I'm going to write up a longer blog post about my experiences at this year's SizeCon, but I don't want this to get drowned out by all the other amazing things that happened this weekend.
The above image is Claire from my first novel. Since I first released the book in 2015 I've gone through multiple cover options including three separate models trying to find the woman I'd pictured in my head. The current cover I'm using is the closest I've come to, but she's probably a little too model-y to be Claire.
I met an artist at the Con this year named I Am Filled With Static. Our booths ended up facing each other and we had a great time that I'll discuss in the larger SizeCon post.
His art isn't focused on size, but it was obvious staring at his display for two days that he's amazingly talented. I made an inquiry about the costs of making a cover image. The rates he quoted me were extremely reasonable, but I'm afraid I'm still on a stock photo budget so it looked like it wasn't meant to be.
But then I kept looking at his art, and chatting with him and his husband. I want to support talented people who are following their passions so I asked him about commissioning a sketch.
There's a scene in Worshipping Claire that I keep coming back to. The one where Mark has learned the truth about the woman he thought he wanted to belong to. A point where he realizes he's given everything away for someone who is not the person he thought she was. He's devastated by that. Raw. Weeping naked on the ground unable to fix the mistake he made.
Claire, who's been developing feelings for Mark, sees him at this low point. They have a dom/sub relation, but Claire lets herself step out of that role briefly to comfort him. She leans down over him hovering her face over his sobbing body and lets her hair fall around him forming a curtain around him that reminds Mark of being under a willow tree as a child. She uses her body to create a safe space where she can comfort him.
It's a very powerful moment for the characters that defines their relationship for me. She doesn't have to relinquish her power over him to comfort him. She can use her size and strength to do that. The willow imagery comes up later. He even gets to the point where him calling her Willow is his way of telling her something getting too much for him. His name for her becomes his safe word.
I Am Filled With Static very patiently read through the passages I thought most pertinent. I didn't want to force him to read a dozen pages so I summed up the rest. He was very patient with me as I had him change his initial sketch in several significant ways. I even got down on the floor to give him an idea of how Mark should be posed.
And then he came up with this.
This is Claire.
Claire as I've imagined her for three years. Claire as I've wanted to show the world.
Thank you, I Am Filled With Static for being so patient with me, listening to what I wanted, reading material that isn't in your usual kink spectrum, and delivering a beautiful piece of art. If anyone is reading this and has something they want the world to see, but lack the artistic talent to bring it out I highly recommend following the embedded link and talking to this excellent artist.
I'm going to get this scanned later. Once I do I'll replace my poorly photographed version with the scanned version. She's been inside my head too long for me to not let her out now.