Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If You Can Say Something Nice - Say It!

Last week I went with my daughter and friends to P.F. Changs for dinner. As usual, the food was over-the-top and the company delightful — but to top off the over the top evening was none other than James, our server. He was the BEST!! Not only did his face light up the room with his deeply dimpled smile, but he was on target for what we didn't even know we needed throughout the evening!
Each one of us was REALLY impressed! So impressed that I called the manager over to our table as we were about to leave. She came over looking a bit glum - the "Uh oh, what'd we do wrong?!" kind of look. When we enthusiastically told her of this guy's virtues as a server, she was thrilled. "He's up for Manager, so it'd be great if you sent these compliments on to Corporate." We took her card showing the email address and left.

I couldn't wait to give this server, James, the kudos he so much deserved! I mean, it's a BIG thing - acknowledgment. How many people are taken for granted? How many don't realize the effect they've had on someone after performing an act of kindness or by taking that EXTRA step to do a great job at whatever it is they do? So, I wrote an email to Corporate, who will forward it on to James, who will wear that dimpled smile when he reads it, and may even be promoted to Manager because of it.
Maybe it's the artist in me. . . being my own worst critic. Erasing, redrawing, erasing, redrawing - until it's right. . . or at least until I think it's right! It's a vulnerable job, being an artist.
Well, guess what? The same morning that I sent that complimentary email, I by chance came across a website blog that was written unbeknownst to me. It's title:

A little bit of inspiration goes along way...

Posted by Emma Measures on Thursday, November 19, 2009
I really like the work by Susan Drawbaugh...

especially this mouse, i think they work really well and love the colours, the simple designs but somehow they seem to have a great amount of detail. i like the use of tones and shades which really bring the characters to life. I'm a child at heart and i love these kind of images.
     Yes. . . This blog brought a big smile to my face. How nice to know my work has inspired someone - I had no idea. Acknowledgment is the best!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Away from the Norm

The last few months I've been offered jobs that are completely out of the box for me. One was for a corporate event invitation & logo, the other was for a Power Point sales presentation of a new product, and the last a poster announcing an upcoming musical event at the Courthouse Square in Prescott, AZ. Bottom line: CHALLENGES, CHALLENGES, CHALLENGES! 

I have to admit, I was quite intimidated when I first began working on each of these jobs. After all, I'm supposed to be funny - or at least whimsical with my work! None of these asked this of me. I had to put on my SERIOUS hat... my Graphic Artist hat....which hasn't been worn enough lately to fit comfortably. I nearly always take on a new challenge, because, for some reason, I'm of the mindset that if someone else can do it, why not I? So I start thinking outside the box, thrive on Google research, and doodle ideas all over the place... using my eraser a LOT! This is a good thing. By the time I'm finished with each assignment I'm feeling so accomplished - like I just passed a crazy hard test! I've now used computer programs like Illustrator, and Indesign, and Photoshop like I'd never used them before! I won't say that I didn't speak to my computer in a very loud, frustrated voice throughout the process, but in the end, I felt really good.... sort of like putting together a complicated meal that takes all day of cooking & figuring out the recipes! Once I got a taste of the work, it was delicious - and I can say I could do that! with a "pat pat pat" on the back. :o)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Personal

Three days have gone by since I posted my last blog... funny how quickly time passes when you're staring at a newborn baby's face for hours at a time! While at Laney's house (I no longer refer to it as "my daughter and son-in-law's house") my step-granddaughter, Katie,and I had a little chat. I hate the word "Step"- it sounds so "Mommie Dearest"! Anyway, we talked about how she needs to stop calling me by my first name. After all, her baby sister won't be calling me Susie - so why should she?? So, we agreed that from now on I will be "Mammy" to her - the name my first grandson gave me, and the name I'm called by his brothers, cousins and friends. We hugged on our new decision, and I'm feeling more and more like her Mammy each day. It doesn't hurt that she loves to draw! .... and she's quite good at it. I play a special role with each of my grandkids - cook with one, play piano with the other, and play ball with the two year old. I've decided that she will be my Art buddy - and when we're together I'll teach her how to draw. Hmmmm ... then maybe when little Laney grows up a bit we'll dance together ... or collect bugs ... or maybe those tiny little hands with the very long fingers will want to play the guitar? My guitar's been standing in the closet with a broken string for years - it's time it got some use! Meanwhile, I thought I'd post the picture that I did of Katie after we were introduced by the man who would become my son-in-law. She was just learning how to jump rope, and with all the sparkles that she loves to decorate herself with I had a GREAT time working on it - a few pearls here, some rhinestones there - I had a hard time stopping myself with the jewels - but she loved it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Brand New Inspiration

On Friday, July 9th, I saw Creativity at its peak! My younger daughter, Katy, gave birth to her first child and our first granddaughter, Delaney East Harris - Laney for short. Coincidentally, Laney is the name I'd planned to give my Katy when I was pregnant those many years ago, but husbands do have their say! The East part of the name is especially meaningful to me. It was my precious great grandfather's last name, my mother's middle name, and handed down to me as my middle name. It was also part of the signature I'd written at the bottom of all my masterpiece pictures for so many years before going commercial: SusanEast. Not having had a lot of time to do my own creating this past week, I did get to sit down and draw one very special piece. Katy has an adorable 7 year old stepdaughter, also named Katie - who's been an only child until now. I'd made a picture for her bedroom of her jump roping after she and I first met. She appreciated it so much that I decided to make a special Big Sister t-shirt for her to wear during that first introduction to her new little sis'. Katie already has her own dress-style - SPARKLES wherever she can wear them - so, for both pictures, I went to town gluing on rhinestones and pearls! Friday afternoon, when she first walked into the hospital room beaming with excitement, I presented her with the shirt. I'm not sure what sparkled more - the rhinestones or her beautiful smile! It's definitely times like these that being an artist feels most gratifying!