Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bits & Pieces

Stepping Up

Lately I've caught a few cooking shows, and it's inspired me to think some about presentation. Average food gains appeal when it's artfully arranged on a plate, and even great food loses a little something when it's just slopped on.

Likewise, I'm trying to be a little more careful with some of the appearances around my paintings. Until recently, I've just been hand-writing the painting's information on a label pre-printed with my name and contact info. From now on, though, I'll be printing out the labels. Just a small professional touch, but I've got to think that these little details add up.

On the Wall

It's nice to see a finished painting, well-framed, up on the wall.

Chris Howard

My friend Chris Howard's novel Seaborn is officially published this weekend.

Chris and I started working together 7 years ago when the company I was at purchased the company he had co-founded. In the interval between the deal and Chris moving his family from Silicon Valley to the Boston area, there was some impressive buzz about him floating around the office: dot-com entrepeneur, rockstar software engineer, expert on Aristotle, speaks Greek and Japanese, etc.

It was all pretty accurate, but he still turned out to be a really nice, down-to-earth guy. We soon got to be friends (and I'm forever grateful that he and Alice were among the very first to buy a painting from me!).

One thing I learned early on was that he aspired to be a writer. He actually had written in the past, but put it aside for years while he was starting software companies, and was only then picking it up again. It was fascinating to watch him start from square one; write, submit, collect a pile of rejection letters, write more, submit more, get a few short stories in print, get an agent, get a publisher, publish the first novel, and have 2 more in the pipeline while you're at it. All this while raising a family and having a responsible grown-up's job.

The dedication and perseverance was amazing... and inspiring to me as I was trying to get my own artistic career off the tarmac.

Anyway - it's a well-deserved success, and the first of many I'm sure - Congrats Chris!

I almost forgot - on top of all that, he's an accomplished artist as well, doing among other things some really great illustrations based on his current writing projects. Some people just do it all...


Chris Howard said...

Oh, stop it! You're embarrassing me. I've forgotten all my Japanese, and there's Greek in Seaborn but I've probably made a mess of it.

It has been a very long and crazy road, but I am now officially an author with books on bookstore shelves.

Thank you, Jeff!

mongoose1001 said...

Gratz Chris,
I love reading the successes that follow when you chase your dreams.

Jeff this is a great blog, thanks for mentioning it at your blog.


Jeff Hayes said...

Thanks Cindy!