Far from being a professional illustrator, I do sometimes trade what I like to refer to as my "skills" for some sort of compensation. A few years back, a guy from Chicago (actually my brother's boss) got in touch with me about illustrating the cover of a book he had written. It was a historical fiction set in early-to-mid 1800s and was a coming of age story of two young boys and their trip down river. Included among its admittedly Twain-like cast of characters was a young Abraham Lincoln, who provided a kind of spiritual center for the story.
The writer, Bill Harmening, was self publishing the book (a labor of love kind of thing - no idea what that's like) and couldn't afford a real illustrator. We worked out a trade: he got a book cover and I got to use my new status as published illustrator to impress girls at parties.
(this is the book)
Fast forward five or six years.
The new Lincoln Library opens in Springfield Illinois touching off a renewed interest in everything Lincoln related. Seeing how Honest Abe plays a part in Bill's book, the powers that be at the Library smell some money there. Bill's got an inside line and some interest in publishing a re-write is drummed up. With a new book comes a new cover, so who does Bill call? That's right, the guy he got the free artwork off of before.
Only this time he asks me for a price quote.
So seeing as I got this plum gig and seeing how I got this blog, I thought maybe I'd try one of them process thingies that Neal VonFlue is so fond of. That way you get to see my work-in-progress and I get to keep track of a piece in a way I've never done before. So everybody wins.
And I get paid.
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