At this morning’s WSFS Business Meeting, there turned out to be some strong opinions about how to revise (or not revise) the Fan Artist and Pro Artist Hugo Award categories.
In the end, the Business Meeting decided to refer the issue to a committee, which will report back at next year’s Business Meeting in Dublin.
But there was only one person present at the meeting who identified themselves publicly as an artist, and that person expressed what I felt were kind of old-fashioned views about art published online.
So I have a recommendation:
If you create sf-related visual art that you sometimes make available without getting paid for it, or if you enjoy such art, it might be worth contacting the folks who are going to put together next year’s proposals for revising the Fan Artist and Pro Artist Hugos.
I got the impression (though I may have misunderstood) that some of the people who felt most strongly about those categories’ revisions at this morning’s WSFS Business Meeting were people who felt that something shouldn’t count as Fan Art unless it’s published in certain kinds of approved venues; if I understood right, then by their standards, posting your work for free to (for example) Tumblr or DeviantArt or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or your personal blog wouldn’t count as Fan Art. I suspect that the folks who felt that way won’t hesitate to tell the committee their opinions, so I would love for the committee to also hear from people who do make their art freely available in such places and who think of their art as fan activity. (And from people who enjoy art in those spaces, and who think of it as fan activity.)
(Side note: I think the committee should also think about what to do with spaces like Patreon, where the artist gets money but isn’t being paid by a publisher per se.)
But I don’t know offhand how to contact the committee, and I don’t currently have sufficient brain to figure it out. I’ll try to follow through on this at some later point, but in the meantime, if any of you happen to know the answer, please let me know.