In October I wrote about a short getaway that brought me some peace. I wrote about the way I enjoyed that mini-vacation. The part I omitted however, was the highlight of my stay. It was right around the time that I started to spread the news about NeuroBead. I thought I had nothing to lose by contacting my my former mentor, who also works in the field of neuroscience. My first thought was a concern of how it would look to reach out to him about a hobby that I pursue on the side. But over the years I have taught myself not to be overly cautious about the impression I make on people. The potential payoff is worth the risk. And I think most of us highly overestimate the potential bad impression we would make on others. Little did I expect that he would actually be willing to buy my work. When I saw his email, I was thrilled! I really had to hold myself back from sharing the good news here before the sale would actually happen.
As I was savoring the news, which made my vacation that much more enjoyable, I had a flashback to the 3D printed reconstruction of microscope images of podocytes (kidney cells) that he had in his office. When I was a graduate student in his lab, another lab member took very elaborate images of podocytes under an electron microscope. He then went through the pain of generating a 3D digital reconstruction, which was then submitted for 3D printing. This sample was then prominently displayed in the professor’s office, and every new person who would walk in, would immediately get a mini-lecture about it. I was looking forward to his ability to talk to other people about NeuroBead after hanging it in his office.
And then the tag game began. When he agreed to purchase my art, I was in Virginia – unable to bring him the piece that I wanted to deliver in person. Then he left the country for a few weeks. When he came back, I had a time crunch at work – unable to leave early to catch him before the end of the day. This week I was finally able to deliver the art to him. It gave me a sense of true satisfaction, seeing how he was examining the details of my work, and even getting distracted by it from a more scientific discussion. While it may be difficult for an artist to part with their work, I was glad to leave it with him – it has found a good home.