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Today I'd like to introduce my favorite science fiction and fantasy artists/illustrators: Leo and Diane Dillon (who are an interracial couple) and Kinuko Y. Craft (who is Asian American).

Leo and Diane Dillon
Classic DIllon SF paperback covers

Leo and Diane Dillon

Throughout the 1970s, most of the notable science fiction authors ended up with at least one paperback cover by the Dillons. By the 1980s, they were also doing beautiful children's picture books, for which they were awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal twice. They are still in demand for SF&F artwork today, such as the gorgeous covers they did for the U.S. paperback editions of Garth Nix's "Abhorsen" trilogy (see the cover for vol. 1, Sabriel, here). In addition to being honored numerous times for picture book art, they have also been awarded a Hugo, a Chesley, and a Spectrum Grand Masters Award for their contributions to SF&F art.

The two met at the Parsons School of Design in New York and married in 1957, a year after they graduated. In an interview, Diane noted that "We are interracial and we decided early in our career that we wanted to represent all races ... ."

More About the Dillons

Kinuko Craft
Left, an illustration for Celestial Seasonings; right, a McKillip book cover

Kinuko Y. Craft

Ms. Craft was born in Japan, and educated there and in the United States. She has said that she considers herself a story teller. She began working as a professional illustrator for magazines, newspapers, and ads during the late 1960s, and her work was featured on publications such as Time and The Atlantic Monthly. It can also still be seen on the boxes for come of Celestial Seasonings teas! Since the mid 1990s, she has concentrated on fantastic art, for children's and adult books and for posters. Some of my favorite Craft pieces are the covers that she has done for the works of Patricia McKillip. She has won numerous professional illustration awards, and a Chesley award for her fantasy art.

More About Kinuko Y. Craft


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
Oh, I love Kinuko Craft's work, and I'd never bothered to look her up. Thank you!
Aug. 10th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)

She's so great! I'm glad you liked the little profile ... .

Aug. 9th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Ooh, I love the Dillon's work. So gorgeous. And Kinuko Y. Craft's covers are spectacular--I particularly love her covers for Winter Rose and Alphabet of Thorn.
Aug. 10th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)

The Dillons were the first graphic artists I ever bothered to learn about, back in junior high. They illustrated a historical novel called Haakon of Rogen's Saga that I loved back then. And Craft did the covers for some early U.S. paperbacks of the Earthsea trilogy! So they've all been favorites of mine for ages.

Aug. 10th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, really, Earthsea? That's so neat. (Though I actually haven't read Earthsea yet...haven't gotten up the nerve for that kind of literary workout.)
Aug. 22nd, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)


M'lady, IIRC, you read heavy-duty lit for kicks ... ! And these aren't, or at least the original three aren't. They were written for a target age of 12 - 14.

Aug. 22nd, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Heh, I've always heard that they're quite consuming. And my other experiences with LeGuin's writing have been intriguing yet exhausting.

(And I may read heavy-duty lit for kicks...but that doesn't mean I always take it seriously :D)
Aug. 9th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
it would be nice to be
as talented as these people


Aug. 10th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
Re: it would be nice to be

I feel that way too!

Aug. 13th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)
Excellent spotlights!
I have enjoyed the Dillon's works since I began reading SF in the 70's. I even have that hardcover of DANGEROUS VISIONS with the green/black by the Dillons, not to mention a lot of other Ellison books with their work on it. Married 50 years. Well, isn't that fabulous. God bless em! What good fortune to find in your life partner your creative partner, too. How beautiful.

And Kinuko Craft, gosh, she's wonderful. I've bought most of McKillip's books for the Craft covers, plus a children's Cinderella just for her artwork. She's amazing. (And yes, I have Od Magic, too.)

I also collect old SF titles with Richard Powers covers (adore his work) and am crazy about John Jude Palencar's stuff.


Aug. 22nd, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Excellent spotlights!

Richard Powers! I haven't thought about him for years! (Sorry this is so late - I was out of town.) He was always a little too abstract/cerebral for me, though.

I'm so glad you liked the spotlights!

So is your screen name from Marta Randall's Journey?

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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