Spectrum 24 Call for Entries Deadline Jan. 25th! Plus Submission Tips!

Hi, all,

With the Call for Entries for Spectrum 24 ending on Wednesday, January 25th I have written a series of submission tips. You can submit by mail or online! All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible. There is no unacceptable way to create art. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury, including Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee Brom, Mark Newman, Victo Ngai and John Picacio, will be printed in full color in the Spectrum 24 annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts.

(Spectrum submission link)

Spectrum 24 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #1

Is there an advantage to entering my art online or by mail as a print?

The important thing to know right off the bat is that one option does not give you an edge over the other option. Both digital and print submissions get equal attention from the judges and you have an equal chance of getting selected regardless of how you enter.

For Spectrum 21-23, eighty-five percent of the submissions came in online. Out of curiosity I paid attention to the percentage of art that was selected in both the digital and print areas to see if one had an advantage over the other. They were both right in line with one another. One method did not visibly outweigh the other.

The jury views the digitally submitted art on individual 24″ screens (not projected to the group) and the prints are presented on tables. Each jury member votes anonymously and at his or her own pace. Discussion and grouping is discouraged (with the exception of the awards selections) to keep the selection process fair and truthful. To get into Spectrum you need three or more of the five jury member’s votes. It’s not easy to get in. Historically around eight to nine percent of the submissions make it into the yearly annual.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #2

Give Yourself the Best Chance to be Seen!

Take advantage of the artwork submission guidelines by submitting good quality prints or digital files. We can’t stress this enough. We want everyone to have the best chance to be seen by the jury.

If you are submitting online take advantage of our maximum size at 2000 pixels wide and/or 2000 pixels tall. (JPG file no larger than 10MB.) Each jury member uses his or her own large screen when viewing the artwork. Make sure your art fills the screen so they can take a good look at it! Don’t send in a small postcard sized thumbnail. Take the time to prepare a proper presentation.

For submissions by mail, I recommend sending in a print out of your art no smaller than 8.5″ x 11″ and no larger than 18″ x 24″. I think the best sizes range from 9″ x 12″ to 11″ x 17″. Yes, some people send in massive poster sized images. It’s just too big. Just like art displayed too small can make it hard for the jury members to view, art too big doesn’t necessarily mean you have a better chance. The print submissions are placed out on tables for the jury members to view and vote for individually.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #3

Dimensional Category Allows Three Views!

Anyone submitting to the Dimensional category is allowed to submit up to three views. If you are submitting a sculpture we recommend a full shot from the front, a side view and a back view or detail. We want the jury to see these multiple angles of your work so that they have adequate visual information to base their decisions. This is especially important if your art is considered for an award.

Another tip for this category is our recommendation to get a clear, in focus, quality photographs. Don’t take simple, quick snaps with your phone. If you do not have a good camera then take the extra time to find someone who does, light your piece well and make sure the details are visible in the pictures that you send us.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #4

Does my artwork have to be fantasy related to submit to Spectrum?

Yes: Spectrum’s focus is on “Fantastic Art.” HOWEVER keep in mind that focus covers a sweeping range of possibilities. Fantastic Art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: Fantastic Art chronicles places and peoples and creatures and events that aren’t or never were. Just as there is no unacceptable way to create art, there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Spectrum doesn’t define Fantastic Art: what YOU do and what the JURY selects does. We do not pre-screen submissions and we do not arbitrarily restrict the type of art that is submitted. We make sure every submission is viewed with fairness and an open mind by the jury. We embrace all art works in all mediums embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror, the surreal, fine art and more. Each type (and types that we may not have even thought of) is eligible for this show.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #5

How do I know that my submission arrived?

We take great care in reviewing the details of every submission that arrives. For online entries we check your online form and artwork to make sure your name, the art title and all other relevant details match. Once this is done we send an official email confirmation to notify you that your submission has been accepted. For submissions that arrive as prints in the mail, once you see that your payment has been processed you can rest assured that we have processed your submissions.

If we have any questions or if any art is missing we will contact you by email or by phone. We take great care in making sure all submissions look their best for the jury.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #6

What is the #1 mistake people make when submitting online?

Not labeling their art when posting it. A small percentage of people do not include their name or art title when uploading their art. In this case we send an email asking for clarification or new art files properly labeled. Please label your art by first and last name followed by the art title!

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #7

Can I submit fan art relating to Star Wars, Marvel or DC characters or my favorite super-hero or pop culture character?

Not unless you have the express permission from the copyright or license holder. We respect the artists copyrights and the companies copyrights. You can not submit works of art that infringe on the rights of someone else.

Spectrum 23 Call for Entries Submissions Tip #8

Don’t wait until the last minute!

Each year we get people contacting us the day after the deadline who had some sort of an issue or question that prevented them from submitting late in the night in the final hours. Don’t wait until the last day to submit, just to be safe, and to have an extra day built in if you have an issue.

We do not accept submissions after the deadline. There are no exceptions. The submissions deadline is Wednesday, January 25th at 11:59 PM PST.

Click here for more details and to submit.

Enjoy,

John

Flesk Publications
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Text and photos copyright © 2017 John Fleskes. Videos © 2017 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2017 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Flesk Gratitude Video

Hi, everyone,

Stepping into the New Year is always the perfect time to sit back and reflect on some of the people who I am grateful for. I could never be where I am today without the trust and help of others.

In this video I highlight a number of the people who I work with who have made a positive impact on me. I’m looking forward to doing more for others and having a great 2017. Thanks everyone!

I’m especially grateful to my office manager Kathy Chu for making me do these videos. She knows how much I dislike being in front of the camera, yet she knows just how to get me to sit down and get me talking.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini Heading to the Printer!

Hi, everyone,

Today is our last day to review Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini. Kathy and I are reading over the text sections, checking the captions and looking over the design one last time before I bundle it up for the printer. I’ve also sent Richard Pini a PDF of the book so that he can also give it one final review. We’re almost there!

The book is scheduled to arrive with us in April. The first thing we will do once they are here is to ship them out to our Kickstarter supporters.

Its arrival will coincide with our Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in Kansas City, MO (running on April 21-23) where Richard and Wendy will be featured guests of the show. You better believe that we will have copies there for you to get signed!

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

New Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Website!

Hi, all,

We’ve made a new Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event website. We will be providing additional updates and details about the show weekly.

The Booths are now sold out. After talking with Arnie and Cathy Fenner we decided to keep the Artist Tables at the low price of only $250.00. We still have some of those left. It’s an inexpensive way to get you and your art in front of a core audience who supports the fantastic art community.

We have brought our exhibitor list up to date on the new Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website.

Thanks to all of those who have signed up to take part in the show. There would be no event without these exhibitors and we want them to know how much we appreciate all of them!

Here’s a video showing some of those who exhibited at SFAL4.

Here’s the link to see who will be there.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

A Holiday Message from John Fleskes, Cathy & Arnie Fenner

fenner-fleskA Holiday Message from John Fleskes, Cathy & Arnie Fenner. The picture is of Greg Preston taking our group picture at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.

We wanted to take the briefest of moments today to express our sincere appreciation to all that have supported Spectrum, Flesk Publications, and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live over the past twelve months. Even as there were great things—highlights—in 2016, there were just as certainly heartbreaks as well; we know it was a challenging year for everyone for any number of reasons. The prolonged and negative election season—and the results—caused anger and division, creating a toxic atmosphere that has affected everything: the arts and artists weren’t immune. In talking with creators since the last SFAL we know that the pessimism and uncertainty translated into sporadic work for some and softer sales for many, whether via the internet, through gallery shows, or at conventions.

In the search for understanding it can be painfully easy to point fingers and blame others who don’t share the same opinions or beliefs, easy to splinter off into like-minded groups to jeer or despair, easy to get locked into a cycle of acrimony, resentment, or prejudice.

The only sure way to break that cycle is to push forward. To channel our feelings into who and what we are: artists. We have the ability to express ourselves through our creativity when others around us feel frustrated and mute—and our positive progress forward can inspire others. The arts and artists help to give a voice to the voiceless. As Alex Gray once said, “When artists give form to revelation, their art can advance, deepen and potentially transform the consciousness of their community.”

With Spectrum we’ve always believed that there is strength in our unity, strength in our diversity, strength in our inclusiveness, strength in our community: our respect for each other and willingness to work for a common good allows us to stand when sometimes standing is hardest. Our strength as a community, as a family, is tempered by our compassion, not just for those with whom we share tastes, outlooks, and opinions, but for all. Together we can make things better for ourselves and for those around us in 2017 and beyond.

After the holidays we’ll start to push SFAL and the Spectrum 24 competition and the various titles forthcoming from Flesk; we have some exciting projects in the works that we’ll be announcing soon (and a number of you will be involved, whether you know it yet or not). But until then we simply wanted to say thanks to everyone for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful and vibrant community. Together, the best is yet to come.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 23 Book Preview Video

Hi, all,

Kathy and I made a new video that focuses on Spectrum 23: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. We flip through the new book while I included commentary highlighting some of the behind the scenes details. Spectrum 23 jury members, Dave Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher and Terryl Whitlatch offer additional insight into what makes Spectrum the premiere fantasy art collection.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz Deluxe Edition in Stock!

sas-c2-shippedHi, everyone,

After what has been the longest period of time between the delivery of a book to the printer to its arrival here at our warehouse (4.5 months! Typically it takes 2.5-3 months max) we finally received the Storms at Sea deluxe edition last Tuesday. Kathy and I worked 12 hour days to pack every Storms at Sea and SAS/Carbon 2 deluxe tier pledge and we mailed them all out yesterday. The domestic packages will start arriving soon. The international orders take 2-4 weeks depending on which country you reside in.

Thank you again for your patience. While the long process of manufacturing this Storms of Sea book is something I want to apologize for, the finish product is exactly what we wanted. It’s unlike anything we have published before and contains all of the bells and whistles that we wanted. I pushed the printer beyond their limits, while I insisted on a certain quality, as I raised them to meet my high expectations.

There are a few people who we are waiting for addresses to mail their pledges. I’ll get those mailed just as soon as they respond to the survey.

Our office is closed all next week for a well-deserved yearly Christmas break. I’ll be checking emails and popping in for a few hours each day to check your comments and to assist as needed. We’ll be back to full time here in the office on the 26th.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Stoke Out Fundraiser a Success!

Hi all,

I want to thank everyone who placed a bid on one of our Flesk fundraiser auctions on Ebay over this last week that benefits Stoke Out Santa Cruz!

After the Ebay fees and the shipping costs to mail the books to the winners, there is over $4,000.00 going directly toward shoes, sweatshirts and food for kids in need in the Santa Cruz area. (I’ll know the exact number next week once I run the final report.) This is amazing!

I also want to thank the generosity of the artists who provided books with original drawings to go toward this cause. Thank you Gary Gianni, Mark Schultz, William Stout, Sho Murase, Jeffrey Alan Love, Jim Silke, Bill Carman, Frank Cho, Gerald Brom, Daren Bader, Terryl Whitlatch, Terry Dodson and Craig Elliott! You have my eternal gratitude.

I want to especially thank Danny Bennett, Jackie Gollbach and Joe Gruber at Santa Cruz Hope for organizing and running this charity event. These three and everyone volunteering at SCH are terrific people! I’m humbled to have the opportunity to contribute in a small role with their mission of doing for others.

Tomorrow is the big day! This is when the items will be given to the kids and families. I’ll be at the church all day volunteering and taking pictures. I’m like a kid the night before Christmas right now.

Thank you everyone!

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

stoke-out

Spectrum 24 Call for Entries is Open!

spectrum-24-call-for-entries-posterHi, everyone,

Reminder time! The Spectrum 24 Call for Entries is open! We’ve already received many beautiful works. The entry deadline is January 25th. We look forward to presenting these works to the all-star jury at the end of February. Thanks to everyone who has submitted so far!

Entry details:

Thanks,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz Deluxe Edition Shipping Update

Hi everyone,

Finally! The Storms at Sea deluxe edition books by Mark Schultz have been released by customs. We were supposed to have these books a month ago. I admit that it is very frustrating when our books are just sitting at a dock waiting for a random mandatory screening and there is nothing any of us can do about it. The shipper is picking them up today to get them to us.

boxes-sasKathy, ever the pre-planner and super efficient, has all of the boxes and packing material prepared and ready for their arrival. We are going to crank these out the door around the clock just as soon as they arrive! I want these in your hands before Christmas time.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

John Fleskes Weekly Update 3! Spectrum 23 Signing and Flesk Charity Auctions!

My third weekly office update where I answer questions from our Flesk office manager Kathy Chu.

This week I share the news about the Spectrum 23 book signing event at Gallery Nucleus this Saturday and cover the Flesk charity auction on Ebay to benefit the Santa Cruz Hope Stoke Out.

Gallery Nucleus website event page:
http://www.gallerynucleus.com/event/583

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Flesk Fundraiser for Stoke Out Santa Cruz is Live!

Hi, everyone,

Flesk Fundraiser for Stoke Out Santa Cruz is now live!

I have launched a series of thirteen auctions that are running on Ebay that will benefit an amazing local youth center here in Santa Cruz, California. This is going to provide shoes, sweatshirts, food, and hope to local kids in need. The amazing people at #Santacruzhope are making this happen and I’m proud to play a small part in the fundraising efforts.

The Ebay link to see all of the auctions is:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/m.html?item=132014690230&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_ssn=fleskpublications&_sop=10

These Flesk books include original drawings by a number of the artists who we work with.

1. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms hardcover book with an original drawing inside by Gary Gianni and signed by George R.R. Martin!

gianni-auction-a gianni-auction-c2. Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love with an original painting in the book. Plus, two additional paintings by Jeff.

love-auction3. Jungle Girls by Jim Silke with an original drawing included.

silke-auction4. Imagery From the Bird’s Home by Bill Carman with and original drawing on the title page by Bill.

carman-auction5. A copy of Spectrum 23 with an original drawing done in silver ink by Sho Murase, plus a series of 6 prints.

sho-auction-26. Xenozoic hardcover deluxe signed limited edition with an original drawing on the title page by Mark Schultz.

schultz-auction7. The Art of Brom deluxe edition with an original drawing on the title page.

brom-auction8. Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Studio Edition with a full page original drawing of his Jungle Queen comic character.

cho-auction9. A copy of the deluxe edition of Tribes of Kai with this incredible painting on the front endpapers of the book by Daren Bader! This is a sweet looking original! Also included is a signed copy of Pridelands and two signed prints.

bader-auction10. A copy of his Terry Dodson’s Bombshell’s Sketchbook Collection Two hardcover with this sketch on the front endpaper of the book!

dodson-auction11. A copy of Spectrum 23 with an original drawing by Terryl Whitlatch.

terryl-s23-auction112. A copy of Spectrum Fantastic Art Live with a drawing by Terryl Whitlatch.

terryl-sfal2-auction313. A copy of The Art of Craig Elliott with an original drawing by Craig Elliott.

celliott-flesk-drawing-sc2sm-34Joyce Chin, William Stout and are also doing drawings in books.

I’ll share the remaining pictures of the books as they arrive!

This fundraiser is very personal to me. Life was challenging growing up and I can relate to these kids. It’s my goal to raise as much funds as possible to get these kids Stoked!

Check out the flier to see how you can donate directly–even $1 helps! Or buy one of these sweet Santa Cruz sweatshirts. For every sweatshirt that you buy for only $20, a free one is given to a kid. Double bonus! That’s a heck of a deal!

stoke-outMore details here: http://www.santacruzhope.com/stoke-out/

Thanks everyone!

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

John Fleskes Weekly Video Update 2

Hi, everyone,

Week 2 of the Flesk office manager Kathy Chu sitting me down and asking me some questions and to share what we are up to in the office this week.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Video © 2016 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 23 Book Signing at Gallery Nucleus on December 3rd! Twenty-Four Artists!

s23-nucleus-signingHi, everyone,

We will be having a Spectrum 23 book signing at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA on December 3rd! So far we have 24 confirmed artists who will be appearing to sign your book!

We hope you can come join us to celebrate Spectrum’s 23rd year of releasing the premier showcase for imaginative fantastic arts in the book, comic, film, horror, illustration, sculpture, conceptual art, fine art and videogame genres. Meet the exceptional and talented artists whose works are featured in the book. Event runs from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.

Gallery Nucleus website event page:
http://www.gallerynucleus.com/event/583

Spectrum 23 Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1803853469890593/

Confirmed artists to date include: Chris Ayers, Julia Blattman, Tuna Bora, J.A.W. Cooper, Alina Chau, Waiji Choo, Craig Elliott, Geirrod Van Dyke, Chuck Grieb, Brian Haberlin, Fred Jordan, Erik Ly, Victor Maury, Iain McCaig, Bruce Mitchell, Brynn Metheny, Richard and Wendy Pini, Esben Rasmussen, Tooba Rezaei, Joseph Sanabria, William Stout, Shane Stover and Vin Teng.

See you there!

Enjoy,

 

Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini Book Update!

line-of-beauty-art-of-wendy-pini-cover-webHi, everyone,

I’d like to share the latest news regarding Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini.

Two major stages have been completed since our last update, which takes us into a third big stage that will start very shortly. Let me share what each stage consisted of.

In late October Richard posted the following in a Facebook post that perfectly sums up the first stage.

“Today I have turned in to Flesk Publications the first ‘final’ text and book map files for Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini. This means the book is essentially written and roughly designed–and now begins the process of fine tuning nearly 43,000 words and 500 art images. (Which means, by many definitions, this qualifies as a novel-length work. Egad!) Now, the publisher, the designer (who provided the wonderful look of both Art of Elfquest and Art of the Story), and I shuttle this baby back and forth until we are all as satisfied as we can be. (I’m lucky; I have a head start in that department.) There has never been a ‘The Art of…’ book like this, not even its two predecessors.”

That’s right! 43,000 words and 500 art images! Richard selected the art, wrote the text and roughly placed them throughout the 304 page book. It was a staggering amount of work. Much respect goes out to Richard for pulling this off. Truly, I’m in awe at what he accomplished.

This brings us to the next stage which is a month long process where the designer, Arpad, fine tunes the art and text into a finished book. While this is a short summary of what he is doing, the work involved is intense. He’s taking the engineers blue prints, gathering the materials provided and constructing the actual building.

In the next week or so we will begin the next stage. Once Arpad turns the designed book in to us, Richard and I will begin our inspections. There may need to be a tweak here, a slight adjustment here, a shift over there, and lots and lots of reviews to look for typos or for any sort of little thing that needs to be addressed.

After this, I will review every piece of art and make sure it is color corrected and prepped properly for the printer, while packaging the book to turn in. These last two bits are done by me alone. I have done these last two stages for every book that I have every published. It’s my final stamp of approval and I take no shortcuts.

This brings you up to speed. I’ll fill you in more next month!

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Mark Schultz’s Storms at Sea Deluxe Edition Shipping Update!

Hi, everyone,

I have a shipping update for you. We were originally told that the Storms at Sea deluxe edition books would arrive with us here in the Flesk warehouse on Monday, November 21st. I’ve been informed that the books have arrived at the port in Southern California; however they have been selected for a random customs inspection. Between this two day delay and the Thanksgiving holiday coming up the books will not be delivered to us until the following week. Rest assured that we are ready to pack and ship all of the books the moment they arrive with us. I’ll send you another update once we have them here. Thank you again for your patience.

ms-boardsms-boards2If you are not on Facebook I’d like to share what was posted on Mark’s official Facebook page recently. “Mark just received his advance copy of the Storms at Sea Deluxe Sea Foam edition, and it’s everything he’d hoped. It feels “classic”–textures galore, beautiful detailing, and big! Here’s a detail of the endpapers, and the slipcase against the ratty old drawing board that was scanned for the slipcase design. Meta, baby.”

As you can see in these pictures the texture and tonal patterns on the slipcase were scanned direct from Mark’s drawing board.

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving!

Enjoy,

John

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Originals in Flesk Books for Stoke Out Fundraiser Auction!

Hi, everyone,

Flesk Fundraiser for Stoke Out Santa Cruz Update!

Just after Thanksgiving I will be going live with a series of auctions (run on Ebay) that will benefit an amazing local youth center here in Santa Cruz, California. This is going to provide shoes, sweatshirts, food, and hope to local kids in need. The amazing people at #Santacruzhope are making this happen and I’m proud to play a small part in the fundraising efforts.

I’ll be making available 13 books with originals drawings included by some of the top names in the field.

To date I have the following items to auction.

1. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms hardcover book with an original drawing inside by Gary Gianni and signed by George R.R. Martin!

gianni-auction-a  gianni-auction-c2. Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love with an original painting in the book. Plus, two additional paintings by Jeff.

love-auction3. Jungle Girls by Jim Silke with an original drawing included.

silke-auction4. Imagery From the Bird’s Home by Bill Carman with and original drawing on the title page by Bill.

carman-auction5. A copy of Spectrum 23 with an original drawing done in silver ink by Sho Murase, plus a series of 6 prints.

sho-auction-26. Xenozoic hardcover deluxe signed limited edition with an original drawing on the title page by Mark Schultz.

schultz-auction7. The Art of Brom deluxe edition with an original drawing on the title page.

brom-auction8. Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Studio Edition with a full page original drawing of his Jungle Queen comic character.

cho-auction9. A copy of the deluxe edition of Tribes of Kai with this incredible painting on the front endpapers of the book by Daren Bader! This is a sweet looking original! Also included is a signed copy of Pridelands and two signed prints.

bader-auction10. A copy of his Terry Dodson’s Bombshell’s Sketchbook Collection Two hardcover with this sketch on the front endpaper of the book!

dodson-auctionJoyce Chin, Craig Elliott, William Stout, Terryl Whitlatch and are also doing drawings in books.

I’ll share the remaining pictures of the books as they arrive!

This fundraiser is very personal to me. Life was challenging growing up and I can relate to these kids. It’s my goal to raise as much funds as possible to get these kids Stoked!

Check out the flier to see how you can donate directly–even $1 helps! Or buy one of these sweet Santa Cruz sweatshirts. For every sweatshirt that you buy for only $20, a free one is given to a kid. Double bonus! That’s a heck of a deal!

stoke-outMore details here: http://www.santacruzhope.com/stoke-out/

Thanks everyone!

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Flesk Student Book Sale at the Academy of Art University!

aau-flesk-book-sale-nov-2016Hi, everyone,

A reminder to our friends at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. We’ll be at the School of Illustration on Thursday, December 17th from 3:00 to 6:00 PM with a fresh batch of books at special student prices.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all again!

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Gary Gianni and Flesk Teaming up for Three New Books

img_1704

Picture, from left to right: Mark Schultz, Gary Gianni and John Fleskes.

Hi, everyone,

I got caught up with Gary Gianni over the phone today. We went over his three books that will be coming out from Flesk between 2017 and 2018. (The titles, subject matter and street dates will all be revealed in due time.)

We’ve been working on one of Gary’s projects on and off for the last three years. Another we have been talking about for a couple of years and the third book idea presented itself when we saw each other at Comic-Con in San Diego last July.
It’s not uncommon for books to take years to go from an initial discussion, to brainstorming ideas about how the book can work, to hitting the “go” button to produce and make the book to getting it out and into your hands.

I don’t know how other publishers work. I started the business with absolutely zero experience in this field. But here at Flesk, it takes time to make books. We get it nearly done, and then announce a release date.

I’m always looking for new ways to make books. The concept, layout and design are all things that I have to reimagine once in a while. I dislike the idea of a house style, templates or formulas. I need a fresh spark of newly tapped creativity to get me motivated.
The ideas we have for Gary’s books are something I’m very excited about. There’s got to be about 800 pages of book pages to sort out!

I think we did something exceptional with Wendy Pini‘s Art of Elfquest and Elfquest: The Art of the Story books. The execution behind these is unique and something I’m very proud to have been a part of. The new Flesk books will pick right up from Wendy’s books as we see just how far we can push the art of bookmaking.

I’m not done yet. As long as we’ve got your support, we’ll keep being different.

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

John Fleskes Weekly Video Update 1

My office manager Kathy Chu sat me down and asked me some questions related to how I run this business and to share what we are up to in the office this week.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Video © 2016 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz and Thomas Yeates Artist Jam

In October of 2013 I traveled to Breda, The Netherlands to exhibit at the Strip Festival event. We had a thirty foot long Flesk booth where Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke and Thomas Yeates signed during the 26th and 27th weekend dates.

Prior to my arrival in the country I came up with an idea for four of the artists to work on a comic strip collaboration together. It started with a large illustration board that contained four empty panels. Each artist was responsible for drawing the contents to one of them. The idea was that no one knew where the story would start, or how it would end. The story and script was not pre-planned in advance. Instead, a narrative would form organically through the process. Petar Meseldzija went first, followed by Mark Schultz, then Thomas Yeates, with the finish by Terry Dodson. I think Terry had the toughest job by coming up with an ending, however Rachel Dodson stepped in to offer the perfect idea to give the strip a proper bookend.

This joint-work was completed during our group travels that ran from October 24-27. It was worked on in a restaurant by Petar, a hotel lobby by Thomas and at the Strip Festival show itself by Schultz and Dodson. All along I filmed the process. Now, after three years of sitting in our Flesk film vaults, Kathy Chu and I dug the material out and made this video.

The photo at left shows the finished piece, while the photo at right shows Mark Schultz holding up the original.

The photo at left shows the finished piece, while the photo at right shows Mark Schultz holding up the original.

We hope you will enjoy it.

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

 

Interview with Spectrum Director John Fleskes!

Spectrum-23-cover-webHi, everyone,

Last May I was sent a series of questions by Julie Sagar at ImagineFX for use in an upcoming August 2016 article about Spectrum and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. As is usual, due to space considerations, they were able to extract a few key sentences for use in the article. Here is the full uncut interview that covers my passion for all things relating to Spectrum.

Thanks to Julie and to ImagineFX for the coverage!

ImagineFX: On the Spectrum site, it says “Spectrum will continue to evolve and improve with each volume.” How, or in what way has Spectrum 23 evolved from Spectrum 22? What can readers look forward to (aside from the stunning showcase of the year’s best work to which we’ve become accustomed) with this annual?

John Fleskes: One notable change that I made when I took over with Spectrum 21 is the inclusion of the artist profiles for the award recipients. This was important to me for two reasons: The first is to highlight the artists behind these amazing works; the second is to highlight the art community which is the beating heart of Spectrum.

Additional improvements for Spectrum 23 include new chapter opener sections and a revamped design. As the artists grow to reflect today’s atmosphere, Spectrum grows right along with them.

ImagineFX: And how has it changed since the first annual?

Fleskes: Its significance and impact on a positive and nurturing community has grown exponentially since the initial Spectrum annual was released. This mission statement was clear from the very start. It has been magnified many times over the last 23 years, and through my leadership “community” will continue to remain Spectrum’s key priority.

ImagineFX: How many different artists are featured in Spectrum 23? And which artist (or piece of work) most caught your eye this year? (Please feel free to name me that one!)

Fleskes: There are nearly 300 artists featured in Spectrum 23. It’s always extremely difficult to single out favorites, for #23 or for any year, simply because there are so many exemplary works by so many different people for a wide variety of reasons. If pushed I could say that the art that most caught my eye might be “The Year of the Ram” by Android Jones, which might be obvious since I selected it to use for the cover of Spectrum 23. I chose this art for its sheer beauty. Put simply, it is gorgeous and I kept returning to look at it again and again. In some ways I feel that Android Jones defines the future while setting the stage for others to follow. But, of course, he’s not alone.

ImagineFX: Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 5 has been moved to April 2017. In what ways will this next iteration of the event be bigger and better than ever before? What can attendees start to get excited about? What can you do now with the new venue that you couldn’t before?

Fleskes: For starters, we are exploring running the workshops and panels on Friday only. The exhibitor floor hours will be concentrated on Saturday and Sunday. This allows the exhibitors and the attendees the opportunity to take part in the educational benefits of the panels and workshops without the requirement of running a booth or missing the floor activity. We want our artist exhibitors to have the same opportunity as the attendees to excel, network and learn from one another.

Our new space allows for a better booth and artist alley table integration in a central and unique atmosphere. SFAL is a place where the artists are respected and treated like the stars in an elegant atmosphere. Each year we make subtle improvements that cater to our exacting standards.

ImagineFX: Why do you think Spectrum–both the book and event–have proven so successful? We’ve read about the excitement exhibiting artists have for other exhibitors at SFAL–it’s been called a “love-fest”; the atmosphere most be incredible–and the book has a really hit a chord.  How can you explain it? Why does Spectrum resonate so strongly with the fantasy industry?

Fleskes: It gets back to our love for the art community. For me, and also for Spectrum co-founders Cathy and Arnie Fenner, Spectrum is our family. It’s a place where we can call home and were we can leave the door open where everyone is welcome regardless of medium, style or convention. We promote goodwill and the value in being here to help support one another and to provide a safe environment where we can grow and enjoy or passions together. You tie in beautiful art and a supporting healthy community–it’s a beautiful thing. In brief, we create and promote the atmosphere that we most cherish for ourselves.

ImagineFX: What’s next? Do you have any plans to further evolve Spectrum (either the book, event, or by adding something new to the mix)? What are your plans for the next 5-10 years?

Fleskes: There are many things planned for the next 5-10 years, although it’s a bit early for me to talk about openly. But yes, I always envision where I will be taking Spectrum over the next 20 years. We have a pair of exciting announcements that we will make in another year that will broaden the Spectrum brand, community and outreach. I always work 1-3 years in advance, with my mind considering where Spectrum will be in 10 to 20 years from now and what I need to do today to make sure we hit our future goals.

One of the things that I am most excited about is seeing the new artists in their early to late-twenties who are breaking so many boundaries and who will revolutionize what we see and how we will see art in the years to come. We are seeing people from all over the world and from all walks of life submitting to Spectrum. With our level playing field and by being a place where everyone is welcome, we have the amazing opportunity to show and reflect these changes like no other annual. And, in this way we can show the most diversity seen in the industry. That’s something I especially love. It’s going to be very exciting seeing how each volume of Spectrum captures each year so we can look back to see how quickly things are changing.

The reason why I don’t worry about competition is because no one can match my passion, perseverance or my work ethic for what I do.

Enjoy,

Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Brom and Jeffrey Alan Love at Alamo City Comic Con This Weekend!

Notes-from-the-shadowed-city-webart-of-brom-fantasy-cover-webHi, everyone,

The Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio, Texas is this weekend! Brom and Jeffrey Alan Love are both guests of the show and will have copies of The Art of Brom and Jeff’s Notes From the Shadowed City with them. Both of these titles are published by Flesk. These are terrific guys who will be happy to sign your books at the show.

John Picacio, who will be a judge for Spectrum 24, is also a special guest who you can meet there.

jeff-alamo-picJeff will be exhibiting about 40 or so small paintings that will be for sale and he will also be taking some in-progress projects to show, like these comic pages, and some other larger paintings.

Learn more about the show here:

Spectrum 23 book signing at Gallery Nucleus on December 3rd!

Spectrum-23-cover-webHi, everyone,

I have some exciting news to share! We will be having a Spectrum 23 book signing at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA on December 3rd!

So far we have 20 confirmed artists who will be appearing to sign your book!

We hope you can come join us to celebrate Spectrum’s 23rd year of releasing the premier showcase for imaginative fantastic arts in the book, comic, film, horror, illustration, sculpture, conceptual art, fine art and videogame genres. Meet the exceptional and talented artists whose works are featured in the book. Event runs from 7:00 – 10:00 pm.

Gallery Nucleus website event page:
http://www.gallerynucleus.com/event/583

Spectrum 23 Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1803853469890593/

Featured Artists to date:
Chris Ayers
Julia Blattman
Tuna Bora
J.A.W. Cooper
Alina Chau
Waiji Choo
Craig Elliott
Chuck Grieb
Brian Haberlin
Erik Ly
Victor Maury
Bruce Mitchell
Brynn Metheny
Richard and Wendy Pini
Tooba Rezaei
Joseph Sanabria
William Stout
Shane Stover
Vin Teng

Enjoy,

The Call for Entries for Spectrum 24 is now open!

spectrum-24-call-for-entries-poster

Spectrum 24 Call for Entries Poster art by Justin Gerard.

Hi, everyone,

I am happy to share that the Spectrum 24 Call for Entries is now open! Here is the official press release.

The Call for Entries for Spectrum 24 is now open!

This is an invitation to all professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artists’ representatives to submit entries to the 24th 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.

The Spectrum 24 Call for Entries poster art is by the revered fantasy illustrator and educator, Justin Gerard. This poster mails for free in the U.S.A to our Spectrum mailing list. If you would like to receive a poster you can fill out the online form here.

The Spectrum 24 jury is comprised of a five member panel of some of the most exceptional artists working in the industry today consisting of Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee Brom, Mark Newman, John Picacio and Victo Ngai.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the jury we have brought together for Spectrum 24,” shares Spectrum director, John Fleskes. “I invited this quintet based on their outstanding work in the field. Furthermore, each has a shared passion for digital and traditional methods and they are well-versed on a wide range of contemporary fantastic art. Also of importance is that they all give back to the community through sharing online, teaching or in other ways. These five are extraordinary people in the industry who will do a superb job making the selections for inclusion into Spectrum 24.”

The Spectrum 24 jury has a deep passion for the annual, which is reflected by their praise of its community and contents.

“In 1995, while deciding whether or not to go to art school, I purchased my first Spectrum,” expresses Christian Alzmann. “It was Spectrum 2 and Frank Frazetta was Grand Master.  I have bought every edition since because I am always equally inspired and humbled by what’s on its pages.”

“Spectrum and the Spectrum community have had such a huge influence on me and on the creative direction of my art,” confesses Laurie Lee Brom. “I cannot wait to feast my eyes on the entries for Spectrum 24, and am ecstatic to be on the jury!”

“I’m truly honored to be chosen as one of the jurors on this year’s Spectrum publication,” says Mark Newman. “The first time I submitted work was way back in book 3 and ever since I’ve been a big fan and thrilled to be included in quite a few issues. Spectrum represents the best of contemporary fantastical art and I feel blessed to be given the chance to contribute in this way as a juror. Thank you John and a Big High Five for keeping this wonderful tradition alive.”

Spectrum represents such a rich visual history and standard of excellence for what we collectively dream in the fantastic art field,” states John Picacio. “I’ve always been grateful any time my work was selected for inclusion in the annual, and it’s a profound honor and responsibility to give back to the book this year as a juror.”

“Spectrum is one of the few illustration competitions I enter religiously every year since I graduated college,” offers Victo Ngai. “From getting in the first time, to my first medal, to creating the call for entry poster, Spectrum has been a goal, a running-mate and milestones in my career. This year, I am very humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to serve on the jury for the first time, can’t wait to see the brutal behind-the-scenes of this prestigious and highly selective competition.”

For over twenty-three years the Spectrum annual has been a showcase for the best and brightest creators of fantastic art from around the globe: it serves as an invaluable resource book for art directors, art buyers, publishers and agents world-wide. Hundreds of copies are sent out gratis with the intent of generating additional work and exposure for the artists selected for inclusion in the annual. The circulation of Spectrum far exceeds those of other annuals and resource books; we deliberately maintain a price that makes it affordable for every budget. Our purpose and singular agenda is the promotion of the art and artists. We believe that Spectrum functions as a cost-efficient promotional forum and provides a bridge between creator, client, and aficionado as well. Spectrum is all about facilitating opportunities for creators, about growing the audience for imaginative work in all its forms, without pretension and without prejudice.

The largest of this field’s competitions is also the toughest to make; the act of entering art does not guarantee inclusion in the book. Not everyone gets in. The “excellence bar” is raised every year: the job of the jury to make selections gets increasingly difficult. Not being selected is not a personal criticism of the artist, but having your work chosen by the judges is of significance. Join with us to help celebrate twenty-three years by making this volume the best yet: considering the excellence of the work in the previous twenty-three books, it will be no small task, but we’re confident you all can do it.

For more information on Spectrum please visit spectrumfantasticart.com.

Enjoy,