As the two strangely hulking figures, covered in black cloth, stood at the front of the game room last Thursday, filling the attendees of our weekly company meeting with curiosity and mild dread (which feels kind of like heartburn, oddly enough), Demiurge Creative Director Tom Lin reminded us of all of the arcane and splendid traditions our little company has established and maintained over the years.
We’ve made a tradition, too, of celebrating the major milestones of employees here at Demiurge. Our five-year veterans, of which we now have many, get cupcakes and a sweet bag.
But nothing quite prepared us for the new tradition we recently found ourselves embarking on. For the first time ever, an employee has reached the coveted 10-year mark!
We had no idea what to do.
So we hired a portrait painter.
Yes, in celebration of ten years of service by Alex Rice - the most quiet, unassuming guy we know - we decided to hire local artist Bud Cook to create an ostentatious oil (okay, acrylic) painting of his face, and frame it up with the gaudiest frame we could find and afford (thanks, Artist & Craftsman!). Alex was understandably speechless, but luckily his face in this picture kind of says it all.
Now, in spite of being the kind of guy who can singlehandedly move a 600-lb Fire King safe, Alex is not the sort to take up too much space, or call attention to himself. So we’re not sure how he’ll feel about us making this glorious thing and hanging it up right on the office wall near the entry door in honor of his ten-year tenure.
Let’s just say he’d better learn to like it. Because that is totally what we are doing.
Now you’re probably wondering: how on earth did you get a professional portrait painted of a guy without him ever finding out about it? That, dear reader, was probably the best part of this fiendishly circuitous project. In a bit of subterfuge so cunning that the entire office was in on it without actually knowing what was going on, we used the excuse of updating the pictures in our company directory to have a kind of school picture day, complete with black backdrop, Tom’s fancy camera on a tripod, and a cheap set of those umbrella-looking things. We managed to get fairly fancy headshots of nearly everyone (Tom, who took the pictures, neglected his own as usual), including a fine selection of Alex to send to the artist.
In the near future, we’ll be framing up some of the five-year vets’ shots in 8x10 format, to keep Alex’s giant face company. (We’re still deciding how gaudy those frames should be.)
Naturally there were other celebratory acts as well, and the more observant readers among you may be wondering: what of that second hulking figure? Well, after unveiling the portrait, Alex did the honors in revealing the second symbol of his legacy here: a huge-ass box of Froot Loops.
Yes, in memory of Alex’s wistful comments about his time at Pixar lo these many years ago, we will be starting our very own cereal bar here at Demi, and while it will hardly match the splendor of that veritable grain-based edifice, it will now be another bright light in our office, in perpetuity. Our Froot Loops will partake, in their small, multicolored way, of the larger glory.
Speaking of glory, no Demiurge celebration would be complete without cake. Or pie. Or cupcakes. Or...what, our office runs on sugar, all right?
For this literal icing on the figurative cake of this celebration, we ordered a literal cake from local favorite Sweet Cupcakes, who luckily also provides non-cup-based confections. We last turned to them for our amazing Marvel Puzzle Quest cake, and so we knew they could produce any image we wanted on top of the delectable chocolate monster.
So obviously, we chose more of Alex’s face.
Here, therefore, are some pictures of a printing in sugar of a hi-res photograph of a painting of a photograph of a guy who’s been working here for ten years now.
Happy 10 years, Alex! May you grace us with your presence for many more.