Judging any creative work is subjective, judging artwork is really a matter of taste. I honestly wasn't sure how to make a decision here, so I decided that one of my criteria would be "would I buy it for myself?" Other criteria include technical skill and choice of subject matter. I'm sure that other people, using the exact same criteria, would come up with completely different choices.
- Ninni Aalto
While there is nothing particularly wrong with this artist's work, none of it appeals to me in the slightest. The subject matters don't impress me and the art itself creeps me out a bit. The two pieces in the Hugo packet were a complete turn-off, so I visited the listed website to see if it was a fluke. Nope. I just don't see anything appealing in this art.
- Brad W. Foster
Another artist which I don't see any technical problems with, but has almost no appeal to me. I like it better than Aalto's work, but only just. Again, I wondered if the sample work just wasn't enough, but looking at the linked work convinced me that it's just not for me.
- Elizabeth Leggett
Now this is more my speed. Nice subjects, well composed works, good colors. I visited the artist's page to check out more work, and was impressed by the scope of works produced solely in 2014 (the eligible works for this year's Hugo awards). If I had the cash, I'd certainly see if I could get this artist to do a custom piece for me. That's pretty much highest praise from me.
- Spring Schoenhuth
I fear I may be shallow. I laughed aloud when I saw the LonCon piece in the samples, and I admit the TARDIS jewelry made me look a second time. I also visited the Facebook gallery of 2014 art. Being a jewelry artist and not a 2D pen and paper artist makes a difference... the two drawings are not nearly as impressive technically as the jewelry. But this is an artist I would buy from, which means I would like to see these works on a daily basis.
- Steve Stiles
Another artist whose works don't really appeal to me. They aren't bad, per se. In fact I think they are fine technically and in subject matter. It's just nothing I'm interested in. There is more of his work at his website, including stuff on his tumblr. Again, this is stuff a lot of comic book fans would love. It's just not what I'm into.
Note: I am also always looking for anything you have run across that will be eligible for a Hugo next year, so if you've seen something you liked, drop a note in the comments about it. I'll also be regularly posting my own suggestions for stuff to consider for next year.