Every Christmas I give both of my children a “serious” work of art with a magical twist. The gift becomes a theme for the following year. For example, one year the gifts were sculptures of chimpanzee’s in circus uniforms. We spent the next year going to as many zoos and circuses as we could find. One year I gave T-Rex heads made from recycled material. The next year we went to dinosaur museums, studied fossils and created useable products from our recyclables.
It’s important to note that my children are grown but they still like the practice of fantasy.
Last year, when my daughter graduated from college, she moved from the Midwest to California. One of her primary goals— besides getting a job in comedy television— was to make new friends. The theme that year was unicorns on the run. Her Christmas gift had been a John Pitre’s painting called The Last Unicorn.
She took a picture of the Unicorn in the painting and made up flyers saying: Missing Unicorn. Last seen fleeing the frozen tundra, headed West. Believed to have followed a rainbow to California. Please email with any information you may have. Photos of him would be greatly appreciated.
I was gob-smacked. What-in-the-world did she hope to accomplish by putting up posters like that, all over Los Angeles?
Little did I know, it was a brilliant plan. She didn’t disclose the fact that she was female and, with only a few exceptions, everyone who responded was funny, creative, open-minded and exactly the types of people she wanted to be surrounded by. Those friends quickly became allies who helped her break into the well-guarded world of comedy television. Even though some of those friends moved to different cities (like New York and London) she gets to visit them every now and again.
She’s still clawing her way up the ladder, but she’s made her way from being an intern and a PA to being a locations and casting expert. Her next goals are to become a writer and director. I’ll have to find a new way to support that. Maybe a dolphin in Atlantis theme. Both of my kids love Pitre’s work. Why not stick with an artist that helped them both so much, even without knowing it.
Pitre might want to know, my daughter has a room in her apartment dedicated to the unicorn paraphernalia she collected after the flyer incident. The collection covers the ceiling and spreads down the walls. She and her friends add to it all the time.
As a side note, I gave John Pitre’s “Focus on Light” to my son for last year’s Unicorns on the Run theme. When I have time, I’ll send you a note about that. What he did with the idea, blew me away!
Cheers and thanks!