All five decided to participate, and sent in wonderful images for my consideration. If any of you are looking for illustrators, here's a terrific sampling of talent. I wish I could use them all -- maybe someday, for future projects!
The four finalists, in alphabetical order, were Maral Agnerian, Robin Kaplan, April Kasulis, and K. Sekelsky.
And my selection in the end, Jack Kotz. I'm really delighted to be working with Jack. I loved his initial submission work, especially this piece -- the play of light and shadow in this piece is lovely and haunting. Jack is a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and was pointed at my project by one of his professors; I'm very grateful.
I think what I like best about this piece, (which Jack would like me to emphasize is only an initial rough draft) is the dynamic character energy in it. You can tell, just from looking, that there's a story here, a tension between these two. It's very alive.
I'm really looking forward to working with Jack on the rest of the book! Onward!