Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And here we were criticizing that selection as being an unrealistic caricature rather than a credible character.
To our credit, we did change it to Tina Tate (as permitted by the contest), and I don’t think we were harmed by our lack of knowledge in the creative process.
To our detriment (or, rather, to the credit of our competitors, which amounts to the same thing), it looks like 2004 contest winner Jon Gann (“Signs”) actually knows the guy. They’re next-door neighbors. Can’t help thinking that might have given them a bit of a head start (nice when you can use a piece of the artist’s actual work which you happen to have at home).
In all seriousness, I’m not griping more power to ’em. This contest isn’t meant to start from a “level playing field” for anyone. Our team may not have had actual glass scluptures, but we did have an unfairly creative and dedicated bunch of contributors.