Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spec art done for a book project for a large publisher. A little story goes along with this one:
Got a call from large publisher. Was informed that I was selected as one of a few illustrators to make submissions for a picture book telling the facts about the founding fathers and, drum roll, that the book was written by an international celebrity. They let me know that the winner of the contract would be chosen by both the editor/art director and the celebrity. They also let me know that they loved my line work (I said thank you.) and that they hoped I was duly excited about being involved with this celebrity (Sure, I said.). But they couldn't tell me the name of the celebrity until the choice was made. "Fine." I thought it over. The money was good but the time limit was quick- maybe 4 months to do 72 pages of pen&ink work. Not a lot of time, but, as I said the money was good. So I got busy. Couple days later I turned in about 6 or 7 sketches- two seen here. They were happy with the result but told me they wanted me to do one more sketch. I sighed, agreed and did the image of the eagle and the founding fathers, also seen here. (Just fyi, I don't like spec work. Remember- no money passing between us yet and they're asking form more art. Oy.) The short of it is- I won. Woohoo! Here's the fun part- when they'd told me I'd won they also let me know who the international celebrity was- go ahead, take a guess. You're right! It was Glenn Beck. I know... Glenn Beck.  So, I groaned. Not Glenn Beck- of all the international celebrities, why him? Fact is though, we needed the money. I'd just moved across the country and was about to wed my lovely wife so-ya, we needed the money. But I, in no way, wanted to support Glenn Beck or his message by creating art work for another one of his warped books for children. I talked it over with Kris, my wife. She agreed with me that, in spite of our need, there would have to be a whole lot of ice piling up in Hell before we could participate in this project. Yay Kris! I told the large publisher that I could not work on Glenn's book. In their response they were both surprised and indignant. "How could I turn this down?" The money, the publicity! They assured me that Mr. Beck would not be turning this project for children into a political statement. It was all going to be just history, the facts. "Ya, right." I snickered to my self. I responded that, while I believe they were sincere in their saying that Glenn would not put his spin on the project, I found his books, radio and t.v. products to be counterproductive to creating unity in our country.  Hence, I found it impossible that the book, because of who Glenn is and what he broadcasts, would not be used by him or another of his ilk as a political tool. Therefor, there was no way I could attach my name to this project. I didn't get a response after that. We're happy and still here. Pen&Ink, 2010.

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