I have something cool to show you! I’ve struggled for a while with what to use as an author photo here on The Whine Seller. I wanted it to be something immediately visually different than the author photo I use for writing plays and fiction but still recognizable as my real human face so I could use it on my business card for when I met people in person at talks and events.

Add to this that I’ve had a heck of a time finding a designer who can represent the concept of e-commerce and capture the spirit of The Whine Seller in a logo. The logo you see on the top left of the site right now is one I made and it’s OK and matches my books but it’s nothing all that spectacular. But I’ve hired several designers over the years to try to make me a better one and every time they come back to me with images that clearly scream shopping and not selling. Do we seriously not have a better way to depict selling online than women with shopping bags or do they just keep giving me that because I’m a woman?

Either way, the result was that the little avatar version of my fiction headshot I had up on this site as a temporary thing stayed up far longer than I wanted it to.

Sooooo boring.

Throughout this whole search for the right logo and headshot, I kept coming back to the original Whine Seller logo I made myself and used for years. It was awkward and incredibly ugly but I always felt like it at least gave people a sense of what to expect from the site. Longtime readers may remember this thing…

original logo for The Whine Seller

It’s OK to laugh at it. I made it myself I don’t claim to have any artistic ability. (What the heck is up with that loooooong arm?) But the little expression on her face, the way she’s pushing things into the computer in a dollar sign vortex thing while casually drinking wine with the other hand? THAT was what I was going for! Why couldn’t I get a logo that captured that same spirit?

Then I realized I could.

I’d been barking up the wrong tree. This time, instead of hiring another logo designer, I started looking up caricature artists. I sent him a photo of me and that original awkward graphic and asked him if he could do a mash-up: a realistic-ish cartoon version of me and my real face drinking wine and selling online.

I searched around for a while until I found Basil of pencilillness on Fiverr who was an absolute joy to work with even with multiple revisions and a price that CAN NOT be beat so I cannot recommend him highly enough. (If you’ve never used Fiverr before and would be willing to sign up via my referral link before buying I would greatly appreciate it and you’d get a free gig as thanks!) He gave me exactly what I wanted. An author photo that doubles as a logo for the site that not only captures what the site is about but also looks enough like my real face that I people can recognize me at in person events.

Tah dah! Pretty awesome, right? I decided to go the Clark Kent route to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction writing and left my glasses on for this pic. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll change the book I’m “selling” in the picture to reflect my latest release like I used to do with the old logo or not. But the fact that I finally have exactly what I wanted makes me incredibly happy.

This is the first of several new things coming to the site in the next few months including a new bio and other surprises but, for now, let me know what you think of the new author photo!