Most of the time, when artists talk about their inspirations, they mention other artists. In the world of animation, the names and artwork of artists like Milt Kahl, Mary Blair and Tom Oreb are often cited and deservingly so. Their work has had an incredible impact on our craft and provided many hours of inspiration for me. I could also add several illustrators and contemporaries whose art excites and moves me to better my own work every day. However, I only know the work of these people. I don't what their character was or how they treated other people. I can only admire their art.
I usually don't get too personal on this blog, but something big happened yesterday and I want to brag a bit.
After over 30 years supporting his family as an electrician, my Dad found out the plant that he worked for was closing down. He could've found another factory job, but instead decided to go back to school. Yesterday, he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Louisville Nursing School. This first award was given to to recognize the student with the highest GPA. This alone is quite an achievement, and speaks to my dad's intelligence and persistence. However, he was also recognized by both the students and the faculty with two additional awards. These awards were voted on by both groups and are given to recognize a student and colleague with incredible character.
When these awards were announced a huge cheer went up amongst the faculty and students. I was overjoyed to see such a response to a man I have loved and respected my whole life.
After the ceremony, one student after another came forward to congratulate my dad. I could see in each of their faces, the incredible regard they held for my dad. This is true inspiration.
I can say the same of all my family and friends. My mother's big heart, my brother's boundless energy and my wife's support (and incredible artwork) have all lifted me to higher things.
To all of you who have inspired my through the years, thank you. Anything good about me is because of you. May you each be blessed with the inspiration you have provided me.
To my dad, congratulations you earned everything the hard way and I am incredibly proud to be your son.
And to you, my family and friends thanks and Merry Christmas!