Colorful & Charming Art of Susan Elizabeth Joneswww.ArtPal.com/susanejones
I grew up living a charmed life alternating many weekends between Milan and Paris. And I knew from an early age I was destined to be a great artist like my Granddaddy. Life was sweet.
Little did I know my grandparents' homes in Milan, Tennessee, and their fishing cabin in Paris Landing were not in the world capitals of lovers, dreamers, and artists. But I did learn early the hard work and sacrifices required of a young artist. I remember with vivid clarity the afternoons spent drawing and painting numerous works of art with my markers, crayons, and watercolors at the dining room table. Then without hesitation, promptly pricing each piece in the upper, right-hand corner. 5¢. 10¢. 25¢. 50¢. And for the pièce de résistance $1. These pieces I sold to complete strangers passing by the house, in the fashion of the more recognizable lemon-aide stands other kids used to earn a little extra spending money.
I remember creating and hosting neighborhood art shows and personally assembling the blue, red, and yellow award ribbons out of construction paper and paste, and talking my parents into judging the submitted works and awarding the 'ribbons' to the top three paintings. Silly? Maybe. But I have a Girl Scout badge that says otherwise.
It didn't take long to earn the reputation of being 'an artist' with all its glory and benefits, like the Paint By Numbers kit from Duane Dunnevant who drew my name for Secret Santa in the 4th grade, or being chosen to appear on the local PBS art show "Hey Look!" with Billy Simington in the 5th grade, or the tiny trophy I won for art in the 9th grade talent show for sketches of Rita Coolidge and Les McKeown, the lead singer and unquestionable cutest member of the Bay City Rollers.
Did I mention life was sweet?
In addition to taking Art for four years in High School, my parents supported me by allowing me to take private lessons from Ann Caruthers and Mary McDaniel. It never occurred to me that my life's profession would be anything other than fine art. That is, until my senior year of High School and decisions had to be made about college.
My sweet parents listened to my ideas about a career in Fine Art with sincerity and respect, and then suggested that I continue painting but choose a major in business as a fall-back plan, especially if I was expecting them to pay for my education. Dad strongly suggested I study accounting .
Well, the accounting major lasted until I took my first accounting class. And then was changed immediately to business.... merchandising, marketing, and management. I even took it a step further, earning an MBA in marketing before embarking on a career as a marketing professional specializing in the marketing of professional services in the healthcare arena.
Spring forward twenty years and I'm a Business Development and Marketing Manager for a national malpractice insurance company traveling the country educating chiropractors and chiropractic students on the importance of understanding the difference in Claims Made and Occurrence malpractice insurance and the questions to ask prospective providers when making an informed decision that could potentially impact their financial security.
I loved my job. I loved working with the people in the office and in the field. I loved the creativity and spirituality of the philosophy of chiropractic. I loved teaching at chiropractic colleges and chiropractic state association meetings. I loved working with the agents, my staff and my boss to develop marketing strategies for increased market share. I loved working with the creative agencies to develop marketing campaigns. I loved traveling the country.
However the only thing constant in life is change, and the company I worked for was purchased. After a year many of the managers were gone, including me, redundancies eliminated.
What a blessing!
Life is sweet, my friend, especially now that I've learned without a doubt to hold all things in divine order.