Best Fan Artist: The final category is also for people. Again note that the work by which artists should be judged is not limited to material published in fanzines. Material for semiprozines or material on public displays (such as in convention art shows) is also eligible. Fan artists can have work published in professional publications as well. You should not consider such professionally-published works when judging this award.
Confused yet? What this boils down to is that any art which isn’t on the cover of a large publisher’s book or magazine is probably eligible for this category. Probably. The way the Hugos define “professional” is rather technical and has enough elasticity that the committee could probably nix anything they wanted to via that definition. (Note to the trolls: that does not mean they’re going to or that they have in the past. Merely that the complexity and flexibility of the definition means there’s going to be a lot of room for interpretation).
So. Fine. This category is for SF/Fantasy artists with at least some art that doesn’t meet the definition of professional. Personally, I figure concept art for big box games is out. Ditto covers. But damn near anything decent on DeviantArt counts – and frankly I’d nominate this one for his wickedly funny take on the Overlord game minions as well as for his beautifully detailed alien biology sketches. I’m not quite sure what the protocol is for nominating an artist who doesn’t give his real name out to anyone, but frankly, I don’t much care.
If you don’t mind quickly moving past an impressive selection of pieces that leave you going “WTF?” or “Oh my god MY EYES!”, you could easily spend hours just browsing the Deviant Art categories for the gems, because, well… This is eligible to get the artist nominated. So is this. And this. Also – of course (and yes, I’m a wee bit biased here) – this.
This is just a start, gained via a few minutes browsing – if you’ve bought art at a con, there’s a non-zero chance that art is actually eligible to nominate the author. So go browsing the art sites, and if you think the artist’s 2015 output is just that good, drop a recommendation in at the fan art recommendations page. Speaking of which I have a few recommendations of my own to add this weekend…