A New Artist
After publishing the second book in the Silent Subversion series, I wanted to continue acquiring illustrations. This would obviously require a new artist, and also result in a different style. After spending many weeks searching through different online art platforms, I found the work of Amy O’Hanlon. I immediately fell in love with her style and talent, especially her book Robot Kid. Not only did I enjoy the artistic merit of her work, I also appreciated the Robot Kid story which showed her depth of character, her understanding of life, and her appreciation for humanity. In an email in January 2016, I asked if she did commission work on novels. As can be inferred by this article’s existence, she responded positively.
As is usually the case, authors and publishing companies commission illustrations for several reasons and I openly admit to the obvious purpose of advertising. Just like the flower creates beautiful colors, patterns, and scents to attract the pollinators, I feel no shame to advertise my work for people to enjoy. Current and future authors using the Anxiety Publishing platform will hopefully commission artwork by independent artists, thereby keeping the most possible portion of advertising money in the hands of those artists, the ones who perform the actual work. This practice will prevent the transfer of money (blood and sweat) to huge corporations whose main motivation might be monetary profit rather than contributing to society. Other than the desire to attract an audience, I also wanted to add a visual aspect to the Silent Subversion story, enhancing what I intended to be a singular experience for the reader.
The background description of this illustration will unavoidably be a small spoiler for those who have not yet read the first book in the series. Just looking at the picture is an even bigger spoiler. This is unavoidable and causes no significant concern. Although the illustration hints at the rest of the scene, the average human will expect and want the events to occur, and hopefully enjoy the ride. As an example, people can see a roller coaster before the ride and simultaneously anticipate a thrilling experience. Expecting an event can even sometimes enhance the experience.
Without revealing too much of the story, this scene in the book required a copious amount of calculations. The average human won’t check for the accuracy of the calculated predictions, but if they do, they will find the speeds, elevations, and force calculations to conform to the standard physics model. This statement slightly misrepresents my views on contemporary physics, but I will say no more on that subject in this article. For curious souls, more details are hidden in the books.
I enjoy seeing Amy’s rough drafts almost as much as the final product. One of the rough drafts is shown below. I instantly loved the characters’ looks and the overall impression. After viewing the rough draft, I wanted the audience in the scene spread out a little more, but Amy gave good advice for the grouping to show a better view of them. She thought the car would be ascending like a car moves on the surface of the Earth, front forward, but the propulsion systems have nearly complete orientation freedom so I preferred to have it ascend horizontally. When she blamed her assumption on the Harry Potter movies, I thought it showed how easily we are influenced by what we read and see which is why I wanted to write a good story. My son’s impression made me laugh. He thought the car had crashed into a tree or rock.
The final draft of the illustration is shown below. The image is inspired by the scene I refer to as The Ascension. The concept of ascension is pivotal to the theme of the story and can symbolize human potential. On a more concrete level, the illustration shows an excellent depiction of the Northwestern United States where I live, the ferns, the moss covering the trees, and how humans can work together to accomplish great things. In the book, the windows are extremely tinted and reflective which would conceal the occupants. For the illustration, Amy thought a view of the driver and Taylor would be more appropriate. The idea of a flying car may seem trite and unrealistic, but in the real world people must use what they have available.