Every so often it is fun to get to know some of our newer AFI members.  So, here are a few of our members who have done some very unique things.

Ann Dickinson Sargent is a prize-winning poet who has published 2 books.
Justin Hart has fought forest fires. I bet that was a hot job!
Brad Bickel obtained an Eagle Scout Award at age 15.
Jackie Davidson's jewelry appears on Nurse Jackie, The Fosters and Law & Order.
Andrew Johns is also an internationally-produced playwright.

David Snyder helped design the NASA space suit.  How incredible is that?

Inee Beninga is an  Hall of Fame Volleyball coach.  I bet that's a sport you can dig.
Adrian Jenkins has competed in triathlons in Scotland.  What a great venue!
Debra Tillar has been to every continent on the planet.  She must have a lot of frequent flyer miles.
Margot Carrera was one of the first women and outsider to be initiated as a shaman into the Q’ero tribe in the high Andes of Peru.

Irene Davis Sheppard has sung in Carnegie Hall.  How many of us can even hold a tune?
Brad Devlin hiked the entire Appalachian trail in 1987.  I hope she had a good pair of shoes.

Lonnie Chartrand won a go-kart championship in 1995.  I bet he knows how to really get around.

Tiffany Harris homeschooled 4 boys.  I had 4 boys and I think mine would have driven me nuts if I homeschooled them.  Tiffany has to be tougher than I am.

Do you have an accomplishment that you would like to share with us?  It is ok to brag. 

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  • I was a zookeeper for 28 years (6 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in the animal nursery and 22 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ)
  • Wow, these are all fantastic and difficult to compete with but I ran a Bed and Breakfast for 8 years and was an Antique dealer for 5 before retiring to watching my grandsons two days a week and trying to get my knitting/felting business going.  It's fascinating to read the newcomers profiles, Jacki, I'm always impressed by how diverse and interesting our fellow artist's lives are...thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    • Tina we have every profession you can think of here.  I seen lawyers, teachers, engineers, and even medical doctors.  It is fun to see the turn many people's lives take. 

      Robert, I also noticed that one of your former models joined us here not too long ago.

      Richard, rocks have always been a weakness of mine.  I used to have my kids identify them and enter them in the 4-H fair.  Everybody aught to be able to recognize some rocks by name.

      Linnea, I was a Science minor in college but your former profession is way beyond me.  I had a niece once that was working in a lab where she was checking to see how many mosquitoes had arm pit hair!!!  I never even knew something so small would have arm pit hair!  Life is interesting, that is for sure.

      • It can be a small world :-) Several of the models I used for the classes and my own work were students from the Herron School of Art. They were easier to work with and understood what I was doing in class. I recall helping out some of them by doing slide shots of their work at the end of the semester, and there was some excellent work they were doing. I last taught classes about 1989 or 1990 as best I recall so it would be neat to see what they've done since then.

      • Indeed, Jacki...

  • I have a Ph.D. In geology and I spent 22 years in the mining industry doing mineral research and exploration. I built saddles and did leatherwork part time to build a business with mining co. $.
  • I wove scarves for Mickey, Minnie, and the gang for Macy's Christmas windows.

  • I spent 13 years as a scientific illustrator in a museum research lab. We studied land snails, specifically focused on determining the mechanism of speciation (there are actually really good reasons for doing this, but it would take too long to explain. Snails actually speciate quickly and populations only move in a straight line, say, from north to south. So…no backtracking or intermixing).  My job was to draw the insides of land snails under the microscope. The way you can tell a snail has evolved from its immediate predecessor is to examine its internal genitalia.  Other organ systems don’t change much if at all between closely related species.


    So…I was a snail pornographer.

    • That is absolutely hilarious Linnea! I did not know you were 'that kinda' girl-I would say shame on you, but heck, getting paid to do something that bizarre is so cool. ;-)
  • From my profile page ;-)

    The adult interest school where I was teaching in the early 80's had long ran my beginning and portrait classes. Students kept on asking for a figure photography class. I assumed since the classes were generally held in rented spaces in churches for the most part that was not going to fly.

    I mentioned it to the school registrar, and he said try it anyhow. I wrote up a syllabus for the church board of trustees, outlined the sequence of the 6-week course (six meetings), stressing the fine art aspect of it using the appropriate language, and it was approved by a main stream denomination church.

    So for several years I taught a nude photography class in a church.

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