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Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Now Available!

The best-selling Spectrum series continues with this twenty-first lavishly produced annual. Challenging, controversial, educational, and irreverent, the award-winning Spectrum series reinforces both the importance and prevalence of fantastic art in today’s culture. With exceptional images by extraordinary creators, this elegant full-color collection showcases an international cadre of creators working in every style and medium, both traditional and digital. The best artists from the United States, Europe, China, Australia, South America and beyond have gathered into the only annual devoted exclusively to works of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and the surreal, making Spectrum one of the year’s most anticipated books.

Featured in SPECTRUM 21 are over 300 diverse visionaries, many of them world-renowned, including Paul Bonner, Donato Giancola, James Gurney, Iain McCaig, Shaun Tan, Sam Weber and Allen Williams. With art from books, graphic novels, video games, films, galleries, advertising and the fine arts, Spectrum is both an electrifying art book for fans and an invaluable resource for clients looking for bright new talent. The entire field is discussed in an invaluable, found-nowhere-else Year In Review. Contact information for each artist is included.

Often imitated, never equaled, SPECTRUM 21 continues the freshness and excellence that was established twenty years ago.

Order online at Flesk Publications.

Announcement: Irene Gallo Joins the Spectrum Advisory Board!

Spectrum is pleased to announce Irene Gallo has joined the Spectrum Advisory Board! Irene is one of the original board members under Cathy and Arnie Fenner's directorship and we are elated that she will continue in her capacity of trusted advisor. A graduate of Cooper Union and currently the Creative Director/Art Director of Tor/Forge/Starscape Books as well as Associate Publisher of, Irene is one of the most thoughtful and influential people in the world of fantasy & science fiction. She also has, with Greg Manchess, curated three wildly successful Spectrum Exhibitions at New York's Museum of American Illustration and, with Dan dos Santos, organizes the annual MicroVisions event which benefits to Society of Illustrators' Student Scholarship Fund. We are absolutely overjoyed to be able to count on Irene’s continued guidance as Spectrum sails into its next 20 years. We'll be adding Irene's bio to the Spectrum website in the coming weeks.

The Advisory Board assists and helps the Spectrum Fantastic Art director, John Fleskes, in answering questions relating to growth, staying current in the genres Spectrum represents, identifying areas of neglect that require attention, encouraging discussion within the group to think outside of Spectrum's knowledgeable area when selecting jury members, helping in putting Spectrum in touch with schools or institutions, advising on how Spectrum can better help the community and individual artists, and generally how to improve Spectrum. The Advisory Board selects and votes upon the Grand Master Award recipient each year.

The Spectrum 22 Call for Entries is Now Open!

The Call for Entries for Spectrum 22 is now open! This is an invitation to all professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artists' representatives to submit entries to the 22nd Annual Spectrum International Competition for Fantastic Art. All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible for this show. Fantastic art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: There is no unacceptable way to create art, and there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts. Click here to submit.

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries Poster Art by Victo Ngai!

This year's call for entries poster has been created by Victo Ngai. "I was thrilled when Victo agreed to do the poster this year," explains John Fleskes. "She was my first choice and someone who I feel represents the current state of illustration in a fresh way that helps define a new generation of artists who will be paving new ground for decades to come. Victo's art is aptly titled 'Rule Breaker,' a theme that has always been prevalent with Spectrum." Learn more about Victo Ngai here.

Flesk and Spectrum Exhibiting at APE on October 4-5!

Flesk and Spectrum are coming to the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco, California on October 4th and 5th. Come by our tables #222 and 223 to see what's new and flip through sample copies of the books coming out this Fall: Spectrum 21 and Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method! We have secured our models for Craig Elliot who will doing painting demonstartions on Saturday and Sunday. We hope to see you there!

For full details click here.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4 Exhibitor Booths Now Available!

Exhibitor booths and Artist Alley tables for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4 are on sale now! We have a new art-friendly venue that is both lush & convenient: everything will be familiar but fresh, everything—exhibit space, panel rooms, your hotel room, restaurants, bars, and theater—will be closer. Please note, however: space in 2015 is limited.

For full details click here.

It is our pleasure to announce DAISUKE "DICE" TSUTSUMI as a jury member for Spectrum 22!

Dice Tsutsumi, originally from Japan, is an illustrator, painter and philanthropist. Dice’s paintings have exhibited around the world, and in 2009, his first children’s book "I Can Hear" was published in Japan. A graduate from The School of Visual Arts in New York, Dice has worked as a visual development/color key artist at Blue Sky Studios on "Ice Age," "Robots" and "Horton Hears a Who." His credits at Pixar Animation include lighting Art Director for "Toy Story 3" and "Monsters University." Dice is passionate about charity work and spearheaded both The Totoro Forest Project and Sketchtravel. Most recently, he co-founded Tonko House, a studio focused on creating animated narrative content. You can learn much more about Dice here.

Spectrum: The Exhibit

The Society of Illustrators will be presenting the third installation of an exhibit featuring a selection of work from Spectrum. Curated by Irene Gallo and Greg Manchess, with co-curators Arnie and Cathy Fenner, the exhibit will feature over one hundred pieces of art on display at the Society's headquarters in the Upper East Side. The opening reception will take place on Friday, September 12th at 6:30pm.

For more information visit the Society of Illustrators website here.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4 Dates!

We are excited to officially announce that Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will be returning to Kansas City Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24, 2015. SFAL 4 will take place in the gorgeous ballrooms of the historic Muehlebach Marriott hotel in the heart of downtown KC (just one block away from our former location). The convention hall, artists' alley and programming will all be returning, as well as the fourth annual Spectrum Awards, which will be held at the historic Folly Theater. We'll be announcing special guests, events and sign-up deadlines in the coming weeks. Thank you for being a part of Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, and we'll see you in 2015!

We are proud to announce the next addition to the Spectrum 22 jury: Greg Ruth!

Greg has been published in many comics, books and magazines for over twenty years with clients such as DC comics, Dark Horse and Macmillan. In addition he wrote and illustrated "The Lost Boy" and illustrated President Obama's "Our Enduring Spirit" among many other publications. A long time Spectrum contributor, Greg has been a selected artist for the last eleven years, winning a Gold award for Spectrum 12.

His amazing work can be viewed here here.

It is our pleasure to announce Virginie Ropars as a jury member for Spectrum 22!

Formerly a designer for the video game industry, Virginie is a multifaceted artist of international renown who is as talented in 2D as she is in 3D. Her gorgeous and unique one-of-a-kind Art Dolls reside in many prestigious collections and she has been profiled in numerous magazines, websites, and books throughout Europe, Russia and the US. In addition, she is a Spectrum alumnus who, over the last seven years, has been honored with a Silver Award in Spectrum 17, a Gold Award in Spectrum 19, and a Gold Award in Spectrum 20. You can learn much more about Virginie here.

We are very pleased to announce Annie Stegg as a juror for Spectrum 22!

Annie is a veteran of Spectrum as she has been a selected artist for the last three years in addition to receiving numerous industry awards for her imaginative work. Her clientele include Apple, Android, and Ballistic Publishing as well as others in the gaming industry.

Her paintings and illustrations can be viewed here.

The jury for Spectrum 22 will convene in San Jose, CA in early 2015. Stay tuned for more jury announcements! The Spectrum 22 call for entries opens on October 15th, 2014

We are very excited to announce Justin Gerard as a jury member for Spectrum 22!

Justin is an incredible painter and illustrator whose client list includes DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, and Disney, among many others. He is also no stranger to Spectrum, having been a selected artist for the last seven years and receiving a Silver Award in the unpublished category for Spectrum 19.

His work can be seen here here.

The jury for Spectrum 22 will convene in San Jose, CA in early 2015. Stay tuned for more jury announcements! The Spectrum 22 call for entries opens on October 15th, 2014

Comic-Con 2014: The Return of Spectrum! Booth #5017

After its hiatus, Spectrum Fantastic Art is coming once again to Comic-Con International in San Diego this July 23-27!

What is Spectrum? Our informed crew will be there to answer any and all questions you have. We’ll have free postcards and handouts explaining the submission process, and the call for entries. Learn about the yearly event Spectrum Fantastic Art Live and how to get involved with “The art fair with a sense of wonder.”

Find out about the upcoming Spectrum magazine and pick up a copy of one of the Spectrum annual books; we’ll have copies of many past volumes for sale!

We will be having a Spectrum signing at our booth #5017 on Friday from 2:00 to 3:00pm. Donato Giancola, Daren Bader, Allen Williams and Matthew Levin will all be with us. Bring your Spectrum books along to get signed!

Flesk Panel - Thursday, July 24 at 11:00am, Room 28DE. With a lineup including Frank Cho, Terry Dodson and William Stout talking new projects-and publisher John Fleskes frankly discussing future Flesk titles and the latest on the renowned Spectrum Fantastic Art series-you can expect an entertaining hour! So come hang out with us!

Spectrum 22 Call for Entries poster to be created by Victo Ngai!

Victo was featured in Forbes “30 under 30” this year and has received multiple Ozzie awards and awards from the Society of Illustrators among many others.

Spectrum Director John Fleskes has given Victo no parameters for the execution of the poster, “I wanted to give Victo full freedom to express herself. I’ve left the theme, style, and subject matter entirely up to Victo, knowing that she'll do an amazing job and create a true work of beauty.” So we’re excited to see what the artist creates!

Check her out here and here

The Spectrum 21 Winners Announced

The Spectrum 21 Awards were presented May 10 at a gala ceremony held in Kansas City’s historic Midland Theater. This was the first awards presentation under the guidance of Spectrum’s new Director John Fleskes. Jurors who determined the Gold and Silver Award winners this year were Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan, and Allen Williams. All of the work will be included in Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, which will be published by Flesk Publications and distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West in October.

You can view the honorees in the eight categories and the 2014 Grand Master recipient here.

The Spectrum 21 Artist List

The complete list of artist names selected for inclusion into Spectrum 21 is now available. The five member jury, comprising of Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan and Allen Williams, reviewed over 5000 entries during a daylong event held on March 1, 2014 at the San Jose State University’s Animation/Illustration Program department building. Special thanks to the A/I faculty and students, to those at Helpful Bear Productions and to the Flesk staff who helped to make the day run smoothly.

From everyone here at Spectrum, we would like to thank all of the artists who submitted to Spectrum 21! Please click here to view the list.

Spectrum and Flesk Exhibiting at Emerald City Comic Con

Flesk and Spectrum will be exhibiting at Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle, WA this March 28—30. We have an excellent spot located right at the entrance when walking into the show off of the sky bridge. Our booth number is 1702.

There are a number of artists who have books published by Flesk that are special guests of the show. Brom will be signing at our Flesk / Spectrum booth for the full three days. Frank Cho, who we are working with on his Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method that will be available this fall, can be found at his guest table MM-07. Terry & Rachel Dodson are at table II-01. And Richard & Wendy Pini, who we have two books in development with, can be found at table E-09. We look forward to welcoming you at our respective locations where you can learn more about our future projects with these exceptional artists. Plus, the artists will have original artwork and prints for sale.

We will have our full line of Flesk books on hand, as well as information regarding the Spectrum annual and the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event. Free catalogs and promotional postcards will be available.

Full details about Emerald City Comic Con can be found here.

Announcing the Spectrum 21 Award Nominees

The Spectrum 21 jury has nominated the top five artist works in each of the eight categories for a silver and gold award. The winners will be announced at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in Kansas City, MO on May 10th. Congratulations to all of the artists who have been considered! The full list of artist names and the artwork can be viewed here.

Spectrum 21 Judging Event

The Spectrum 21 jury will convene in San Jose, California on March 1st.

The call for entries submissions will be reviewed and voted upon over the course of the day. Each judge votes independently and anonymously allowing for a fair process. A simple majority of three out of five votes will guarantee a work of art for inclusion in Spectrum 21. Those whose works are selected will be announced by April 1st.

The Gold and Silver award recipients for each category will also be determined with the top five pieces being announced soon after the judging event. The recipients will be revealed at the live awards ceremony held on May 10 at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City. Admission is free to all Spectrum Fantastic Art Live three-day ticket holders and exhibitors, which runs from May 9-11.

Watch the Spectrum Fantastic Art website on March 1st for photographs and video throughout the Spectrum 21 judging event day. Expanded videos, more photographs and news about the day will be shared throughout the following week.

Spectrum 21 Call for Entries Submission Update

We continue to be energetic as we process the Spectrum 21 call for entries submissions! We expect to be done in one more week. Given the large variety of images available for jury consideration it’s apparent that the 21st annual book will be an incredible one. As always, we do not pre-screen any art. We make sure every piece submitted gets an equal opportunity to be viewed. The judging will be held in San Jose, California on the first Saturday of March. Helpful Bear Productions will be joining us to post pictures and videos on our Spectrum website throughout that day! We would like to take another opportunity to thank everyone who submitted!

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Exhibitor Registration

We wanted to remind everyone that this Friday, January 31, the cost for exhibiting space at Spectrum Live will rise. 10'x10' premium booths are current $350 and 6' Artist Alley tables are $100; prices increase to $450 and $200 respectively at midnight 1/31/14.

This is the opportunity to reach both well-known collectors and new patrons with your work at a friendly and focused event where the artists are the stars. Spectrum Live continues to grow in popularity and we anticipate yet another substantial increase in attendance: We are promoting the show regionally and nationally and will be advertising on television, the radio, and in print. With an area population of 2.5 million and another 50 million within a day’s drive, we intend to make sure everyone in the region knows exhibitors are in Kansas City. The convention center, hotels, theaters, clubs, and restaurants are all within short walks of each other and we’ve negotiated special room rates at the Aladdin and Marriott. Visitors have discovered that Kansas City is both welcoming and affordable: Spectrum is a show that won’t break the bank to exhibit at or attend. If you’re interested, please click here to book your space.

Thanks again to everyone who submitted to Spectrum 21!

Due to the record number of Spectrum 21 submissions I expect it to take us at least two weeks to fully review all of the submissions. I’ll be posting updates here all this week to keep you informed on the latest details. You can also join our Spectrum email newsletter and I’ll bring you up to speed every few weeks.

Spectrum 21 submissions are now closed!

John Flesk and the Spectrum crew would like to express their utmost gratitude to everyone who sent in their call for entries submissions to Spectrum 21. We are thrilled to have your support and goodwill. This has been an exciting experience so far. We are enjoying preparing your entries for the judges to review in early March. We would like to assure you that we do not pre-screen any art. The integrity of Spectrum and making sure each of your submissions has an equal opportunity to be viewed by the jury is important to us. Those who are selected for inclusion into Spectrum 21 will be notified in April 2014. Good luck, everyone! Please visit this news page each week to learn more about the process.

Today is the last day to submit to Spectrum 21!

Print entries should be postmarked today and digital entries need to be made on-line by midnight tonight. Good luck everyone! We are here all day to answer your questions. Please see the contact details at the bottom of this home page.

Call for Entries Submissions to Spectrum 21 Ends Tomorrow!

Tip #5: How do I know that my Spectrum 21 submission(s) arrived?

-For print submissions sent through the mail you can check your tracking or delivery confirmation to make sure it arrived. Additionally, once your credit card has been charged or your check has been deposited you can trust that we received everything and that you are all set.

-For online submissions you will receive an email receipt from Flesk once your payment has been made. (Think of this as a delivery confirmation.) You will receive a follow up email that changes your payment status to “Entry Accepted” once we review your entry to make sure everything matches up. This may take a week or two depending on how many entries we end up receiving.

-Note that we review and check every submission carefully to make sure your art and submission forms were received properly. If we have any questions or notice anything missing we will send you an email for additional information. We want you all to have the best opportunity possible for presenting your art to the judges!

The Final Countdown for the Spectrum 21 Call for Entries Submissions

Saturday the 25th is the last day to submit your artwork before the Spectrum 21 call for entries comes to a close. All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the surreal are eligible for this competition. Any published or unpublished art that has been finished or first published between January 1, 2013, and January 1, 2014 is eligible.

You can fill out your forms, submit your art and make payment online in three easy steps. We still welcome hard copy prints sent in through the mail, too. If you are mailing in your entry, as long as the postmarked date is January 25th you can still mail it that day. There’s no need to use costly expedited or overnight mail services. Online submissions are accepted until midnight that day!

There are just a few days left to submit your Call for Entries Submissions to Spectrum 21

Tip #4: The deadline is this Saturday the 25th, but what time on the 25th!? If you are submitting prints, be sure to note that the postal centers close early on Saturday.

For online submissions, we will keep the website open until a few hours past midnight that Saturday evening PST time. There are no plans to extend the deadline.

The countdown continues to this Saturday’s deadline to submit your call for entries to Spectrum 21

Tip #3: Have a quick question? The Flesk team is available to answer your Spectrum submission questions. We’re starting early and working late each day. Our phone hours have increased to 9am to 9pm until this Saturday. Shoot us an email or pick up the phone and call. If we are on another line or at the Post Office, leave a message with your phone number and name and we'll get back to you. If you email, please give us your full name. Visit the Spectrum website for the contact information at the bottom of the home page.

The countdown continues to this Saturday’s deadline to submit your call for entries to Spectrum 21

Tip #2: For those submitting print entries, give yourself the best chance to be seen by the judges. We recommend an 8.5 x 11" print as the smallest size. Avoid printing from low resolution files that look murky, blurry or pixelated. For those submitting online, take advantage of the file sizes we accept and let your art fill the computer screen. The judges will view the digital submissions on a 24" screen on their own independent workstation.

The Spectrum 21 call for entries deadline is next Saturday, January 25th

Both print and online submissions details can be found on the Entry Info link.

Tip #1: If you are mailing in your entry, as long as the postmarked date is the 25th you can still mail it that day. There's no need to use costly expedited or overnight mail services.

Spectrum 20 Correction

In Spectrum 20 (page 204) this art for Wizards of the Coast is incorrectly credited to Karla Ortiz. The work is actually by and should have been credited to Nils Hamm. Our apologies to both Nils and Karla for the error: it will be corrected in any future editions of Spectrum 20 and will be noted in Spectrum 21.

– Arnie & Cathy Fenner

Alice Carter added to Spectrum Advisory Board

Spectrum is pleased to announce Alice “Bunny” Carter as the newest member of the Spectrum Advisory Board! Alice has been an ardent supporter of John Flesk and Flesk Publications since 2002. She has also playing an active and important role in the fantasy, illustration, gaming and educational fields. We are overjoyed to have Alice’s continued guidance and to have her support with Spectrum. You can read Bunny’s full biography, along with the rest of the members, at the Advisory Board section here.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Exhibitor Applications Now Being Accepted

The early bird exhibitor signup price good until January 31. Be a part of Spectrum Fantastic Art Live by exhibiting at this event that celebrates the fantastic art and its creators. SFAL is a fantasy-focused art fair, in which creators can display, share and sell originals, prints, sculpture, crafts, toys and more to an audience of fans and peers. There is something for everything, including presentations, panels, displays, portfolio reviews, workshops, educational opportunities and the Spectrum 21 awards ceremony. In short, our goal is to honor the artists and put on a fantasy art convention that anyone is welcome to attend and enjoy. The show runs from May 9–11, 2014 at the Kansas City Convention Center, Grand Ballroom of Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow this link for more information and to register online. Download the exhibitor Registration form here.

Spectrum 21 Call for Entries Now Open!

The Spectrum 21 Call for Entries is now open! Click on the ‘Entry Info’ link to view submissions details, read about the Spectrum 21 jury, look over the FAQ page, download a PDF of the submission poster or to submit online. Posters have been mailed to those on our mailing list and should start to arrive by the week of October 21. Submissions will be accepted until January 25, 2014.

The Alternate Press Expo in San Francisco is this weekend

We will have three tables representing Spectrum Fantastic Art and Flesk Publications in our usual spot near the front entrance. Our space number is 212-214. We will be joined by Spectrum award winner, Craig Elliott, Spectrum 21 jury member, Shelly Wan and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 special guest, Terryl Whitlatch. Terryl will be doing drawing demonstrations and Craig will be doing oil painting demonstrations on both days. We will have a preview copy of Spectrum 20 with us and we will be accepting submission for the Spectrum 21 Call for Entries. We are pleased to have Helpful Bear Productions with us and filming our adventures to share online after the show. Visit John Flesk’s Blog blog for full details. APE show website

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Dates Announced

The third Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event is on for May 9-11, 2014, in Kansas City, MO. The special guest list, exhibitor details, ticket sales and hotel information will be shared in the coming months. For now, the best place to keep up to date is at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Facebook page.

Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art #20 Arriving In November

Challenging, controversial, educational, and irreverent, the award-winning Spectrum series reinforces both the importance and prevalence of fantastic art in today's culture. With exceptional images by extraordinary creators, this elegant full-color collection showcases an international cadre of creators working in every style and medium, both traditional and digital.