I'm sure we've all been asked to do little artsy things for other staff members, or for organizations, who don't necessarily understand that 1) these projects take TIME, and 2) that sometimes they are WAY out of our area of expertise, out of our comfort zone.
I can't tell you how many times I've been asked to use calligraphy to write people's names on certificates (and I've already told you that calligraphy is definitely NOT a lefty art form), when the requester probably has a WAY better handwriting than me. I've been asked to make thank you cards, posters, signs, door displays, play props, and much more. Some of these things I did using students to help, and many were quicker and easier to do myself. Many concert props were requested only a day or two before the concert, but luckily, the concert and play props are usually fun things to create.
I'm sure you've all had similar experiences. I once had a child bring me a note from home, from her agoraphobic mom (that means she NEVER leaves the house), asking me to make Halloween decorations for her home! That's where I drew the line. I mean, I hadn't even decorated my OWN house; why would I do hers? And why didn't her wonderfully artistic children do it with her? And there's been other times I've said no -
There were a few of favorites over the years, some that unfortunately I didn't photograph. In particular, there was an enormous papier-mâché roasted turkey for a skit at a holiday concert, and some huge 'stained glass windows' (painted on 6' tall cardboard panels), which were tongue-in-cheek images for the 12 days of Christmas which was being sung at a middle school concert. Kids helped plan the concepts, and I drew them all and did all the black outlines, and students painted them. Some examples: '4 Calling Birds' had some birds with their 'hair' in rollers at the beauty parlor while they gossiped on the phone; '3 French Hens' were wearing berets and visiting the Eiffel Tower,and so on. We finished them just in time for the concert and I swear they were put where nobody could see them. After many late afternoons spent outlining, and the weeks of these things taking up my whole art room, and the mountains of art room paint I had used, you can bet I was livid. So the day after the concert, I wanted to photograph them and make sure they were tucked away to use again, and I was informed they had been discarded! It still, years later, makes me angry to think about it!
For my teacher's union, I designed a logo (at the top of this post) for printed t-shirts, mugs, and letterhead, and subsequently adapted it for embroidered polo shirts and tote bags (below), and am proud to see that these are both still very much in use.
Recently my Temple asked me to do a pen & ink drawing of our building (below), to be printed on cards (thank you, sympathy, etc). I said yes and quietly freaked out. Drawing buildings to represent their architecture correctly is NOT my thing, and neither is working in fine black and white line, unless I am doodling. So I don't think this drawing is too successful, but they seem to love it, and so I'm proud of that. I sat outside at my picnic table to work on it (from photos I had taken) and decided I would not leave until it was done. I admit that I don't attend services regularly, and I'm not a wealthy donor, but I very much appreciate my little Temple family and when I am asked to do these things (remember those 2 trophies I made for Latke Fest?), I feel like it's my way of contributing.