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Monday, April 05, 2004

The last few dozens of hours have coagulated into days of glory. I went from typing monkey to talented typing monkey in the eyes of my sister - suddenly I was reborn as an HTML genius; I pulled the veil off the enigma that is Microsoft Excel; I earned a Value Village Shopper of the Year award; and I photograph as well as an arts college graduate with a four-year photography degree. Now I can add my most coveted accomplishment here. I am now, officially, a published illustrator.

*****

Today was the launch of my alma mater's anthology of children's literature. I walked in just as my contributions appeared on the screen. Kathy, the children's illustration instructor, announced that the artist was in the room. All faces turned to me. I gave my impromptu speech effortlessly (I love it when I don't have a chance to worry about giving speeches) and everybody cooed.

After the speeches, the writer said really nice things about how I interpreted her story. I had been worried, when I was working on the illustrations of her story, that she might hit me over the head for not drawing good sloths. Maybe she thought and thinks I am a charlatan. Maybe she thinks I should be lynched by midnight for my crimes against children's literature. She didn't slap me. So I am safe.

The reproduction of my drawings on the website surprised me. The editors reduced my big picture and enlarged the small one. While I love seeing my sloth larger than I had drawn it; the big picture turned out a little fuzzy. I added subtle emphases which here look like blobby lines. And in both reproductions, the gradations in the thickness of lines of ink have become uniform, much as if I had used a marker instead of pen and ink. I usually go for the sort of whisps of line that mascara commercials have sprouting out of twiggy models.

In the paper version of the anthology, the big picture shrank so much, the delineation between the lines blurred. The dolphin looks like that TV evangelist's wife who overdoes her makeup. The pelican now has a goatee. The whale's fin has gangrene, explaining the look of pain on his face. An oil spill blackens my Atlantic.

Despite this, I am giddy with a high percentage of self grandeur. I've already planned to boast about my illustrations until 12:48 PM on Friday. Then I'll resume my next project.

(If you want to see my illustrations, let me know and I'll email you the link.)

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