As a business person I understand the need for rules. I also understand the periodic need to break them, or at least bend them into more attractive and palatable forms. It’s the no-harm, no-foul stuff that we sometimes do that still exhibits good intention, doesn’t lose the company money, and can be pulled off if you employ humor and humility.
These thoughts came to me as my sister and I treated our daughters to a night at Paint ‘n Sip or as my sister calls it, Gulp ‘n Sip. You have an empty canvas in front of you, a couple drinks inside of you, paint colors you’ve squirted out on a paper plate and your clean white shirt, and a person with more talent than you’ll ever have standing at the front of the room telling you what to do.
I have a little problem with people telling me what to do, so although I do have some artistic talent and in high school was named backup to our Art Delegate to State (I have absolutely no idea what that meant) what I produce in these events often depends on my mood. Some work has turned out so well that people say it’s frame-worthy, but I can also go waaay outside the lines. I’ve yet to have anyone slip me their therapist’s card, but I once painted what was supposed to be a cheerful field of nodding tulips in a bleak manner that made it look like tryouts for the killer plant from The Little Shop of Horrors.
My niece’s painting is on the left, mine on the right. At some early point I lost all interest in staying in the suggested lines and started turning clouds into floating fish and slug monsters, fighting and fleeing in the skies above the Space Needle. It’s hard to see, but I added a submarine on the left, then changed my mind and covered it, then realized it could still be seen, which is when I declared it done.
There were beautiful paintings completed that night. To my surprise, people began to gather around mine, open-mouthed, arms across chests; “Huh,” then, from an employee, “I like it” then “I want it,” proving that while coloring outside the lines, you can please yourself and others and without harming small children or animals in the process.
Meanwhile, my daughter had covered up everything she’d done and painted a Seattle Kraken logo.
The apple does not fall far from the tree.
May 25, 2023