As an artist, it’s not always easy to be inspired. Creating every day has been such a welcome shift in my creativity. I’ve been creating small pieces based on simple prompts I put together back in September. At first, it was hard to sit down and figure out exactly what I wanted to draw and paint…even with a prompt.
Wait…do you know what that means? It means I have a list of things (prompts) to draw. I have one for every day. Okay. Just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page!
After a week of drawing and painting, the ideas flowed easier and the characters came to life. Pretty soon, a very simple story began to evolve in my head with Mr. Foxy. Or Mr. Foxy and Friends, as I call them.
A couple of weeks ago, I was inspired yet again by Ralph Lauren. Yes, the man. Mr. Lauren. You see, I have worked at Ralph Lauren for the last 13 years. During the pandemic, I was furloughed, brought back to work, and then let go with a very nice severance package. Then, as luck would have it….the people who I worked for that didn’t make the decision to eliminate my role wanted me back. They found an opening for me. I was grateful, and honestly, never missed a beat.
When I started at RL in 2009, I was so inspired by the story of how Ralph Lauren the company, came to be. Inspired by the hard work and dedication he and his family put forth to creating a dream. Building an aspirational life and wanting to share that with others. Through all the craziness of the pandemic, I had lost that “loving feeling” for a company I had always loved. I had somehow decided that it wasn’t for me anymore. At least until the man, the myth, legend, Mr. Ralph Lauren himself showed up at a local employee event recently.
While the teams were trying to distract us by showing the most recent runway show on the big screen, I was keeping an eye on center stage as they set up for a Q&A session to round out the event. While Ralph Lauren walked out at the end of his runway show on the big screen (that’s the fashion week show for those outside the industry), I felt all the warmth and inspiration rush back into my body….and somehow, push out as tears (I’m not crying, you’re crying). And as soon as the waterworks started, I realized I needed to start recording what our CEO was saying. And then….there he was. Back to inspire me…US….a little bit more!
In the 5th grade, I started wearing polo shirts the same color as the swan on my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. In middle school, I covered my walls with Duran Duran posters with the exception of that ONE torn out page of a Vogue magazine ad picturing Ralph Lauren in his cowboy hat (it was a black and white photo–don’t you remember it?). In high school, I would only wear Ralph Lauren glasses when it came time to address my astigmatism. I snapped this pic above (and many others once I shut off the video) and sent it to my mom and said,
“Well, my life is made. Take me home.”
Seems funny to some, but to me, working for Ralph Lauren was aspirational. And I had forgotten how much I LOVE this company. I had forgotten how LUCKY I was to be here. Not just on this day, but on that day back in 2009.
This company really is like family. I mean, just about 10 minutes before this moment, we were all singing Happy Birthday to David (Lauren). It was a FULL house. Full of love. Full of laughter. Full of excitement. You see, in the fashion industry, there is no bigger icon than Mr. Lauren.
Thank you, Mr. Lauren, for giving me back some excitement and inspiring me yet again!