to the fullest of his capabilities, often working much harder than the commissioned project requires. Right from the beginning of his career he was pushing his own abilities and pushing the standards of the field along with him. He never shies away from unusual perspectives, multiple characters, or potentially difficult problems to solve. I remember him calling me a few years ago and asking if it was okay to paint one of our covers all in white just to set up a new challenge for himself. He did and its a beautiful painting.

Not only are his artistic abilities unquestionable, he is
always open to share is approach and help others. For as long as I've known him, he has given many helpful demos and slide lectures -- often focusing, not just on his own artwork but, on his methods and people that influence him. And trust me when I say he's been a remarkable influence on the field. I get tons of samples from young artists every day. It is clear that most of the new generation of artists are studying his work and are struggling to make it part of their own language.

I've often said that the best part of my job is getting to work with the people involved. Over the years, Donato has become a good friend. It was a great professional and personal joy for me to hear his name called out as the winner. Normally I take a more neutral stance on these things since I tend to work with many of the nominees. This years list was strong, all of them deserving...but some have won it many times in the past while others are still fairly new to the field. I was thrilled to see John Picacio and Step
han Martiniere on the list of nominees -- I belive that their time will come soon. But for this year, this award for Donato was long overdue and well deserved! Congrats, again, Donato!


Donato's Hugo on my messy desk! I had the
great honor to accept it for him, more on that once I can get down a few words about the convention as a whole.


John Picacio said...

I second that emotion.

Hearty congrats, Donato. I think these awards are only as rich as the individuals who they recognize. Whelan, Eggleton, Maitz, and Burns, amongst others, have brought legendary brilliance, vision and honor to the legacy of this thing. They're not only ambassadors for the art community, but for the entire field of sf/f. Donato's name on this award makes the legacy even richer. I've been thinking his time is "now" for a lot of years, so I'm glad for him that now is finally here.

I hope he savors it to its fullest, before he launches off to that next horizon.

It's a good day for sf/f.

Jeff Doten said...

Hi Irene, I'm new to your blog, discovered it while reading Lou Anders' blog. I knew who were, so here I am.

I posted the news over on the Frazetta board ( one of Arnie's hang outs ) concerning Donato's win, everyone over there certainly knows his work.

Thanks for posting the painting - gorgeous. - Jeff Doten

markm said...

I'm curious to see what the all-white cover looks like...

Anonymous said...

I was totally wowed by Donato's photograph...

...And after it hit me that it was an illustration, the hairs on my neck stood up.

Just breathtaking. I don't have enough "Wow" in me to do his art justice.

Irene Gallo said...

John- I said this on your blog, but I’ll say it again. You’ve made a huge impact on the field in a very short time. You’re Hugo is just around the corner!

Blaze - I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip.

Mark - Here is the white cover.
Oddly, it was commissioned year sago but the book is only just now completed. The piece has appeared in Spectrum, but the book it is the cover for wont be out for about a year. It’s a nice painting...Maybe not my all-time favorite Donato painting, but I just LOVED that he wanted to throw himself a little curve ball.

Dwight - Enjoy! Luckily for us, Donato isn't just great, but, he is also prolific.

Tanja said...

I just read the news on your blog about Donato winning the Hugo - so cool! I was thrilled to be in the audience for the panel he gave at the 2005 Comic-con with Kinuko Craft. Very inspirational, both of them.

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