As I wrote about in this post and this post, prolific and talented writer and blogger Daryl L.L. Houston of Tennessee, has been one of the most encouraging and visible supporters of this Moby-Dick illustration project. It's been fascinating and wonderful for me to see how this project has impacted other people's lives, and in Daryl's case, he was fond enough of one of my illustrations to get a large and fantastically well done tattoo of it on his back.
Naturally it followed that when the time finally came to begin selling this art, Daryl should be the new owner of the original illustration. After all, he partially paid for it in blood, flesh and ink. And so it was with great pleasure that, aside from the tiny handful of illustrations that my wife has claimed, Daryl was the very first person to own a piece of art from this project.
I wrote a small, personal note to Daryl on the back of the piece and he was able to frame the art between two pieces of glass so that both the front and the back will remain visible. Here are two images of it hanging on his wall, above a smaller, alternate Moby-Dick illustration I did that he also owns...
Daryl has also written a very kind post at his personal blog with some amusing details about the tattoo and his wife's reaction to it that you should really read right here.
It's a strange but very good feeling to see one of the real, "official" Moby-Dick drawings finally beautifully framed and hanging in someone else's home. I've already sold the handful of alternate illustrations I did, but I've been holding on so tightly to all the of book illustrations for so very long now that, even though I didn't think it would, it feels very good to let them go to new homes now. Especially if those homes are with people who, like Daryl, have been friends and supporters of this project since the very early days, before it was a book or a gallery show or anything.