As Lou, Nancy and Tim have posted their wonderful pieces for the Stefan Kiefer book, I thought I'd post my contribution and a funny experience I had with Stefan some years back. I got the email sometime this past summer from Barbara Berry, who's a Great Gal, and has paid me a visit here in Annapolis, about the thank you book Astrid was putting together for Stefan. I thought about doing a portrait of Stefan, without realizing I didn't have any pictures of Stefan. I quickly changed directions thinking that if I were to do this right I should appeal to Stefan's sense of humor. So I came up with this one of Chancellor Merkel (The Playmate) reading her favorite magazine.
Here's the funny story. Early on in my career Stefan gave me a cover assignment, that I just wasn't ready for. I hadn't yet realized what overbooking could do to one's life. Anyway it was a cover story on Asia and the troubles they were having symbolized in the Tiger. He asked me to create sketch for him and that he would be flying in to New York in a few days and I could show him the sketch over dinner. So we meet at the Bryant Park Grill for the first time. His wife at the time was with us and we began to have great conversation and a lovely dinner. However, I was nervous about my sketch and the importance of Der Spiegel. I was also exhausted from my schedule and It showed. So when Stefan asked me to take out my sketch I had butterfly's in my gut. As you many know many restaurants in NYC are poorly illuminated and have lit candles at the tables to help us who are challenged by this. So as I was holding up my sketch just over the candle to Stefan, whose sitting across from me, I began verbalizing what I was trying to do in this hack of a sketch. As I was focused on Stefan I began to noticed he looked uncomfortable and wanted to interrupt my blathering. (Pause) He want to tell me that my sketch was on fire.
I thank God there are people like Stefan in the illustration business who really believe in peoples talent that he can overlook a young fool like myself and give me countless opportunities to make him proud.
I got a call not that long ago from Stefan when he saw my contribution and he graciously laughed and thanked me for my illustration. Stefan... Thank you.