Page 76 - March2017

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straight. Many times, I was gone 6 to
9 months a year,” he says. “The
work was inherently pretty
dangerous, and I really
hated it. I remember
looking up at the
sky and thinking,
‘What the hell
happened? I had
it going, and now
I’m working at a
job I hate. It felt
like I was demoted
by the universe. The
job was a survival
thing, but it felt like a
But as it turns out, the
universe had not punished Quinn at all; it was
instead a set up for an unexpected artistic
adventure that would begin aboard an
Airbus A380 en route to France.
“I was flying for work, and as they shut
the door, a fly came on the plane. I
thought, ‘Pretty cool. This fly’s going
to Europe,’ and I started taking
notes right there for a children’s
book. I’d already been all around
the world a few times, so I
had pictures from all these
cool and exotic places, so I used some of
those places and references in the book.”
The result was
Fly, Phoebe, Fly: A Mostly
True Story
, an 80-page children’s book
penned, illustrated, and published by
Quinn in March 2016. The book contains
dozens of illustrations that depict its tiny,
winged protagonist traveling to all seven
continents, and the experience extends
beyond the pages.
“There are links in the book to YouTube
videos where kids can see the real places
on the planet, and there’s a glossary
in the back of the book, so it’s really
When the industrial service gig ended,
Quinn went back to doing what he loves
with the support and encouragement
of his wife, Jodi, by his side. The Santa
Fe, Texas couple, who have been
together for 23 years, have two
children, Amber, 16, and Justin
William, 12, and three dogs,
Cowboy Dave, a Blue Heeler; Molly, a
golden retriever; and Specklebelly,
a mixed-breed heeler. The family
also has an umbrella cockatoo
named Moonchuukka
and four Ameraucana
chickens which lay
nationwide, and
business was really
booming. We had, like,
20 employees and
a giant warehouse.
My dad was so
proud. He was pretty
conservative, and I’m
sure he was amazed
that I had pulled it
off, but, yeah, he was
really proud. That was
a pretty great time in
my life.”
Unfortunately, it all
came to a screeching halt
on Sept. 11, 2001. “When
9/11 hit, the bottom just dropped
out. Our phone didn’t ring for four
months. It killed the business.”
He went on to find a job doing
industrial service work with his
brothers, where he performed pre-
commissioning procedures for large
power generators, industrial and
chemical manufacturing facilities,
and refineries around the world.
“The pay was great, and I traveled
every far-flung power plant on the
planet. I traveled for eight years
76 |
MARCH 2017
Out & About |
Artist spotlight