1 - My husband. We have our arguments, and they are magnificantly horrid. We have our good times, and they are also very good. But we've been together for more than 34 years now, and married for more than 31, and I guess I would have to call that a success.
2 - My BFF Sharon. We only get together once a year because she lives in Colorado and I live in Minnesota and that's quite a distance apart. But we pack so much into those five days of being together and we have such a good time. We've been friends since High School, and that's a long time ago when we were first inventing fire and sending scouting parties out to avoid the Velacoraptors. It's all good where Sharon is concerned.
3 - My parents, both my birth mother and my adoptive parents. I have never met, indeed never even tried to meet my birth mother. But I owe her a big thank you for giving me up for adoption, because I got very lucky. I got adopted by the parents who chose me, and they took me to America and raised me here. We had our arguments - they were truly horrid. And I was a terrible teen into my late twenties - I would not have liked to live with me. But issues aside, they taught me so much and so much of who I am today I can lay directly at their feet. So....if you don't like me.....blame them! :-)
4 - JRR Tolkien and Ayn Rand. These two authors probably did more to formulate my thought processes throughout the years of my life than anyone else in literature. I read and re-read their works again and again, and have worn out many paper copies of their books (I now have them digitally on my Nook). I immerse myself in their philosophies and worlds. I take parts of what they say and make them part of my own mantras. In their own way they raised me as surely as my parents did.
5 - My customers - important both for my bottom line, but also for their daily challenges and interactions. I love my customers, and if they can overcome their sometimes bristly reactions to my plain speak, they know that they will get honest answers to their questions and lots of help with their problems. They learn that we actually do know what we're talking about, and then all is well and we can all indulge ourselve in creative vision. Their skills and their visions inspire us to ever greater creations of art.
6 - My on-line friends, some of whom I have met in real life, others who I only interact with via keyboards. Many of these people I have known on an almost-daily basis since 1996 - I have personal face-to-face friends who I haven't known as long as some of my on-line friends. Their feedback and help over the years have allowed me to grow as an artist and be strong as a person.
7 - It is odd to put someone on this list that dropped out of sight for more than 30 years, but my ex-fiancee, Seth, is an amazing man and has to be on this list. He is my support in bad times and in my artwork, and a friend who is there if I need him. He was steadfast when we were a pair a long time ago, and still is. We are both in serious and long-term relationships with our respective spouses, so we have had an opportunity to re-discover ourselves and our friendship without the clouding of a sexual relationship getting in the way. We are still radically different people, but we still complement each other well. Finding him again after so many years is one of the bright spots of my life.
That's as far as I get. There probably are others out there, but since I grouped some people into pairs or small groupings, I think I have more than 10 people listed.