You can say a lot of things about my family, (some good and some bad) but one thing you can't say is that we are lazy. On the contrary, anyone that knows a Grasso will undoubtedly agree we are anything but lazy. We don't like to sit around, as a matter of fact we relax by doing things. I call it being a motived person, motivated to just do, to do without any reason to do. One example in my case would be that I do yard work to relax and think. Now, if you watched me while I was in the midst of the gardening you'd probably think that I'm not enjoying myself very much, you'd might even think I don't like gardening at all, but you'd be wrong. My neighbor saw me trimming my bushes in front of my house one day. He must of thought I looked miserable, so he offered for me to use his electric sheers. He said, "Hey Craig, I have some electric sheers you can barrow, it would make that job a lot easier and you'd be done in a flash." I told him no thanks, I have electric sheers (I do own electric sheers) it's just that I like to feel my way around the bush as I trim it, plus this is relaxing, he gave me a funny look and went on his way.
Yes, I can say with confidence that the Grasso's are hard workers indeed, at what ever task we may be handling at the time, to a fault sometimes. This innate (nose to the grinding mill) quality can and is misinterpreted at times as aggressive behavior, or that we are trying to show our coworkers up or that we are bucking for someone's job. This is not the case at all, you could easily see this when I work alone, I'm exactly the same way, committed to doing the very best job possible. I believe that whom ever I'm working for is entitled to the very best that I am capable delivering. To do this I need to be focus and tenacious. This behavior has prompted others to tell me that I can be a little intense, and that maybe I could lighten up bit, etc...
Me intense.... baaaa....alright so I admit it, I'm intense. Okay, I'm an intense person, but what does that even mean? Is being an intense individual a bad thing? Does it mean I'm not capable of being funny or silly? Does it mean that I never laugh or tell jokes, and more importantly that I can't laugh at myself? Well,the answer to all of the above is no, it doesn't mean any of that. The dictionary defines an intense individual, as a person that is; passionate, impassioned,ardent, fervent, zealous, vehement, fiery,emotional; earnest, eager, animated, spirited,vigorous,energetic, fanatical, committed. If this is the definition of intense, then so be it, I'm intense. The thing to realize is that I'm intense about everything, from work to vacation, happy, sad, love, fun, well......everything thing. I call it living life.
I share another quality with my siblings as well, it's the ability to follow through on what ever job we are tasked with, no matter how unlikable that task maybe end up being. It's not just finishing what we started, it finishing with the same passion that we started with. I don't know if it is an obsession or just the idea that I refuse to be defeated, I just can't quit or give up until what ever I agreed to do is completed. I call that committed, others may call it tenacity. All this and more have added up to people telling me that I am intimidating, and not in a good way either. I don't try or even want to intimidate people, but I refuse to pretend to be anything but who I am. I believe that being true to yourself is part of building character.
When I was a young man my father gave me some advice on how to succeed in life, although I don't remember exactly how he phrased it, it went something like this. " Son, if you work hard, always tell the truth and respect others you will be successful in life". I was young and naive and so I misinterpreted what he meant. I thought that he was telling me how to be successful in my career and that in-turn it would be the answer to success in my personal life. The two are sometimes intertwined but not necessarily reliant on each other. Now, I know that I'm not the perfect person or employee, but I ask you, who is? I do know that I have been true to my father's advice. As of late I find myself in an uncontrollable situation with my career and it wasn't until recently that I truly understood what my father was trying to say. In this life, jobs will come and jobs will go, you will be the hero one day and forgotten the next, careers will change and careers will end. Outside of your work ethics their are thing that will directly influences your life, such as poor management, economic down shifts, over saturation of employees and so on and so on, all of which are out of your control. It doesn't matter how talented you are or how hard you work it will not can't change those outside situation having a direct affect on your job. What he was saying was , don't gauge your success in life on a place or a job, gauge it on your character and your family.
Okay, I accept that somethings are out of my control, but here's what I know I can control, my attitude and my character. I will continue to be the intense dedicated worker that I've always been, I will not give in or give up, I love what I do and I know that I'm good at it. It is not until a man is confronted with grim and difficult adversities in life, that his true character is determine. His character's resolve will be tested and it will be determined wether he is a quitter or if he going to continue march forward with intent?
Only God knows what lays ahead for me in the next several month's. The way I see it I have two choices, I can choose to go forward with fear and worry or I can trust God and go forward with excitement, what does he have planned for me and my family next? His way has not always been easy but it has not disappointed me one iota in the end, it has been full of blessings and love and success.
Here are two character sheets of children, mostly little girls, because that's what I have for reference at home, three beautiful little dramatic girls.
This piece was for a children's book about a troll who was making a forest sick. The project was canceled before I finished this illustration, some day I'll finish it.
This was a rough for "MULAN", it is not finished as well, I believe this scene got cut from the film and I stopped working on it. I found it in my pile of papers.
This is a page from my vacation journal. We went to family camp, (Lair of the Bear) for a summer vacation, I'd never experienced that before and documented the whole holiday.