Hughes is the granddaughter of Hildegarde Hamilton, an impressionist painter, well known in the ;U.S and Europe. Hughes received her BA from Furman University. Her first published cover was for Science Fiction Chronicle. Her next book covers appeared on Baen Books in 1989 which included covers for Roger Zelazny, Aline Boucher Kaplan and Don Wismer. This was followed by frontispiece work for Easton Press/MBI books which included illustration for such authors as Alexei Panshin, Sir Kingsley Amis, Charles Pellegrino, Mike Resnick, Allen Steel, Gentry Lee, Sheri S. Tepper, Spider Robinson, and Jack McDevitt.
In her work for a CD Rom Company: The Bookworm, Hughes illustrated the entire book Little Women with over 45 illustrations. She illustrated the works of Edgar Allan Poe with 12 illustrations, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter with seven illustrations and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein with 10 illustrations. From 1992 to 1994, Hughes did illustration work for Cybeflix, a local game company in Knoxville, TN. She worked on the CD Rom titles: Title JumpRaven, Dust and Titanic. She went on to work for The Bookworm and The Learning Company. At the Learning Company she illustrated for numerous Language learning CD titles and she also worked on the Title: Reader Rabbit.
Hughes did interior pictures for Amazing Stories Magazine, Science Fiction Age Magazine and Realms of Fantasy Magazine. She created interior illustrations for Ben Bova, Martha Soukup, A.J. Austin, Vivian Vande Velde, Deborah Wheeler, Gary W. Herring, and Joyce K. Jensen.
Hughes' work has been seen in the CD Rom games JumpRaven and Dust. The Bookworm's Illustrated Classic Series, The Learning Company's Learn to Speak Series, and Reader Rabbit feature her artwork. She also created animation work for Dust, Reader Rabbit and the Bookworm's Illustrated Classic Series.
Her collectible game card work includes illustrations for Wizards of the Coast, Thunder Castle Games, DragonStorm Games, Mayfair Games, Companion Games, Last Unicorn Games, Five Rings Publishing and Iron Crown Enterprises.
Hughes' recent work includes 2011 ASFA Journal cover, the frontispiece illustration for Spider Robinson's newest novel, Very Hard Choices, published by Easton Press; the frontispiece illustration for Sheri S. Tepper's novel The Margarets, published by Easton Press, a full color wrap around illustration for Nancy Farmer's Sea of Trolls, published by Editorial Presenca, Portugal and a full color wrap around cover illustration for the Postscripts Cover, Spring issue 6, 2006, P & S Publishing, UK.
The book Ruins Metropolis by Eric T. Reynolds (editor) is the third volume in the Ruins series from Hadley Rille Books. It is a collection of 35 fantasy and science fiction stories based on Hughes' art work.
Hughes has been the artist guest of honor at many conventions in the North and Southeast United States. She is listed in the newest edition of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists of the Twentieth Century written by Jane Frank. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States.