I think that it is important for artists to surround themselves with a variety of influences — some being artists and arts related influences; some being people who inspire us in ways beyond the world of art. I have been lucky to have both in my “real” world as well as my “virtual’ world via social media.
I am not exactly sure how or why, but somewhere along the line I found myself connected to two Human Resources bloggers though social media. I have become a big fans of both, and have also found reciprocal support from them. One of these bloggers is Laurie Ruettimann of Punk Rock HR, through whom I got connected to Amanda Hite, CEO of Talent Revolution. Both of these women have inspired me artistically, but also influenced me in terms of developing a business around my artwork.
I don’t think I am typical of either woman’s following, but both are women who break standards on a daily basis, so I fit right in.
Anyway, I got an email this morning from Amanda and the rest of the Talent Revolution Team that today was “Random Acts of Awesomeness Day“, meaning that today is a day to randomly send shout-outs to people for their awesomeness. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, so I am dedicating my blog today to five people whose awesomeness has made an incredible difference in my life.
- The first shout-out goes to Laurie Ruettimann, whose cat Scrubby is my Brewskie Butt‘s long lost twin, and serves as her partner in the blogosphere as the Brew does with me. Laurie constantly challenges me to think about new things and ideas through her funky but intelligent blog. She also inspires me to be real and fun via social media, which has helped me significantly in find a following for my artwork online. I have never met Laurie in person, yet she has given me personal support and encouragement many, many times. I am really hoping that she is able to make it to BlogPaws West in September so that I can meet her in real life.
- The next goes to Amanda Hite. Amanda, like Laurie, is often the keynote speaker at major conferences and conventions, and she consults with important people from large corporations. Even so, she once took time out of her busy schedule to talk with little ol’ me for an hour (for free) on a Sunday evening. She sends me tweets and Facebook comments now and then to encourage and support me, and she posts really encouraging stuff on Talent Revolution that inspires me. I hope to meet Amanda in real life someday too.
- The next goes to Caroline Golon, co-founder of BlogPaws, public relations pro extraordinaire, and staff to the incomparable Romeo the Cat. I met Caroline online through social media as well, however, I have had the opportunity to meet her in real life, and we are great friends. Everyone should have a cheerleader like Caroline in their corner. She has been a steadfast supporter of my artwork and has helped me access great opportunities. Plus, she is a tireless fundraiser for animal charities, a cause which is near and dear to my heart.
- My next shout-out goes to another animal charity fundraiser phenom — Lynn Haigh. Lynn is the founder and coordinator of the incredible monthly PawPawty — a 24-hour Twitter event that raises money for animal charities. Lynn and I met online through the early pawpawties, of which Brewskie Butt‘s birthday was the 2nd official “pawty”. We have since met in New York City when we were both nominated for Shorty Awards, and again at the first BlogPaws conference. The pawpawties have raised OVER $33,000 for animal charities in little over a year! That is just awesomeness to the nth degree, if you ask me! For her efforts, I have nominated Lynn as one of CNN’s Heroes.
- My last shout out goes to a local Canton, OH hero of mine — Robb Hankins, CEO of Arts in Stark, the County Arts Council. Robb has given me amazing support personally and helped me develop several artistic projects. But beyond that, he has inspired a movement in Stark County, OH that has helped artists and the entire community develop an identity around the arts. Few people know this, but Robb was also the first person to encourage me to develop my niche as a pet artist, for which I am eternally grateful.
Laurie, Amanda, Caroline, Lynn, and Robb — You are all the most awesome of awesomeness to me, and I thank you for all the inspiration you have given me.
Who has inspired you with awesomeness? Why not send them a random act of awesomeness today? Send them a tweet or Facebook shout-out, or give them a shout-out here and send them the link.