I’ve stated in the past about how difficult it can be for an illustrator to make a living. You mainly have to work freelance, which is tough, because you have to be a bit of a salesman, too. You work hard hoping for the big break. Hoping that you’ll be discovered and the work will flood in. It’s kind of like acting.

Scott Roberts is a very good friend of mine who is not only an excellent illustrator, but he’s also a very gifted graphic artist, designer, and writer. He’s been eeking out a living working in the graphic arts field for close to 30 years. He’s done freelance illustration, graphic design, art direction, photography, mural painting, web design, copywriting, and creative direction. He’s pretty much done it all in the graphics industry. And yet he still struggles.

I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret about the graphics field. Unless you become a name in the industry, experience can count against you. Over the years, Scott has been interviewed numerous times at ad agencies and art houses. Every time he interviews he is praised for his abilities, his professionalism and his personal likeability. Still, he rarely gets the job offer. He’ll get freelance work, but not the steady job. The main reason is that he has too much experience and will command too high a salary. The industry prefers to hire kids coming out of college. They may have talent, but their experience level is such that they’ll come cheap. Scott was never looking for the mega-salary package. He wanted a steady job to help him raise his family. When told he would cost too much he would say, “Make me an offer!” They wouldn’t.

And so it goes.

However, back in 1998, Scott began telling his twin daughters (age 7 at the time) a tale about a swashbuckling mouse named William. Scott decided to write and illustrate the story. William the mouse became Tam O’Hare, an adventurous rabbit. The story just grew from there.

I watched it grow over the years. Scott would show me the sketches of ideas and ask for my input. He also gave me early drafts to go over and comment on. I’m not sure how much my meager input helped, but it was an honor to be asked.

Then came the attempt to get the book published. Scott found an agent who was excited about the book and began to shop it around. No takers. The publishers liked the art and had suggestions on the story for improvements for marketing. Scott worked to improve the book and the searched continued. Eventually, Scott’s agent seemed to lose interest and Scott dropped him. Scott had a friend who took up the task and found a publisher.

The first edition should be released in June.


I’m very excited for Scott (or Scotty, as he prefers for his pen name) and have high hopes and confidence that this book will be a roaring success. Someone has to be the next J. K. Rowling. Why not Scotty Roberts?

And now for the comment suitable for a blurb on the back of the book…

Scotty has created a sweeping adventure that is great fun. A riveting tale with outstanding illustrations. It’s wonderful.

It truly is wonderful. And it’s about time.

You can find more information, see more of the fantastic illustrations, and preorder your own copy of ‘The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O’Hare’ at: http://www.myspace.com/tamohare

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