Suzanne “Q” Aloi

Senior Art Director

What is your favorite quote?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Eistein

Where is your happy place?
Home, looking out at “The Critter Cafe” with the beautiful view, and the constant activity of the wildlife residents and visitors, or on a wide open road with my husband, headed for the Sierras or some new adventure/photo safari enjoying the outdoors.

If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
English Naturalist Charles Darwin, he has had so much influence on our knowledge of life on Earth and his drawings are incredible. I have always imagined that if I lived in his time, I would like to have been an illustrator with him on his researches.

What makes you tick, what makes you get out of bed everyday?
I love challenges that take me outside my comfort zone. Doing things that I don’t think I can do at first, then exceeding expectations, (especially my own), helps keep me fresh and hungry to learn new things.

What sound or noise do you love? What sound or noise do you hate?
Love: Birds in our backyard, it sounds like a rainforest sometimes.
Hate: The rooster that crows at 2:30 in the morning, he doesn’t get the whole “wait ’til sunrise” thing.

Whats your favorite smell?
The Colorado River at sunrise in the summer  …and bacon

What has been your greatest professional challenge/triumph in your career so far?
In 2009, My husband and I went to Malawi, Africa to document/participate in the work of a small, but mighty, nonprofit called Direct Connections to Africa. I taught drawing classes in the many schools and remote villages we visited. And we also created a short film. The film, our library of images and the other materials we produced have contributed to the continued growth of DCTA and its very worth while cause.

What one thing that has happened in your life has made the biggest impact on who you are today?
I was once on a 100 mile rafting trip down the Green/Colorado Rivers. A few days into the trip, we hit some really big rapids. Our boat was overturned and nearly drowned. Ever since that experience, I try to appreciate each day for the gift that it is. I don’t take myself as seriously. I hold my family and friends closer.

What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
On  a dare, I hopped a small fence and took a swim in Elvis Presley’s pool in Palm Springs. I was a teenager at the time and I would never do that today, besides they finally made the fence taller.

Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My mother was an amazing painter. Growing up watching her helped me see the world as an artist.  I will be forever grateful.

What is your favorite tradition from your childhood, that you would love to pass on if you were to ever have children (or if they’re older, what one tradition did you pass on that was most important to you?)
My grandfather was a creative genius. Christmas was special to Grandpa and our big and boisterous family. It was not unusual for him to spend months making presents in his garage/shop. Sometimes the act of opening the present could take several minutes. One year, he filled a series of glasses with all levels of water. Everyone had a glass and a spoon, and therefore a musical note. He wrote music for us to easily play and we all sat around the big round coffee table “playing” Christmas songs!


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