Stephen Hickman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stephen Hickman
Born (1949-04-09) April 9, 1949 (age 70)
Washington, D.C., United States
Area(s)Writer, Artist
AwardsHugo Award, 1993
Chesley Awards (5x)

Stephen Hickman (born April 9, 1949) is an American artist, illustrator, sculptor and author. He is best known for his work in science fiction and fantasy, with over 350 book and magazine covers to his credit.[1] His works illustrated the stories of Robert A. Heinlein, H. P. Lovecraft, J. R. R. Tolkien,[2] Anne McCaffrey, and Andre Norton, Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars novels and Steven Brust's Dragaera series. His most widely circulated effort is a series of space fantasy postage stamps done for the United States Postal Service.


Stephen Hickman was born in Washington, D.C., United States, the son of John F. and Mary Lee Hickman. Because his father was in the foreign service, he was already a world traveler before high school, having lived in Manila and Karachi. He also lived in Texas and Arizona before his family returned to the Washington area, settling in Alexandria, Virginia. Hickman's father regularly told him tales, from ghost stories to his own childhood experiences in the Philippine Islands, and Hickman credits him with inspired his interest in literature and writing. Hickman's mother introduced him to painting and encouraged him to be original in all things. Both parents were supportive of his creative endeavors.

In Alexandria, Hickman went to Francis Hammond High School. The art program was directed by Fletcher Proctor, who later was responsible for art in the whole school district. Between regular and summer sessions, Hickman had the equivalent of eight years of training in art from Proctor, what he considered to be all of useful training he had for his profession. After graduating high school, Hickman spent two years at Richmond Professional Institute (now part of Virginia Commonwealth University) where he shared classes with Michael Kaluta and Phil Trumbo.

A turning point for Hickman’s career was when he went to the 1967 Academy Con, held at the City Squire Inn in New York City. There he met Frank Frazetta and Roy G. Krenkel. He found that both men were thoughtful and helpful. He got advice that included mastering artistic anatomy, with special attention to the skeleton. They advised him to spend the money on decent brushes. The conventional was also eye-opening for him because he got to see original painting after years of only knowing the artists through paperback covers.

Hickman's professional career was launched in 1972 when he got a job creating T-shirt designs for Shirt Explosion in Lanham, Maryland. In this situation where Hickman was given virtually unlimited artistic freedom, he realized that he could earn a living by doing what he wanted to. His entry into book illustration came in 1974, when Neal Adams of Continuity Studios introduced Hickman to Charles Volpe, art editor at Ace Books. Volpe bought the printing rights of items from Hicmna's portfolio, and later commissioned paintings which were used for reprints of Ace Doubles in the Classics of Science-Fiction series. Since then Hickman has been a full-time artist. Some of his work has been collected in The Fantasy Art of Stephen Hickman. He has been honored with a Hugo Award (1993, for Achievement in Science Fiction and Fantasy),[1] five Chesley Awards and two gold awards from the Spectrum Anthology.

Hickman has tried his hand at writing and illustrating his own work. His novel The Lemurian Stone was published in 1988. In this work, he created the Pharazar Mythos, which has been the basis for several major paintings, including The Lion Pavilion and The Astronomer Prince. His work has also motivated other writers. Most notably, The Diver and Mermaid, done as a private commission, inspired Harlan Ellison to write "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral."[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Hickman in Graphic Classics," Graphic Classics website. Accessed Mar. 3, 2014.
  2. ^ Beahm, George (2004). The Essential J. R. R. Tolkien Sourcebook: A Fan's Guide to Middle-Earth and Beyond. Career Press. p. 169. ISBN 9781564147028. Retrieved 10 June 2010.

External links[edit]