You Can’t Pick Your Illustrator’s Nose

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…but you can pick your illustrator!

People often ask me how we found Nina Khalova. The method seems so normal to me now – such is the wondrous nature of my brothers, that I’ve almost gotten used to their pulling innovative ideas out of a hat – but at the time, it was mystifying to me.

Apparently, there are places on the net where you can submit a proposal and put it out for “bids,” in this case, the hunt for an artist, the “bids” would be in the form of a drawing. My brothers asked me to do a drawing that prospective artists would do their take on, so I did. Here ’tis:

Init IllAA simple sketch of two little girls looking out an attic window, sitting on a suitcase with a lamp and a vase on either side and two cobwebs. Now, do you see the problem? What was I thinking?! There are no faces in this sketch! Dang.

Ah, well. The submissions soon started pouring in. A lot of them looked like they had done a slightly better version of my drawing. Most were very literal. We were looking for “a little something extra.” I’ve mixed Nina’s submission in with the rest, see if you can guess which one was hers (answer below):

1. Ale 2

2. Ale 1

3. Ale 3

4. Ale 10

5. Ale 4

6. Ale 5

7. Ale 6

8. Ale 8

9.Ale 7


If you chose Lucky Number 7, you’re right! Most of the artists just drew a lamp and a vase. And two cobwebs. Nina had drying herbs, a trunk, a gramophone, shelves stuffed full of things, even a sleeping cat, fer cryin’ out loud! Number 4 was a good possibility. He was even local to my brothers! But I believe he was too busy. So Nina of the Ukraine was the one We Picked.

And now! Today! As you drive by my steaming house (we’re in the middle of a heat wave, don’t you know), there’s a good chance I’ll be in my closet, recording away. I found my flashlight! So there’ll be no fires today.

The response to the teaser for Chapter 1 was EXCELLENT (thankyouverymuch), and I’m even more excited for Chapter 2! Once again, my brother’s done a bang up job. How did I get so lucky?

ALSO! Don’t forget! Chapter 5 coming tonight at midnight! It’s entitled, The Race.

Hope you enjoy.


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4 Commentsto You Can’t Pick Your Illustrator’s Nose

  1. Dennis Agle says:

    I will say you sketch very well. And while I had a hard time selecting which one was Nina’s, after you gave the difference it was easy to see the difference. You have an artist’s eye. Along with being a great writer.

    • Ruth says:

      Thanks, Dad! I hadn’t seen these sketches from other artists for a long time and was surprised that Nina’s didn’t stand out even more.

      I remember having a book as a little girl in Hawaii and there was an illustration on the back page that was like an absolute treasure to me. I LOVED that drawing! There were so many things to look at, and I looked at it a LOT. Wish I could remember what the name of that book was.

      But what it taught me is that I like pictures that have plenty of things to discover.

      Love you!


  2. Michele Hernansen says:

    Well, that was a very interesting little tidbit. One day, I will be on Jeopardy and win millions because I know how you picked your illustrator’s nose. Cool.