Over a year ago I received what I considered a strange but flattering comment on my owl post (no this is not Harriet Potter) from a young woman named, Ali. She wrote: “I absolutely love your drawing of the eagle owl. I’m writing to ask if I could have your permission to use it as the inspiration for a tattoo I’d like to get. I’ve been attempting to draw owls, but nothing has quite captured what I’m looking for. Your drawing really struck me–it’s graceful, introspective, and invites room for the imagination while providing a beautiful outline.”

Not only did she include a bit of flattering (yay!) but, she displayed amazing courtesey in asking rather than just taking – it’s not like I would be able to track down one piece of skin art fashioned after one of my drawings. But the fact that she had the manners to ask says a lot about the calibre of this young woman.

I know one particular person on this planet, who went to one of the top private schools in England, and has the manners of a bottom-feeder. He demands courtesy and that people “do as he says” and resorts to bullying if he does not get his way, yet forgets to ask nicely himself. As a person who has single-handedly managed to raise three hopefully well-mannered teens (who knows how they behave when they are not around me), I find bad manners particularly repellant and will do my utmost not to grant anything to anyone who demands. Employ good manners and I’ll bend over backwards for you.

Ali fit into the bend over backwards category, even If all I had to do was say “yes”. Instead, she bent over backwards and sent me an email and photograph some time later:

“I know it’s been a while, but I’ve finally got the tattoo using your eagle owl as the inspiration. Here she is! She’s on my back left shoulder blade.  I love her! She was done by Sam McWilliams.  I chose Sam after looking at her online portfolio, and particularly because she loves birds (owls in particular, though I didn’t know that until I actually went in to meet with her).

Thank you ever so much for letting me use her; your drawing is magnificent.”

Yay for you, Ali – Thank you for asking, Thank you for letting me know how it went and Thank you for your enthusiasm.

Tattoo this on your soul: You are a shining example of how we should all behave – Thank YOU!

Getting an inkling
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