What would you do if you had to investigate a murder
you would gladly have committed yourself?
The morning after the exciting Vessel realization, Ellen awoke to find the following in her inbox:
Here is the text Mike worked from for the study:
A stately room. Black-lacquered cabinets flank a massive desk. Maps and oil paintings hang on pale green walls. Burgundy woodwork. Globe, grandfather clock, and fireplace with brass andirons cast in the shape of lions, teeth bared. A room steeped in the past. Except in the sunny east bay, where a closet-sized polyhedron floats a handsbreadth above the carpet.
And here are his questions:
To make sure I understand what you're really describing, is this the relative size more or less of the time machine? And when you say east bay, do you mean east-facing bay window or bay as in a docking bay of some kind?
Ellen replied, specifying the size of the Vessel, the height of the ceilings, and the type of bay. She also included a stick-figure drawing of the room, which is oddly shaped.
About a day later, the following graphic magically appeared (click for full size):
The grandfather clock and the paintings (including one of Mike's), maps, globe, and shelves have appeared. Ellen's feedback:
How did you know what she looked like!? Trousers and boots, not skirt. And short hair.
After that, the picture came together quickly as Mike added details. Note that it is not the intention of Concept Art to include every detail. By definition, the process is an intermediary stage between text and final product. It's intent is to direct the producers in a direction that is visually consistent with the text.
Aside from the quick exchange about where Zane's body was relative to Merit and whether he had fallen onto the desk, Ellen had little further input. Click for full size.
which resulted in this:
Mike checked to see if a reverse angle would work:
About now Ellen realized that there was supposed to be a window in the south bay, but suggested that, in the interests of time, a curtain would do. Meanwhile, Mike had been finalizing the picture, adding details such as the lion andirons and the globe stand.
Mike: Here´s a last updated version...just darkened the shadow area at the bottom of the desk.
Upon which Ellen and Mike to do the book trailer, and Mike agreed. And said:
PS I guess you should send me a copy of the book so I can see what I'm getting into...and start getting some concrete ideas for a body of work that covers the story arc.