Painting pets, building teams in your veterinary practice
Kristi Reimer Fender, News Channel Director
Kristi Reimer is editor of dvm360 magazine and news channel director for dvm360.com. Before taking over
Decorate your clinic walls and uncover hidden talents with this fun activitythe dvm360 team loved it!
This painting started out as an iPhone photo snapped while Lucy was "helping" me make the bed.Recently the dvm360 team moved into a swanky new office building. For the most part the walls are bare, and while there's something to be said for the clean, blank-slate look, the dearth of animal images is not quite the thing for a group of pet-loving employees.
So our Fun Committee took matters in hand, combining a team-building activity with the creation of art for our walls. Here's how it worked: We each submitted our favorite pet photo to a local Wine & Design franchise, which turned it into a black-and-white canvas ready for paint. They provided the supplies and the instruction-“Yes, the eyes look weird at first, but once you add the fur it'll all come together”-and we did our best to master our insecurities and get fearless with our brush strokes (wine helped).
The results were remarkable. The resident designers and visually creative types ended up with masterpieces, of course. But we also discovered artists among us whose identity as such had heretofore been unknown. Even those of us who simply attempted to get blobs of paint in approximately the right colors in approximately the right places had something to be proud of (as I am of Lucy Jean up there above).
Plus, the whole experience was downright inspiring. Creating something with your hands taps into a piece of the spirit that nothing else can, even if you're no Van Gogh, like yours truly. It was thrilling to see what coworkers and friends were capable of. We stared intensely at images of our pets for two-and-a-half hours, trying to do justice to their soft fur and soulful eyes, and fell even more rapturously in love with them as a result.
It occurred to me that this would be a fantastic activity for a veterinary practice to undertake. Throw a party, get creative, inspire one another and maybe even yourself, and end up with a whole passel of original art for your hospital walls. I promise you'll love it.
To see more from the dvm360 team, click through the pages that follow.
dvm360 artist: Angie Homann, sales manager. "This is not my dog, but rather my 'dream doggie to be.' This was an awesome experience! Fun to see everyone's talent and support of each other. I would do this again with my own money."
dvm360 artist: Sharon Moore, senior meeting and event manager. Pet's name: Bella. "It was an emotional roller coaster!"
dvm360 artist: Katie James, associate content specialist. Pet's name: Blitz
dvm360 artist: Ryan Kramer, digital design director. Pet's name: Buttercake. "Buttercake is one of three hermit crabs I have. Unlike his more mellow compatriots, Buttercake takes no prisoners. I wanted his spunk to shine through in his painting, so I went for a visceral aura that would match the crazy crab that I know and love."
dvm360 artist: Lauren Walke, conference planner. Pet's name: Jet. "Such a fun team-building activity to do with my coworkers!" (The "before" version of Jet's painting, with only the background completed, is below.)
dvm360 artist: Dot Theisen, CMP, conference manager. Pet's name: Marshmallow. "I had a blast! I wasn't going to do the paint project and was talked into it the day prior. I am glad I did. It was so much fun!"
dvm360 artist: Hannah Wagle, assistant content specialist. Pet's name: Max (AKA Maximum Septimus). "I've never paid such close attention to my dog's nose before!"
dvm360 artist: Portia Stewart, team channel director. Pet's name: Oscar Wilde-Cat. "When I was finished with Oscar's painting, I was reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is painted by Jerry's artist girlfriend Nina. To quote an art critic from the episode, "I sense great vulnerability. A man-child crying out for love. An innocent orphan in the postmodern world."
dvm360 artist: Anne Belcher, sales coordinator. Pets' names: Paris (purple collar) and Ruby (pink collar). "Paris and Ruby are sisters from the same litter."
Here are all the dvm360 team members who participated in the painting project.