It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Julie Dillon’s artwork. In fact, when it came time to redesign A Dribble of Ink earlier this year, I knew I wanted to feature some gorgeous fantasy-inspired art in the header, and Julie, with her warm, colourful style, and ability to imbue her art with an otherworldliness without losing its grounded sense of wonder and emotion, was the perfect choice for the project. Luck was with me, and now A Dribble of Ink is graced with a beautiful original piece of Dillon’s artwork.

Dillon’s star is rising, perhaps most evidently by her nominations for the 2012 and 2013 Hugo Awards. In 2013, she became the first woman to be nominated in the Best Professional Artist category since Rowena Morrill in 1986 (1986! 28 years!).

Earlier this month, Julie Dillon launched a Kickstarter campaign for Imagined Realms: Book 1, which Dillon describes as “the first in a series of annual art books that I am illustrating and self-publishing.” Each annual volume of Imagined Realms will contain 10 exclusive illustrations, a pretty exciting proposition for Dillon’s growing legion of fans.


“Dillon, like John Picacio and Donato Giancola embraces that sense of concrete imagery without becoming literal,” Justin Landon said in his tribute to Dillon’s artwork, describing her talent for melding impressionistic vision and vast imagination.

“Color is one of my primary focuses,” Dillon told Erin Stocks of Lightspeed Magazine in an interview. “I’m very easily distracted and won over by bright vivid color. I particularly like contrasting color schemes, and when I first begin coloring my sketches I’ll often start with a very strong complimentary color scheme (red and green, blue and orange, etc) as a base, and tone it down a little as I work on it further. I’ve been trying to reign in my color schemes a little bit more lately and try keeping things more muted, but I usually cave in and resort to adding in bolder colors by the time I’m finished.”

“I got into art because I love to create, to see the world in new ways, and to stir the imagination of others,” Dillon told Kickstarter backers. “I have long wanted to start putting together my own books and work on more personal projects. Imagined Realms gives me the opportunity to spend more time creating my own illustrations and projects, and also gives me the chance to create more illustrations that feature positive and diverse representations of women.”

If you enjoy Dillon’s art as much as I do, I hope you’ll consider taking the time to check out her Kickstarter and maybe pledge (there are some terrific rewards, including beautiful prints of the artwork feature in the book!) a few bucks in support.

View Julie Dillon’s Art:

  • Paul Weimer July 25, 2014 at 10:30 am

    It was when Julie started doing art for Kate Elliott that she really came to my attention.

  • Steven M. Long July 26, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I’m crazy about Dillon’s work – I guess it’s no surprise: what I like are vivid, contrasting colors, and figures that are realistic while still evoking the kind of imaginative response that (for me) comes from a mixture of realism (without hyper-realism) and fantasy. At any rate, she’s awesome. I haven’t supported the kickstarter, but I probably will, I’m just not sure at what level.