Make Art

Last week I received a package in the mail that was most unexpected. It was a small box with a well wrapped object inside. The accompanying card simply said: ‘Make Art’.

Make Art Card
Custom card created by Dr Joseph Zimmer DDS

I was incredibly touched by this thoughtful gift from my dentist.

Dentist, you say? I’ll back up a bit and let you know that I have the coolest dentist in Seattle and this is coming from someone who pretty much despises all dentists. Dr. Joseph Zimmer is no ordinary dentist, he’s also an art collector with amazing taste.  He shares his incredible modern art collection with his patients on every wall (and even a ceiling) of his offices. There’s so much great imagery it’s a feast for the eyes. Rarely when I drop by for a scheduled appointment do we talk teeth. We more often than not catch up on the art world, his latest purchase or what I’m up to. We even have mutual friends through KEXP. (Seattle is such a small town!)

On my last visit he was apologetic for missing my exhibitions last year and I invited him to check out my web site. He offered to purchase a piece for the office, but that felt weird and honestly I don’t think my little toy photos could hold there own against his power house art collection. I suspect that he did check out my web site and this gift of a vintage toy tractor was his response.

While I don’t think he’ll be adding any of my work to his collection he sent me this thoughtful gift and a card that encourages me to keep going. Does it seem weird to tell you that I appreciate this little truck more than the much needed funds in my bank account?

When we make art, when we share what we create, we’re ultimately trying to make a connection with another human being. With this gift of a small vintage toy and a card with the simple message “Make Art”, I feel that a connection was made.

I share this story with you so that you can see that encouragement and support can come from the most unlikely places.

~ Shelly

I know that being a toy photographer isn’t always easy. Who gives you the most encouragement and in what form does that support take?

A gift to be treasured…


  1. actiotos

    Up to now, nobody encouraged me.
    I started my passion alone, like 2 months ago.

    I told my mother to look at my works, and she enjoyed to see what I’m doing with Legos.
    She always says that Legos are the best toys ever; she played a lot with it too.
    She has a lot of classic bricks and an old box.
    She hope that I’ll do something with Photography after this last year of school, and me too.

    Fortunately, near my city, in a year it will open the first certified Lego Store, and to take more knowledge about Legos, and to meet more Lego fans, I’ll ask for work there.

    My aim for the future is to become a Photographer; what I like is to take toysphotography and landscapes photography.
    I hate take photos of people and when someone take my camera and shot people photos, I get angry.
    I simply want my camera clean of the photos I like.

    Reading your post is what really encourage me.
    And when I look at your works, I can’t say how beautiful are.
    There are no words.
    You are the Queen of Outdoor Shooting and I admire you for this. 🙂

    • Having a supportive Mom is a great place to start. I am sure your support system will grow. Getting a job at the LEGO store will be a wonderful way to connect with other LEGO fans. My daughter worked at our local store for two years and loved it!

      Don’t be too hard on other types of photographs. A good photographer respects and appreciates all types of photographs, even if they don’t take that type of photo. Its all beautiful!

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It is very gratifying to me as an artist to know my work is appreciated. Thank you for making this an extra good day. 😀

  2. Lovely story, that’s why when you said to me that you included me in your ‘family’ last week, it meant so much. In a world where you can be linked with thousands of people online but hardly meet anyone in person it can be easy to become lost on your own journey. So when you get the odd friendly comment on what can be quite personal work, it can end up meaning a lot. As one of the accounts unfollowed by captain kaos last week it can also work in the opposite way too 😉 With that in mind it’s hard to know whether you become more dependent on and affected by likes, follows and un-follows. I guess we’d all like to think that we aren’t but isn’t that what ultimately life is all about? Like you said, trying to make that connection with others? Then again maybe I’m just a little too sensitive and take these things far too personally 😉

    • Social media is terrible place to share ones work. It’s not a safe place by any stretch of the imagination. Hang in there. If its any consolation I really of love your photographs. I can tell that each one is a labor of love. Your feed is continuously inspiring and I wish more people would appreciate the excellent work you’re doing. I wouldn’t think to much about Captain Kaos, he has own demons to fight. 🙂

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