From the onset of my work-in-progress, I have wanted to find a teen artist to portray my protagonist’s art project in the book I’m currently writing. The art project weaves history and the old ways into modern culture and attitudes. He or she needed to be Native American and preferably of the Colville Tribes. It wouldn’t work any other way because my main character is of the Colville Tribes, Okanogan to be exact.
I thought. I prayed. I thought some more about possible prospects, even adults, and prayed some more. While subbing at school this winter I asked around a bit and there were no takers. I knew our school had a treasure full of talent, but no one was fessing up to it. We are such a poor school we don’t even have art class any longer.
Then one day I was chatting with a friend during the after school program I coordinate and she offered a name. The name of a teen girl I’d known for years. She’s been in our program as an elementary student, then moved but came back after a few years. I had no ideas she drew. My friend asked me if I realized this gem had sketched the new Hornet logo for our school. And of course, I had no idea. Working after hours I’m not always aware of the daytime scoop. I hadn’t even a teaspoon of inkling at this point.
So one day this particular girl came to the library where I’m based out last period of the day. I was preparing for the program and was elated she came into my space. It didn’t take long for me to ask if she was interested at all. I asked what she had been paid for her work in the past. A confused look crossed her face and she replied, “Paid? Nothing!” She blushed.
I told her if she was interested in taking three separate pictures and combining them as my manuscript stated, I would gladly pay her an offered fee. She smiles, glanced down, and said, “Yes!”
I never imagined what the outcome would be. I figured there might be two or three rounds of drawing this project, just like my characters had to do in the book. Then when I was subbing one day, a month later or so, she was in class and stated that she was done. I now had the confused look on my face. She handed me the final project.
I couldn’t believe what was I had in my hands. More than I could ask. More than I had dreamt. The ledger art from my head had come alive.
I prayed. God delivered. For that I am thankful.
And to you, Miss Katlyn Watt, I am thankful for your skill and dedication to the arts. You are one talented young lady and I’m honored to have your work for my next book. Bless you, my talented friend. I pray you find much success with your gift!
~We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. – Dakota