There is lot of talk about how few women artists are working in science fiction and fantasy publishing and, it’s true, the numbers are really pretty dismal. So the fact that Karla Ortiz popped back onto my radar (thank you, Facebook!) after a long hiatus was extra sweet. Not only had the promising student I met years ago become a completely kick-ass painter (which doesn’t always happen to promising students, although tends to happen to hard-working ones) but here was a woman artist thriving in the gaming, publishing, and concept art markets, and deservedly so. Her subdued palette, Sargent-esque brushstrokes, and flawless techincal ability are giving high fantasy a very sophisticated and upscale look. This year we saw Julie Dillon hit the Hugo ballot. She didn’t win but her work holds it’s own against anyone in that race. Here’s hoping that the upcoming year is full of more work from Julie, Karla, and others like them.
Above, “Teysa, Envoy of Ghost,” Karla’s first painting for Magic: The Gathering.
Book cover for Philippa Ballantine’s The Order of the Deacons, Science Fiction Book Club.
For Tor.com’s own short story, “Homecoming” by Susan Palwick.
“Mending touch” from Magic: The Gathering’s Dragon’s Maze set.
“Mensajeros,” personal project.
Recently released “Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver” from Magic: The Gathering’s Planeswalker set.