Good-bye (at least for some time) to Matt Abraxas, the talented illustrator of seven titles in our series: John Owen, Athanasius, Lady Jane Grey, Anselm, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, and Marie Durand. John Owen and Lady Jane Grey have both come finalists in the annual San Diego Book Awards, and Anselm of Canterbury has won first price. Much of the credit for these awards goes to Matt for his highly acclaimed illustrations.
Matt has left the series to work on a new line of work (film director). When his new business becomes stable, he plans to return to painting and (hopefully) illustrating.
Great artists have several distinguishing marks. One is a passion for excellency. There were times when Matt was especially busy juggling family duties, seasonal illnesses, and various occupations. It would have been easy for him to cut corners, but in the end I could see that his passion had the best of him. He couldn’t resist getting things just right.
I should also thank his lovely wife Rebecca for allowing him to spend much time on these illustrations and for posing for some (yes, she is even Queen Mary I of England in the illustration on the right). And thanks to his children Zorba and Rainer for contributing with their opinions and ideas.
I keep encouraging Matt to sell his original illustrations at affordable prices. If you are interested in buying anyone in particular, let me know.
And if you miss Matt, just glance through some of our books. He is there almost in every picture, ha! (see picture on left).
We now welcome our new illustrator Troy Howell, an acclaimed award-winning artist and illustrator as well as author of several books (including the delightful YA novel, The Dragon of Cripple Creek). Yes, it’s the same Troy Howell who illustrated the covers for the well-known Redwall series. My children loved to read those books and gaze at the covers. I certainly didn’t expect Troy would be working with me today! You can find more about him on this website http://troyhowelletc.com/ You can also check his Linkedin profile to see a list of his awards https://www.linkedin.com/pub/troy-howell/57/979/351.
I “met” Troy online some years ago when I was looking for an illustrator (before Matt came along). What drew me to his artwork was its energy, intensity of expressions, and whimsy. I still remember a picture of a girl looking back, staring at the viewers. She absolutely charmed me. I don’t know where this picture is now.
At that time, Troy was not available but was extremely kind and accommodating. We have since remained friends and he has offered me his writing advice on several occasions. I am glad he found “the subject of such an influential figure as Luther” “inspiring” enough to accept this assignment. I am definitely looking forward to this new and exciting artistic collaboration!