How did this guy find his way into my brain?
It was a fair question. I had just completed the first draft of The Accidental World and was searching for an artist to create the book cover. I found the website of Eugene Ivanov, and I must say that his work startled me. I don’t exactly know how I came across him, but I did, and one of those “How in the world can this be?” moments started. There were those odd prickly tingles that went from my shoulders up to the top of my head.
This guy…this artist, was already creating art in a style that was just what I had imagined. As an artist, he seemed to have a fascination with clocks and pocket watches. A reoccurring character in his art was a young man in a bowler hat. Most of the work has an industrial, dirty air, kind of feel.
I found his email address while doing an internet search and asked if he was interested in doing a book cover for me. He said yes and asked for a description of what I wanted, so I put together a paragraph of what I hoped to see. Ok, it might have been a long paragraph.
His reply was, “Can you use simpler sentences?”
It was at that moment that I realized there was a language barrier. The Ugly American part of me had assumed Eugene would speak English as his first language. After realizing my error, I opened Google Translate, and typed in my description praying that Google had a Czech translate option. They did.
Within a week, Eugene provided me the first draft of his sketch. It was nearly perfect. I requested one alteration, and he got it to me quickly. I approved the second sketch and waited…
True to his promised deadline, Eugene delivered what is now the book cover for The Accidental World. With just brushes, paints, water, and a canvas, Eugene provided the perfect introduction to the world I created. He is The Wizard of Watercolor.
In the next few months, I hope to give Eugene the properly translated description for the cover of Book 2. I can’t wait to see what he creates this time.