John Picacio is an American artist specializing in science fiction, fantasy and horror illustration. Picacio has since 1996 produced design work and – particularly – cover art for many notable SF, fantasy and horror books printed by many different publishers, from some of the longest-established and largest American SF&F imprints to more recent, independent publishers. Picacio’s illustrations have been selected numerous times for Cathy and Arnie Fenner’s prestigious Spectrum Annual, the yearly “Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art” showcase for fantasy and science fiction art, which both honours established artists and provides a resource for art directors and illustrators to refer to. In 2001 and 2006, he was awarded the International Horror Guild Award for Best Artist, and was Artist Guest of Honor at the 2003 ArmadilloCon.
In 2005, he won both the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist and the Chesley Award for Best Paperback Cover (for James Tiptree Jr.’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever). In 2006 he won the Chesley Award for Artistic Achievement and in 2007 the Locus Award for Best Artist He has also received Hugo Award nominations for Best Professional Artist in 2005 through 2010, and won in 2012. He has received 5 World Fantasy Award nominations since 2002.