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Story Illustration: The Watchmaker's Gift
By sethness   |   Watch
2 4 509 (1 Today)
Published: May 8, 2014
© 2014 - 2019 sethness
This is a commissioned illustration of a short story by Richard Matrunick. The story won the story contest at Daily Science Fiction (dot com) last year.

The story is worthwhile reading. It's a challenge to illustrate because the author intentionally leaves so much ambiguity in the tale. Is the roadkill turtle reanimated by magic, by clockwork engineering, or both? We're not told, although we're informed that the watchmaker uses gold parts in her work. Is the watchmaker (an elderly woman) Caucasian, Asian, black, Native American...? Again, we're not told.

The story is narrated by the most unlikely of narrators: a reanimated wind-up turtle who is former roadkill. I won't say more about the story except to say "Read it here:"…

You're looking at a barely digitized image. I roughed it out in pencil first, then black pen outlines and crosshatching, then colored pencil. This was at the request of the author, who wanted a paper and pen original and who does not value a digital version much.

There's a bonus here for polyglots. You can find several words and symbols: my signature in mirror writing; "Leibung und Lebung" (loving and living) in German; "ikiteiru" (alive, living) in Japanese Hiragana; symbols for the Elements drawn from the Korean flag; and "chi" written in ABCs. Chi can mean life/lifeblood/spirit in Chinese and Japanese, or in this context it might simply be part of the phrase "Made in China".

This illustration appears above all DailyScienceFiction (dot com) stories for the month of June 2014… and may become the cover illustration forDSF's year;y stpry anthology in Kindle eBook format.
Image size
4724x6668px 4.44 MB
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
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Comments (4)
sethness's avatar
This piece is the "cover art" for all stories appearing on for the month of June, 2014. It'll also be the cover art for their June 2014 Kindle / ipod /ipad eBook edition, and may become the cover for their (belated) 2013 compilation eBook.

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sethness's avatar
I have to admit, I'm happy with the turtle but not at all happy with the anatomy of the hand and arm holding the tweezers.
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Danieljamieson's avatar
Danieljamieson|Professional General Artist
that is so cool. 
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the-nucularman's avatar
the-nucularman|Professional Digital Artist
great :)
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