I am promoting Likhain/M.Sereno for the Hugos, specifically for Fan Artist Hugo. I am also voting for her in the Professional Artist Hugo category.
WHO: Likhain, aka M. Sereno, a queer Filipina immigrant artist currently living in Australia, artist and poet.
WHAT: Fan Artist Hugo; also eligible for Professional Artist Hugo (justification below).
WHY: Likhain’s exuberant, non-Western, joyous, detailed art is an inspiration to many of us and should be more widely recognized. (Website); Portfolio). I was so happy when Mia/Likhain received the Tiptree Fellowship this year. M.Sereno/Likhain is a marginalized artist of color whose work often slips through the cracks in the world of ‘accepted’ SFF art styles.
This is where my work arises: the point where women and monsters wear the same face, where we must be feared not because we are destroyers but because we are too strong to be controlled. In my art I take the destructive portrayals of the mangkukulam, the entrail-eating manananggal, the shape-shifting aswang — and I paint over them with gold and glory. In my art I show women who are unapologetic in their power and unashamed of their monstrous limbs, their scales and sharp teeth.
Last year, Likhain was on the Hugo Longlist in the Fan Artist category and came very close to being on the ballot. Many of us believe she would have been on it if not for the P*ies (File770 detailed analysis of the ballot).
How can we help bring Likhain/M.Sereno award recognition this year?
- No confusion about names. Please vote Likhain; please join me in letting the Hugo committee know that Likhain, M. Sereno, Mia S./Sereno are the same person and these votes should be tallied together, so all permutations would count.
- No split/divided votes. If you only vote for her in one category, please vote in the category where Likhain already came close: Fan Artist Hugo. Last year, I watched the negative impact of split votes for multiple people. If we want to see a person on the ballot, showing in one category tends to be stronger.
- IF you vote in two categories, vote BOTH Fan Artist Hugo and Professional Artist Hugo. Likhain is eligible in both categories and I am voting for her in both categories.
- SPREAD THE WORD. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, chats, whatever works.
But Mia’s art is professional!
Yes. Yes, it is. Yes, yes, yes it is.
Wonderful artists often migrate from Fan to Pro in the Hugo category, and my hope is that if Mia/Likhain gets recognized in a Hugo Category (remember, she came close in Fan Artist category), then it would be easier for her to get professional engagements and help her be recognized in the Pro category in a year or two.
I heard of cases where her portfolio was rejected because it was not “professional.” This is not because Mia/Likhain’s art is not “professional” but because it is non-Western and does not fit neatly with some venues’ concept of what is professional art. We need to raise awareness about that.
Award nominations are a great way to raise awareness of a marginalized artist’s importance in a community.
We can do this. Let’s do this.