My wife bought me the Name of the Wind. She liked the title, and the cover, and thought that since I liked fantasy I'd like this book.
She didn't realize that speculative fiction and especially fantasy, is a house divided as a genre. With so many subtleties and nuances that there's very generally no way on earth you can judge a book by it's cover.
Like so many things about my career in art (never thought I'd write that) that sentiment turned out to be oddly presaging. Because you see now, just a scant 4 years after having read The Name of the Wind for the first time I'm working with the man I consider to be the best living author of fantasy fiction. For my money that title bears no exceptions or co-bearers. Pat Rothfuss is for me the very best there is.
Strange because it was my wife seeing the cover illustration that first time that made her encourage me to send my portfolio out to various places. To see if my pictures were something that could be a career as well as a passion. I never entertained that nonsense for a moment. My very sensible mid-western rust belt upbringing told me that art was a fine hobby. Yes, a great hobby to have and pursue... after you got home from the shop. It was really her that urged me to send out 13 initial portfolios. It says something of the narrative of my life that from those 13 I received my first 7 assignments.
Now here we are. This project is a quirky sort of trivial piece of the KingKiller Chronicles. Just some oddments really. However it's a lot more to me just because of the sheer unlikeliness of it all. Because of all the bits and bobs that had to land just so for it to ever have been. My partner and friend Erik Dahlman changed both our lives for the better when we decided to take a stab at making things we love for a living and hoping that other people liked them too. Hoping that when you saw Albino Dragon on a thing, that you'd know what you were buying. He took a gamble on me, and I him. Here too everything sort of tumbled into place.
So you might wonder what I think the secret is. What's the trick? There really isn't one that I know of. Hard work, love of what we do, and you guys and gals. That's it really. That's all there has ever really been.
So now this. It's been surreal, and a hell of a lot of fun. It helps that the designs are personal and precious to me, that these are the pictures I would draw anyway. These are the pictures that shape all the others. They are that much better because I get to share them. Thanks guys and gals. Friends, family and fans. You guys are all as much Albino Dragon as the two of us.
Now, let's go and chance the wind.