Spotlight on Tran Nguyn, an award-winning artist

*I have no affiliation with the World Fantasy Awards or this artist, nor do I receive any sort of compensation for this post.

Often, when people discuss genres, they do so from the perspective of the stories being told. Aside from the cover art for a novel, it isn’t often that an artist earns accolades the same way a novelist might.

This isn’t even to address issues of equity or diversity. That’s a whole separate thing. I’m speaking purely about who might have more column inches dedicated to reviews of their work. A fantasy novel might be maligned as not being “serious fiction”, but when was the last time anyone said much about any fantasy artist at all? It’s rare. However, there are awards that name and elevate the work of people creating incredible visual art.

Off the top of my head, I can name only a few well-known names, and yes, some of these are people associated with the TSR years of D&D. Nerds of a certain age will quickly share the names of Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, Clyde Caldwell, and Keith Parkinson. Then add Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta and a lot of content is covered. Yet those are just a handful of people. That’s my fault that I don’t know more, and there have been incredibly talented people over the years that I’ve never heard of. If you want a place to start, try this list of nominees and winners for the top Artist via the World Fantasy Awards.

For a bit more precision, have look at the work of the 2022 winner for the WFAs, Tran Nguyen. Her artwork is excellent, and recognition is absolutely warranted. Beautiful colours, an outstanding blending of fantastic and real-world elements, and just wonderful, wonderfully creative.

The Mauve Girl by Tran Nguyen

I love this picture. It’s a limited palette, but it pops. The blending of the black flowers from the clothing onto the person is really well done. It’s fantastically abstract and surreal. Where does it start or stop? I love the use of the earrings to introduce a different geometric form in contrast to the more rounded features that comprise most of the image. Below are a couple more of her works,

The Yellow Passerby & I by Tran Nguyen
Metamorphosis by Tran Nguyen, mural Long Beach, CA

It’s a very well-made picture, and so is a lot of her other work. In an effort to help drive traffic toward her site, I’m not going to post much of her work here. Artists that work with fantastic content rarely have much recognition. So I’m doing my small part to address that.

Because there aren’t easy-to-find galleries dedicated to this style of art, actually being to view a painting such as this can be very difficult. A viewing audience is stuck navigating through virtual galleries online, looking at prints at conventions, and sometimes other avenues, such as book covers. In their own right, artists such as Tran Nguyen don’t really get the attention they deserve, and that’s a shame. This is why I’m taking a moment to spotlight her work here. If you enjoy it, please consider visiting her website.





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