Changing the Faces in Fantasy : New Art Book Focuses on Diversity

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Artist's new series of books aims to increase diversity in science fiction and fantasy genres through illustrations.

My hope is that, in my own small way, I can help broaden the diversity of the cast of characters seen in fantasy art.

Award winning artist, Julie Dillon, launched a Kickstarter campaign today to fund the first issue of "Imagined Realms," an annual art publication featuring positive and diverse representations of women in fantasy and science fiction. Each book will feature 10 exclusive and new illustrations by Julie Dillon created specifically for the book.

Although the fantasy and science fiction genres are known for imagination and innovation, mainstream publications have been increasingly criticized for their lack of diversity. Diverse stories and creators exist, but continue to be underrepresented in mainstream media, which is the cause of much contention within the genre.

Through the "Imagined Realms" series, artist Julie Dillon will showcase positive and colorful illustrations that showcase a wider variety of characters and help increase the visibility of women and minorities in science fiction and fantasy." Imagined Realms: Book 1" features a diverse range women experiencing their own adventures as the protagonists of their own stories, rather than being relegated to supporting characters.

"This is just one small publication in a sea of media, but every little bit helps," says Julie Dillon. "People want to see themselves reflected in media, and my hope is that, in my own small way, I can help broaden the diversity of the cast of characters seen in fantasy art.”

In addition to creating art that showcases more diversity, Julie Dillon also wants to create work that celebrates the more positive aspects of fantasy.

“I want to create art that demonstrates the wonder, joy, thoughtfulness, and excitement epitomized by fantasy and science fiction, rather than focus solely on scenes of violence or action,” says Dillon. “Characters do not have to hold swords or guns in their hands to demonstrate strength or be interesting."

Book 1 also features illustrations of faeries, mermaids, dragons, elves, several cats, and a variety of ladies exploring or having adventures. The book is 22 pages long and features 10 previously unseen illustrations created specifically for this project. They are printed on premium cardstock and bound with a semi-concealed wire-o binding for durability and ease of use. Each illustration is accompanied by sketches and progress shots to allow the reader a glimpse into the creative process.

The" Imagined Realms" Kickstarter runs until August 20, 2014. Supporters can preorder "Imagined Realms: Book 1" for $25, which includes free shipping in the U.S. Art prints, limited edition fine art giclees, and downloadable videos showing the creative process are also available for purchase. Digital downloads will be made available shortly after the Kickstarter ends, and the books and prints will begin to ship as soon after they are printed. All books, prints, and giclees will be created at local, family owned printers.


Julie Dillon is a professional illustrator with more than eight years of experience. She has worked with many respected publishers, including Simon & Schuster, Tor Books, Penguin Books, Wizards of the Coast, and Llewellyn Worldwide. Her work has earned her two Chesley Awards, and she has been nominated for two prestigious Hugo Awards and two World Fantasy Awards. She is known among peers for her creativity and vision, and specializes in imaginative and colorful work.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to pledge money to help fund various creative projects. If the funding goal isn't met, none of the backers have to pay anything.

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Julie Dillon
since: 04/2009
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Imagined Realms : Book 1Interior art samples from Imagined Realms: Book 1