I’ve always wanted to do a piece featuring the Magus bookstore in the University District, and I just let the idea simmer in the back of my brain, until it bubbled up and I said, “Ahah!” The ‘Ahah!’ moment came when I found the image of the Russian monk, or magician, and the rest fell into place. I had originally drawn the dragon in the tree for my Iranian musical engineer, as a tattoo for his son, but he chose the Assyrian Man/Bull God of Light instead.

In the original drawing, the dragon/man creature was not reading a book, nor was there an upside-down Tree of Life, from the Holy Kabala, with its roots in the heavens and its branches touching the earth. Those were features I added for the final Magus Book store drawing. The gal on the left of the piece, smiling at the dollar book cart, actually works at the store. She is a beauty, with purple hair! The owners, Chris and his wife, didn’t want to be in the picture. I figured that was because they are shy and reclusive, meaning ‘private people’ and not looking to be smack dab in the center of things.