As media watchers waited to see who would be chosen as TIME Magazine’s 2013 person of the year last week, artist Jason Seiler — known for his hyper-realistic paintings and caricatures — was celebrating.

The Chicago-based artist was originally contacted by TIME to make a painting of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the man who would eventually be the runner-up to the winning pick, Pope Francis.

“[TIME] called me on speaker phone with three different art directors and said, ‘We’re really, really happy with the Snowden piece. Would you like to do another cover for us?'” Seiler, 36, told HuffPost by phone.

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