I’ve always had a thing for tigers. I’m fascinated by the sheer majesty of the huge felines. Their beauty is riveting; powerful, rippling muscles, all wrapped up in sleek orange and sophisticated black stripes. One day last year I decided to add a tiger to an ongoing canvas, not knowing that in doing so, I was entering into a tiger “phase”. I sketched my tiger, poised with his front paws up on a stone for a commanding view, and then had to stop for life’s little details (like supper, and dishes) before I could get to the fun part of painting him.
A few days later I received an email from a total stranger, written entirely in German. I have a German heritage, and married into a very German family, but can, unfortunately, read only a few words of the language. Thank goodness for Google translate! My email was from a young woman named Sarah, who had admired my artwork online and wondered if I was open for a custom project. She was in the midst of completing her first children’s book and wanted me to design the cover. Sarah had to give me a quick rundown of her story, since, as I said earlier, I don’t do well with German. Yes, I was interested in her project! Especially when I discovered that her story involved a magical flying tiger.
I set my own painting aside for the moment and began a fun-filled collaboration based upon Sarah’s wonderful tale. I had such fabulous elements to work with. A young boy on a quest to save a family member must journey to the land behind the moon, and along the way is assisted by a beautiful fairy of royal blood, and a gorgeous winged tiger. (I would imagine you’d find it impossible to get to the land behind the moon without the help of a fairy and a flying tiger.)
Through a series of emails, Sarah and I designed a wonderful fantasy scene and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. (Sarah’s English is much better than my German, but we still kept Google translate busy.) This was a great project! What is not to love about helping to create a marvelous adventure for young readers? Plus, how often do you get to totally invent splendid wings for a mythical tiger?
I am very proud that my second book cover will soon be published in Germany and am anxious to see the finished product. (Sarah has promised to send me an autographed copy). Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this amazing project, Sarah. I wish you and your book so much success!! 🙂
16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas titled “Magic in the Sky”