Alan M. Clark’s Advice for Aspiring Illustrators, Part 5


In all that you do in your illustration business, show professionalism. Don’t be a slob. Organize your life. The flaky artist rarely succeeds. Society’s “temperamental artist” is a stereotype. You don’t want to be a stereotype, do you? Make the effort to speak with good grammar. When writing to people, whether by regular mail or e-mail, compose your messages carefully and spell words correctly. All of these efforts indicate a high level of interest and willingness to perform your illustration services with care and excellence. That’s exactly the message you want to convey about yourself, your methods and your work. This is an important part of how to get people to pay for your work. If you are moderately talented or better and persistent, you may very well succeed.

Your appearance is important and sends a message as well. When I was starting out in illustration and looking for work, I wore dress pants, penny loafers and oxford shirts while doing business at conventions and with art directors. I’m not suggesting these clothes are necessary, but I want to get across some of what I was willing to do to get work. I believed that was the uniform I should wear to projected an image of stability since I was trying to get work from New York mass market paperback publishers. I looked damned preppy, but my artwork spoke of my imagination for me. I wore the uniform while many of my friends who were aspiring illustrators were wearing Hawaiian shirts, sandals, and ripped jeans. I believe it helped me get work.

You might think that I’m not a ripped jeans sort of guy, but that’s far from the truth. My opinion is that if you can be conservative and responsible in your business practices and work hard, you’ll probably get the opportunity to be spontaneous and wild in your art.

After I’d been getting illustration work consistently for over ten years, my wife, Melody, said to me one day, “You’re brave to have pursued your artwork and made a good business out of it.”

She’s a sweetheart to say stuff like that to me, but I said, “No, I’m not. I worked hard because I was afraid. I feared making a living doing something I wouldn’t enjoy, something that would give me little pride.”

If you have a desire to pursue your creative talents and find an audience, it’s no small task, but I believe regret for not having tried would be much worse.


—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

Art from Pure Imagination—Inventing Light and Shadow

When inventing subject matter without the aid of reference images in drawing and painting, there are a few assumptions based on my observations of the real world that I find useful.

1) All light travels in a straight line until it reaches an object, at which point it is reflected, frequently in a radiating manner, the directions of the reflection being determined by the shape of the object.
2) Ambient light is that which comes from reflection. All objects within an environment reflect light, including the particles of gas within the negative space. These reflections bounce all over the place, further illuminating everything within an environment. The more the light bounces, however, the less powerful is its ability to illuminate as it becomes scattered and diffuse.
3) Direct light is that which is reflected off objects directly from a light source within an environment.
4) Shadows occur where light, both direct and ambient have a hard time reaching. Shadows vary in darkness, depending on how close they are to that which casts them. The darkest shadows occur where the influence of ambient light is diminished by how many times it must bounce to reach the area. The farther away shadows occur from the object which casts them, the subtler they are due to the influence of ambient light.

Artwork: “If You Have Any Worth at All” copyright © 1994 Alan M. Clark

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

What They Didn’t Teach Me in Art School

by Alan M. Clark, Jill Bauman, Chad Savage, and Steven C. Gilberts

The names of the artist in this post are links to their websites.

Alan M. Clark—

I have a degree in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and while I got a lot out of that education, there’s much that I learned only after college, in the “real” world. Here’s some of what my professors didn’t teach me:

  • They didn’t teach me to be reliable, responsive, punctual, and easy to work with.
  • They didn’t teach me how to communicate and make my services as an artist salable.
  • They didn’t teach me that the world didn’t need me and my artwork and that I’d have to establish the value of my work before anyone would take me seriously.
  • They didn’t teach me that the value of artwork is based on “perceived value” and that it is up to me to raise the perceived value of my work.
  • They didn’t teach me that I needed to establish a good reputation for fulfilling the dreams of my clients if I expected to continue to get work (note that I did not say “the needs of my clients”).

Perhaps these things go without saying, but I think it would have been helpful if my professors had addressed them. Of course, I was young and full of myself and not paying attention to my teachers the way I might have. Perhaps they knew this and that practical experience was the best teacher of these basics.

When young artists ask me for advice, the first thing I say is, “Don’t be a flake.” Second thing I say is, “The business of getting work as an artist takes tenacity.” Third thing I say is, “Learn how to raise the perceived value of your work.”

Jill Bauman—

What they didn’t teach me in art school was how to deal with the emotional ups & downs of an art career. That was left to parents, siblings and friends who questioned the practical aspects of my life as an artist.

They didn’t teach me how to be original or to set myself apart from other artists. This I had to discover on my own. They taught basic skills, but not how to “think” as an artist.

Art school does not teach you how to present yourself and your art to galleries or art directors.

They didn’t teach me about money management or setting up funds for retirement or investment. Working as a free lance artist can be a rocky financial road.

They didn’t teach me anything about the business end of art. There were no courses in copyright protection, contracts, tax deductions or artists’ rights.

They didn’t teach me about the struggles to pay heath insurance.

As an artist I followed my dream. I was willing to pay the consequences when it came to artistic, financial, emotion and spiritual challenges. The end result is that I have had a long and fruitful career. I don’t have to retire. Now, I am respected for my experience.

If I were teaching now, I would advise young artists to develop their drawing skills. I would tell them to participate in life-drawing classes–it will be the basis of everything else that they do. Then I would encourage them to find their own way of seeing the world and expressing it visually.

Don’t try to be like someone else you think is successful.

Have your own vision!

Be original!

Dress neat!

Chad Savage—

1. Personality & Integrity

When a potential employer is first informed of your existence as an artist,
if s/he’s got Brain One, s/he’ll ask his/her contemporaries “What do you
think of this artist”? You’ll be judged and juried without ever even knowing
it, based on (a) your personality and (b) your integrity. That is to say,
based on how you deal with people, and how you deal with your work.

Are you a charismatic character who meets deadlines? You’re golden.
Are you a shy, withdrawn type who meets deadlines? You’re still good to go.
Are you a prima donna jackass who meets deadlines? You might still get
Are you a charismatic character who misses deadlines? Outlook not good.
Are you a shy, withdrawn type who misses deadlines? You’ll have plenty of
time to doodle.
Are you a prima donna jackass who misses deadlines? Have fun in the vacuum
that is your life.

Be easy to get along with. Don’t miss deadlines. I can’t state it any
simpler than that. Go to conventions and buy the first round. Be funny and
entertaining at industry events. Post to industry message boards and have
something intelligent to contribute. Tell jokes. Be fun.

And don’t miss deadlines.

2. Say NO.

Seriously. Nobody taught me how to say “NO” without feeling guilty. It took
10 years of every sob-story band, writer, starving artist, et al begging and
pleading for my artistic assistance before I was able to say, with 100%
conviction and 0% guilt: NO. You don’t walk into McDonald’s and expect a
hamburger just because you’re a broke musician; don’t walk into my studio
and expect free art. My time and talents are valuable. Period. If you can’t
see that, that’s your problem.

3. Be Professional.

Any industry, no matter what its focus, is rife with political crapola,
rampaging egotism and nepotism galore. Your job? Stay out of it. Rise above.
Don’t engage in stuff that is beneath you as a professional artist, no
matter how tempting it might be. I am certainly not without sin in this
department, but the older and more experienced I get, the more I’m able to
resist it, because I’ve seen how it NEVER works to your benefit. If you’re
known as the guy/gal that is impervious to industry shenanigans, well, go
back and read Rule #1 above.

Steve Gilberts—

During my freshman and sophomore years I attended the Louisville School of Art which offered a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) program. When the school closed due to financial problems, I transferred the applicable credits to the BA (Bachelor of Arts) program of a satellite campus of Indiana University. This was the only option financially available to me at that time.

While both programs taught an adequately balanced curriculum of artistic fundamentals, they considerably lacked in teaching even a basic understanding of marketing artwork or artistic skills. In fact, the prospect of creating “art for hire” was largely a forbidden topic. In general, both establishments frowned upon commercial and graphic art and viewed it as “selling out” or “prostituting one’s artwork.” The rule was “art was done for the purpose of creating art alone, not for deliberate monetary gain.” Within the later BA program, this bleak financial future was not helped by the large amount of non-art required (and expensive) courses the degree demanded. Additionally, I encountered what has been a common complaint among many of my professional peers. Particularly within the BFA program (but also present within the BA program) there was an outspoken majority of both upper class-men and faculty that were openly opposed to fantasy and science fiction illustration. Once, when I mentioned my interest in fantasy illustration to a senior, her reply to me was “Don’t worry Steve, we’ll burn that idea out of you.” Ironically she was not saying this to be mean. She actually meant this as a positive and inevitable outcome of the BFA program.

Now I don’t mean to undermine the value of a college education in the arts. My time spent in the classroom was invaluable in learning the basics of composition, design, and color theory. Indeed, I feel that it is my background in the fine arts that has given my work a distinctive edge that helps people to identify my work.

But for the amount of money and time that an art degree costs, there should always be at least the potential of financial opportunity in compensation. Art for art’s sake might be a philosophy worthy of those who are independently wealthy, a Sunday hobbyist, or a tenured professor. But for a large number of artists, illustrating for a living is how the bills are paid.

In regards to higher education, my advice to young artists is that a college degree is a worthy endeavor, provided you avoid some pitfalls.

If possible, attend a Bachelor of Fine Arts program rather than a Bachelor of Arts program so that you will be able to concentrate on art. While I understand that it does not hurt to have a well rounded education, courses not specific to a degree should be chosen by the student or at least the faculty teaching the degree, not the financial department of the university.

Make sure the program will provide you with the opportunity to grow in your skills, not stifle them.

Develop your own style. I can’t stress that enough. During my college years I saw fellow students emulate the styles of favored instructors. The instructors and their work are still around, but their imitators have vanished. Conversely, some instructors tried to churn out clones of themselves. Professors of this type are best avoided as they can cause damage to a developing artist.

Don’t buy into the philosophy that creating art for profit is demeaning and lessens the value of the piece. This philosophy doesn’t apply to the endeavors of teachers, lawyers, musicians or doctors, nor should it apply to artists.
Artwork: The quad of images above is formed of artwork done by the artists who wrote this article; top left—Alan M. Clark, top right—Jill Bauman, bottom left—Chad Savage, and bottom right—Steven C. Gilberts.

Alan M. Clark’s Advice for Aspiring Illustrators, Part 4

Working Freelance as an Illustrator

Many of us see the prospect of being a self-employed artist as a great adventure. As young artists we often develop both a glowing, idealistic picture of what it is like to work freelance, and quite a lot of dread that in the pursuit we might become just another cog in someone else’s creative wheel. These aren’t unreasonable ideas. The reality is that working for oneself is as tough or tougher than any other job—and job it is, love it or not. I had my share of unrealistic assumptions when I started out. Much of those assumptions and quite a bit of concern on my part revolved around the issue of creative freedom.

If a client is paying me to be creative, they want to feel confident they’re making a good investment. Therefore I must give my client a very good idea what they are paying for. At the same time, I must do this before I actually produce and deliver the final product to protect myself from having done a lot of work that might not be right for the client. At the very least, a client will want to see a sketch of what the finished artwork will look like. Some will want more preliminary work, possibly several sketches to choose from and then a rough color rendering of the image chosen before the finished work is done.

This “pinning down” of the image can become somewhat mechanical and frustrating. Making that part of the process interesting is entirely up to me, and sometimes that takes some effort if I’m not thrilled with the subject matter. If illustration is to be a creative pursuit, there needs to be sufficient spontaneity and discovery in my process to keep the work fresh and retain my interest in producing it. Many artists have difficulty reconciling the two.

I did too, once upon a time.

As young artists we often become interested in illustration because we see the imagination involved and are fascinated. We too have powerful imaginations and want to express ourselves. We develop our talents and become eager to display our wild imaginings. Entering into the business of illustration, however, we find that the look of our work is subject to the whims of art directors or editors. Sometimes, instead of feeling grateful that we are being paid to use our talents, we feel our artistic integrity is at risk.

I felt this way too, at first.

But just what are we talking about here? Could it be that once we produce a piece of work that is not entirely our own conception, we lose sight of our goals? Will our artistic vision be so compromised by the experience that we must wander the earth thereafter as broken imaginations, wasted talents, having become artists who have lost our grip on our own thoughts, feelings and convictions?

Hell no!

I discovered early on that illustration is just a job or rather a whole string of jobs. As a freelance artist, I can take what jobs I want. If I take a job I don’t like, I’ll complete the work to my client’s satisfaction, but I might not take another like it. It’s my choice. And in the meantime, I have plenty of time to create my own work, pieces of art that come exclusively from my own imagination, products of my own thoughts, feeling and convictions.

So when working with a publisher I show a willingness to work with them. It is not likely that my client would want me to do something completely outside my comfort zone, say, paint Elvis on black velvet or something—not that there’s anything wrong with that. The client is most likely familiar with my work, and once again, I have a choice of whether or not to take the job. Generally speaking I am chosen for a job by those who like my approach to illustration. This approach is demonstrated in my work—my choice of subject matter, medium and techniques. Therefore my rapport with a client has often begun through the body of my work even before we have met or spoken to one another.

The constraints that come with a job can be liberating, if I choose to see it that way. That is to say that they can liberate me from myself. Economy is not my first priority in creating a piece of artwork, but if a deadline is short, the job doesn’t pay well or I just don’t like the subject matter, I become very economical and deliberate in my approach to the work. I do not want to slight my client by turning in lightweight work, so the artwork must be simple but strong. This can result in pieces that are wonderful because of their simplicity. Working within constraints given by a publisher, I produce work that I would never have discovered any other way. This broadens my horizons, adds to my repertoire of techniques, helps me master new subject matter and hones my design skills.

If I find I really don’t like a job, I work twice as hard to create something I’m proud of so I don’t look back on the experience with bitterness. Most of the time I get jobs for which my work is well suited. A willingness to try new things has taken my work in exciting new directions.

I’ve learned not to fear reactions to my work—there will always be criticisms and rejections. To relinquish some control while working with another artist or art director is a chance worth taking. I have accepted that once my art is placed before an audience, it is no longer entirely my own.

Artwork: “Sideshow Surgery” copyright © 2005 Alan M. Clark. I threw this in just to have a piece of artwork with this post. I chose this one because it is a display of my wild imaginings. “Pin up” for Robert Steven Rhine’s graphic novel SATAN’S 3 RING CIRCUS OF HELL – concept by R.S. Rhine. Published by Asylum Press.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

Alan M. Clark’s Advice for Aspiring Illustrators, Part 3

Perceived Value

A key issue when trying to sell your artwork and artistic abilities is PERCEIVED VALUE. (On this issue, I will at first speak the obvious, but bear with me, please.) Artwork has no monetary value until someone gives it value. The one who produces a piece of artwork most often assigns the value, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Often, the value of a piece of art is arrived at only when someone agrees with the artist on a price and pays it. Still, that price may not be agreeable to another, and therefore the artwork is not a good investment for possible future sale. Artists like to think their artwork is sold to people who buy it because they like it, not as an investment, and while it is true that most people do buy what they like, frequently, often wrongly, the buyer also thinks that the piece carries a particular value they might need to cash in on in the future.

Perceived value is the collective response to your work by an audience, big or small, generally a community of some size, a fan base; those who attend a venue or enjoy a genre or a particular type of product in which or with which your artwork is associated and seen. You know your abilities are valuable, but there are people all around us with their very own valuable artistic skills and in order for yours to have high value, they must stand out in some way. The more people who see your work as having high value, the more you will be paid for it.

Exposure helps. Get your work out there. Early in your career it may cost you something to do that, but think of it as an investment in the perceived value of your work. Show samples to buyers, whether commercial or private, take part in art shows, competitions, etc…

The buying public, whether it is a company or individual, wants to know that you’re consistent and reliable at what you do. A one hit wonder, or someone who occasionally squirts out a little artistic genius on their own time will not earn the kind of respect that garners ongoing success. Work for people while working for yourself. Be prolific. Reinvent yourself regularly, but don’t drop the old you when doing so. Strive for distinctiveness in your work so that you are not replaceable. Hook up with those who are putting out products or events that are highly regarded or involve other highly regarded artists, writers, and products, for the high perceived value of those colleagues and products will rub off a little on you and your work. Strive to knock the socks off of your clients and their/your audience even if it takes more effort than you’re getting paid for. Sell your original work, as the sale of your work speaks volumes to others about the desirability of it. When you’re just starting out, lower the prices you’re willing to take, sometimes to ridiculously low levels, just to make the sale. Again, consider this an investment in the perceived value of your work.

The image with this post is an acrylic painting I did in 1985, the first year I was a full-time freelance illustrator. Not much really—an afternoon’s worth of work, maybe six inches tall, by twelve wide—it was one of umpteen quick, small pieces I did to show and sell cheap at science fiction conventions that year. Just starting out in freelance illustration at the time, I was struggling to get work and exposure, so I would entered this piece, and many others like it, in the convention art shows’ silent auctions with a minimum bid of twenty-five dollars. My hope was that it would get a couple of bids, and therefore have to go to the voice auction where artwork was paraded around by runners who showed the pieces to those bidding. That way, my piece of art would get more exposure. It may have gone up in price during the voice auction or it may have sold for twenty-five dollars in the art show’s silent auction—I don’t remember. My goal was to have the highest profile sales of my artwork at as many conventions in as many cities as I could, with the hope that by the next year, folks would know me and my artwork a bit. I sold sixty-four pieces of art at conventions all over the country that year and my income was pitiful, but by the next year, my artwork was commanding higher prices and people were talking about my work.

Artwork: “Adolescent Spacecraft” copyright © 1985 Alan M. Clark

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

Alan M. Clark’s Advice for Aspiring Illustrators, Part 2

If there is a company you want to work for, try to make an appointment with the art director (in some cases this will be an editor or even the publisher) and go see that person so they can look you in the eye and see that you are the sort of person who can get the job done. Make sure before going to all this trouble that you are the sort of person who can get the job done.

If you can’t go see an art director or their submission policies don’t allow it, send samples, either digital files via email or hard copy—read their submission guidelines to find out what they allow or communicate with the art director and ask. For magazines, guidelines are usually in the first few pages. For books, you can find guidelines in books like The Artist’s Market and The Literary Market Place or on the publisher’s website.

If you get in to see an art director, don’t run your mouth. Be patient. Let the artwork speak for you. Make sure your artwork can speak for you.

And that reminds me—there are other things that speak volumes about us, like the way we act, the way we look, and conduct business. Be dependable, punctual, responsible. Always meet deadlines or at the very least let your client know when you might be a little late. Don’t take work you can’t get done by the deadline. Try to take all work that comes your way—you might never see any again. Take a chance on trying things you never thought you’d do—it’s just a job and you’ll survive it—and you might find your way into something new and different for which your personality and skills are perfectly suited. (This takes a non-begrudging, generous mind set. Those who enjoy feeling sorry for themselves need not apply.)

I was one with a heaping helping of self-pity, a slob, a drunk, a procrastinator, but fear of working in a convenience market or, say, the men’s department at J. C. Penney or on an assembly line somewhere forced me to change and helped me to get organized.

The image with this post is one I created for the first portfolio I showed to art directors in New York in 1985. Fantastic Planet Books picked it up this year for the cover of One and Wonder, edited by Piers Anthony.

Artwork: “A View of Enverlez” copyright © 1984 Alan M. Clark

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

Alan M. Clark’s Advice for Aspiring Illustrators, Part 1

This is the first of a series of articles I’ll offer on advice for finding illustration work. The advice I’ll offer is largely based on advice given to me that worked. I’m not an authority. I am talking about my experience. Everyone’s experience is going to be different. I’ve been a freelance illustrator for almost thirty years now. These articles will include the sort of advice I’d give myself if I had a time machine and could go back and talk to the Alan Clark who was just starting out thirty years ago. Since then the landscape of the illustration field has changed a lot, but I will talk a bit about what I believe still works.

My education is in fine art, so to learn about the illustration business, I went to science fiction, fantasy, and horror conventions and spoke to the professional illustrators who were guests of the conventions. Illustrators are generally very generous with information about the business. I learned how to prepare a portfolio, who to try to see and how to approach them. I learned of work that was being assigned and how artists were chosen for the assignments. I learned about the difficulties of getting work without having had work—artists are notoriously flaky so art directors have all been bitten more than twice. I learned how to be the sort of artist an art director might take a chance on. I learned how illustrators made sure art directors and editor knew about them, their availability and dependability, and how to maintain a presence to avoid being forgotten. These days an art director might be a publisher, editor or even the author of a book.

There’s a lot of good advice out there for building a portfolio. But here I’ll give somewhat unusual but valuable advice given to me about preparing a portfolio:

1) Don’t include samples of anything that you won’t want to be hired regularly to do.
2) Six to ten examples of your art should do the trick. This few signals confidence in your ability to get your skills across to someone. Make sure the pieces you choose do this.
3) Make sure that the work chosen suits the format of the work you’re going after, that it’s tailored to the market you are showing the work to. If you are wanting book cover work, produce samples that look like book covers, ones that are the right shape and have a low contrast area where text might be placed. Don’t put text on the images. The low contrast area should not be one of no interest, but instead an area where text would look comfortable and where whatever was underneath the text would not look awkward.
4) If you produce work that is generic in nature, it might be purchase by an art directorto be used on something for which it is appropriate. For instance, in science fiction novels that include space ships, the ships are often not describe vividly, so a painting with a space ship in it would make a good cover. A novel with Vampires in it could use a generic vampire image. A fantasy with a dragon could use a dragon image and so on. Don’t put lots of extra subject matter in these pieces or they will begin to tell stories that might argue with the novel for which they might be purchased. Although these pieces are generic, they should be produced with distinctive style, strong compositions and incredible color. With tear sheets from these sales, a portfolio looks like it belongs to an artist an art director trusted with an assignment, getting you past the problem of not being able to get work unless you’ve had work. Art directors seeing the work in the portfolio do not know that the work wasn’t done on assignment. This is how I got in the door.

The image with this post is my first paperback book cover, a generic space ship piece bought from my portfolio by Tor Books for Le. E. Modesitt’s The Silent Warrior. I had been working full time in illustration for three years when the book came out, but had had little success in getting work with any consistency until after this. I got the advice for doing generic covers from David Hartwell.

Artwork: “Trilobite Returns to Helvoran” copyright © 1986 Alan M. Clark

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

IFD Publishing is Now Releasing Ebooks!

Beyond the Serpent’s Heart

by Eric M. Witchey

Nothing ruins a first date like a kidnapping and learning you’re the Mayan god destined to destroy the world.

Pakál, raised in the U.S. by his refugee mother, ignores the Mexican kids who taunt him for being Indio and the Anglo kids who shun him. He stoically pursues his version of the American dream – a good college, a law degree, and enough money to support his mother and marry the gringo girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, he is the incarnation of the Mayan god Nohochacum, and it is his job to battle the serpent of avarice in a one-on-one smack down that will cause the end of the world on Dec. 21st, 2012. Not all gods think it’s a good idea to end the world (and give up the worshipers that will end with it). Pakál must deal with his mother’s past, his family demons (divine and human), and a pantheon of gods unlike anything the U.S. school system ever suggested possible. In the end, he must accept his mythic nature, duty, and family in order to overcome the serpent of avarice and set the world on a path that will avert disaster at the end of the Mayan calendar.

Type: eBook

Suggested Retail Price: $4.95

ISBN: 978-1-4524-9087-8

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy (Mayan)

Sub-genre: Adventure / Coming of Age / Pre-apocalyptic

Author: Eric M. Witchey

Editor: Elizabeth Engstrom

Illustration: Alan M. Clark

Glyph Translation: Jim Duyer

Publisher: IFD Publishing


Author’s Bio

Eric Witchey has made a living as a freelance writer for over 20 years. In addition to many non-fiction titles, he has sold more than 70 short stories and two novels. His stories have appeared in six genres on five continents, and he has received recognition from New Century Writers, Writers of the Future, Writer’s Digest, the Eric Hoffer Prose Award, and other organizations. His fiction writing how-to articles have appeared in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, and other print and online magazines. When not teaching or writing, he spends his time fly fishing or restoring antique, model locomotives.

Serpent’s Heart Points of Purchase

You can purchase Beyond the Serpent’s Heart for any eReader platform. If you don’t see the link to your eReader here, contact me at or IFD Publishing at Let us know which eReader you are using, and we’ll point you to the correct place to purchase your copy.

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Smashwords  (scroll down) Do NOT buy the Kindle version here. It does not work correctly. Buy it from Amazon.

Free eReaders for Your Desktop, Laptop, Ipad or Other Slate

If you need a free eReader for your desktop computer or laptop, you can download one from the following sites:

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Dilation Exercise 26

Below you’ll find the weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If you need a further explanation go to Imagination Workout—What is This? Artwork: detail from “Frontispiece for ‘Night in the lonesome October'” copyright © 2000 Alan M. Clark

Early on after legalization, the social taboo had not lifted, and shame kept most, even those in desperate need of nourishment, from partaking of the exquisite flesh.

The down and out, those already living in shame, under bridges, squatting in abandoned warehouses and factories, were the first to benefit and contribute to the rich post-prohibition culinary legacy we have today.

—Alan M. Clark

Eugene, Oregon

Dilation Exercise 25

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If you need a further explanation go to Imagination Workout—What is This?

The depressed had but to touch the boy’s head to be relieved of their malady.

As the boy discovered just how many people were depressed, he also discovered that touching his own head did him little good.

—Alan M. Clark

Eugene, Oregon