(Note: This is the latest in an ongoing series of posts reviewing as many of the 2015 Hugo nominees as I can before the July 31 deadline, and explaining why I will or will not vote for them.)
Best Fan Artist: This is a pretty weird category, I think. To be frank, I didn't care for any of the nominees that much. I wouldn't have purchased their work to display on my wall. Elizabeth Leggett had one sample that kinda sorta drew my eye ("Emancipation"); it's pretty surreal. But in the end, I wasn't gosh-wow enough about it to vote for her.
Best Professional Artist: My goodness, what a contrast. When you say "Oh, that's cool!" several times as you're scanning the various artists' samples, you know you've hit the jackpot. Of course, this is for Professional artist, so that's a bit of a difference.
Several of these artists I would definitely put on my wall, or at the very least, use for computer desktop backgrounds. These include Nick Greenwood's "Dragon," Kirk DouPonce's "Hugo 6" and "Hugo 8" (I would have called them "Emerald-Eyed Skull" and "Girl Climbing Out of Laptop" respectively), and well, just about all of Julie Dillon's work. Julie's samples were awash with detail and color, and her characters were marvelously diverse. My favorite, "Menagerie," showed a girl in a wheelchair feeding her flock of many brightly colored birds--parrots, peacocks, what have you.
So: my rankings in this category.
1) Julie Dillon
2) Kirk DouPonce
3) Nick Greenwood
4) No Award
5) Alan Pollack
(Carter Reid is left off the ballot because I realized he draws that awful Zombie webcomic. No thank you.)
Yes, I am getting to the bottom of my ballot. For anyone who's curious, I'm saving Best Novel for last.