We all have people we look up to, people who have helped, encouraged, inspired and befriended us. I am surrounded by them. Some are related to me. Others have worked for me. Some are professional collegues. And some I know from afar. A few of these folks are my friends.
In my professional life my heroes are folks I have read of, watched at shows and gatherings. These people keep me in awe as I watch them deal with others. They have risen to the very top of their game, passionate about what they do.
One of these folks I met way back in 1987. For the very first time my work had appeared in SignCraft magazine, although my name was not mentioned. It was an honor just the same. But on the cover was a picture of Cosmic Ray Renooy - a man bigger than life. Talented and outgoing, he was the hero of so many in the business. He knew his stuff, his designs were legendary and he knew how to swing a brush! He knew so much about design. Some day I wanted to meet this guy!
A while later I was working on my first large themed project in a small town on Vancouver Island. I was high on a scaffold when a El Camino slid to a stop in front of our job. A man with a bushy mustache jumped out nd I mmediately knew who he was. I remember we both pointed at each other and in unison yelled "You're FAMOUS!". It was instant friendship. Coz lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba - light years from me buth through the years our paths continually cross. I've visited him a few times, stayed at his house and he in ours. Each time we pick up where we left off, swapping stories and sharing knowlege.
In a few weeks he will drop in again, as one of our students at our first Sculpture MAGIC Workshop. It is ironic that he' like many of my students are so very talented and skilled in their own right. The truth is some of these folks, Coz included, could very well teach me. But just the same I am greatly honored to have them there. Coz and every other student adds to the MAGIC by sharing what they know at the workshops. As I sit up front and do my best to teach you can bet I am also listening closely to them and learning just as much.
In the last few days I've been busy designing the name plaques for all the students. There is getting to be quite a few scattered around the shop. But each time I look them over one stands out because it brings back so many great memories.
I'm looking forward to two more great workshops in the next couple of weeks!