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> 大学英语 > 大学英语教材 > 新视野大学英语读写教程第三册 >  第11课

新视野大学英语读写教程第三册unit4-b Engelbreits the Name, Cute Is My Game

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Section (B)

Engelbreit's the Name, Cute Is My Game


Mary Engelbreit was a talented but struggling artist in her mid-twenties when she flew to New York from her native Saint Louis, hoping to find work illustrating children's books — her life's goal. So she was disappointed when all the book publishers she visited turned her down. One even suggested her drawings might be better suited to greeting cards.
"I was crushed," Engelbreit admits. Greeting cards seemed a come-down from her high expectations, but the advice stayed with her, and she decided to give it a try. The results transformed her life forever.


Today Mary Engelbreit sells an astonishing 14 million greeting cards a year. Her popular designs appear on more than 2,000 products, including books, calendars, and kitchen items. She runs a retail company with shops in nine cities (16 more are planned), and her products are carried by 25,000 retailers. Annual retail sales are in the $100 million range — all as a result of that fateful, disappointing trip to New York. It's probably no accident that one of Engelbreit's bolder cards shows a young girl in overalls, her bare feet up on a desk, a farm field in the window behind her. "We Don't Care How They Do It in New York," the card boasts.


Once you know Engelbreit's distinctive style, you can recognize her cards from 20 paces away — bright, funny, and with an eye to the past. Her cards usually have elaborate border designs comprised of repeated images: hearts, flowers, peaches, and teapots, for example. Most often, there's Ann Estelle, a woman with short, straight hair, big glasses, hat and an acid tongue. Ann Estelle (named after her grandmother) is the imaginary representative of Mary's outlook.


Engelbreit is cheerful, down-to-earth, humorous, and always cute. "I think the world could use more cuteness," she explains. Indeed, it's her trademark. Her business card once featured a drawing of Ann Estelle, cigar in her mouth and drink in hand, with the message "Engelbreit's the Name, Cute Is My Game." She adds, "As the world gets more complicated, it's nice to have old-fashioned stuff around to help people cope with the demands of modern life. It's like comfort food. This is comfort art."


Old-fashioned art — and values — have always been at the core of Engelbreit's life. Born June 5, 1952, in St. Louis, the oldest of three daughters, she started drawing almost as soon as she could hold a pencil.

One of her earliest memories, from age four, is of sketching her parents all dressed up to go out for the evening. "I was so impressed I had to record it," she says. But what impressed her most were illustrations from the children's books that her mother read to her. Artists such as Jessie Willcox Smith,


illustrator of children's literary classics, and Johnny Gruelle, creator of Raggedy Ann, were very influential in the development of her early drawings. While attending secondary school, Engelbreit sold dozens of hand-drawn cards to a local shop for 25 cents a piece — her first venture into art and commerce. She ignored her teachers' advice to become an English teacher and didn't bother with going on to a university because "I was ready to plunge into my life as an artist." Working in an art-supply shop, "I met working artists and realized you can make a living doing this." A later job as a designer at an advertising agency "taught me about the business of art" .


In 1975 Engelbreit met social worker Phil Delano, and the couple married two years later. Delano became his wife's biggest supporter. "Even when we had no money, he never said, 'Go get a job,'" she says. "I can't express my gratitude for his support." After that ill-fated trip to New York, Engelbreit sent a sample of her drawings to two greeting-card
companies. One bought three of her original drawings, and she did occasional work for the other, sketching a lot of whales, dragons, castles and mythical animals. Then in 1980 the birth of her son added a new element to her work. "Suddenly everyday life seemed more interesting to me," she says.


Children, pets, even "good old Mom" started showing up on her cards. Her work became "pictures of daily life, things everyone's been through". While eight months pregnant, in 1983, Engelbreit decided to start her own company. Within two years, her company was producing nearly 100 different cards and selling a million of them a year. In 1986 she licensed the copyrights to the cards to Sunrise Publications, who now manages their production and distribution, allowing her to focus on other projects. Among these is her home-decorating magazine which is sent to 550,000 people.


Despite her success, Engelbreit's feet are planted firmly on the ground. She still lives 16 kilometres from where she grew up, has many friends dating back to school years, and moved from a large house to a smaller one because, she explains, her family didn't use all the space in the old place. She does most of her drawing in her home studio at night.
With her work taking off in so many directions, it was perhaps inevitable that Engelbreit would eventually realize her dream of illustrating a children's book. In 1993 she created drawings for a children's book and saw it become a best-seller. At the same time she made a surprising discovery: "It was fun, but oddly enough, I like doing cards best."

Words: 903

New Words

▲cute a. 1.娇小可爱的 2.聪明的,伶俐的
 cuteness n. 可爱
 saint n. 1.圣(用于人名、地名等之前) 2.(基督教正式追封的)圣徒 3.圣人,道德高尚的人
 crush vt. 1.压倒,压垮 2.打败 3.压碎,压坏
 astonish vt. 使震惊,使惊骇
 calendar n. 日历,月历,年历
 retail n. 零售 v. 零售
 retailer n. 零售商
 annual a. 1.一年的 2.一年一次的;每年的 n. 年刊,年鉴
 bold a. 1.勇敢的,无畏的 2.冒失的,唐突的,鲁莽的 3.醒目的;轮廓清晰的 4.粗(字)体的,黑(字)体的
 overall n. 工作服,工装裤 a. 全面的,综合的,全体的
 bare a. 1.裸露的 2.空的;光秃的,无遮盖的
 distinct a. 1.种类不同的,有区别的,分开的 2.清楚的,清晰的,明显的
◆distinctive a. 有特色的,与众不同的
 elaborate a. 精细复杂的,精心制作的 v. 详细叙述
 comprise vt. 1.由... ... 组成,包括,包含 2.组成,构成
 peach n. 桃;桃树
 acid a. 1.尖酸刻薄的,讽刺的 2.酸味的,酸的 n. 酸,酸性物质
 imaginary a. 想像中的,虚构的
 humorous a. 幽默的,诙谐的
▲trademark n. 1.明显的特征,标记 2.商标;牌号
 feature vt. 以... ... 为特征, 给... ...以显著地位n. 1.特点,特征,特色 2.面貌,相貌 3.特写,专题报道
 cigar n. 雪茄烟
 illustration n. 1.图解,插图 2.说明,例证
 literary a. 文学上的
 classic n. 经典作品,文学名著,杰作 a. 1.经典的,一流的 2.古典的,传统样式的
 influential a. 有影响力的,有说服力的
 venture n. 投机活动,商业冒险 v 冒险,敢于
 commerce n. 商业,贸易
 plunge v. 1.纵身投入,一头进入 2.(使)陷入
 gratitude n. 感激,感谢
 sample n. 样品,式样 vt. 抽样检查;试用
 whale n. 鲸
 dragon n. 龙(想像中有翅有尾、能吐火的动物)
 myth n. 神话
◆mythical a. 1.神话的,只存在于神话中的 2.虚构的,不真实的
 everyday a. 每天的,日常的, 平常的
 license vt. 给... ... 发放许可证,准许 n. 1.许可证,执照 2.许可,准许
 copyright n. 版权
 sunrise n. 日出(时分)
 distribution n. 1.(物资等的)运送 2.分发,分配 3.分布,分布状态
 decorate vt. 装饰,装潢
 studio n. 1.工作室,画室,摄影室 2.演播室,播音室,录音室

Phrases and Expressions

 turn down 拒绝,驳回
 be suited to 适合于
 appear on 在... ... 上出现
 with an eye to 关注
 be comprised of 由 ... ... 组成
 dress up 穿着盛装
 go out (离家)去参加社交活动
 be influential in 有影响
 bother with 为 ... ... 操心,为... ... 费心
 make a living 谋生,营生
 show up 出现
 have/keep/with one's feet (planted/set) on the ground 实事求是(的),脚踏实地(的)
 grow up (指人或动物)长大,成年
 date back to 始于(某时期)
 take off (指思想、产品等)突然受欢迎,流行

Proper Names

 Mary Engelbreit 玛丽·恩格尔布赖特
 Saint Louis 圣路易斯
 Ann Estelle 安·埃丝特尔
 Jessie Willcox Smith 杰西·威尔科克斯·史密斯
 Johnny Gruelle 约翰尼·格鲁埃尔
 Raggedy Ann "蓬发安"(洋娃娃)
 Phil Delano 菲尔·德拉诺
 Sunrise Publications 黎明出版公司

    恩格尔布赖特是我的名字,可爱是我的招牌
    二十五六岁时,玛丽·恩格尔布赖特正是一个天分很高、却在苦苦求索的画家。她从家乡圣路易斯飞到纽约,希望找一份为儿童书籍画插图的工作——这是她一生追求的目标。 所以,当她去过的出版社都拒绝了她时,她非常失望。 其中一家出版社甚至建议,她的画也许更适合于贺卡。
    "我被击垮了,"恩格尔布赖特承认。 与自己所期望的相比,贺卡似乎太低微了。可是那个建议她却始终记在心上,而且决定试一试。 这一试的结果便永远改变了她的人生。
    如今,玛丽·恩格尔布赖特每年卖出的贺卡达1,400万张,这是个惊人的数字。 她那流行的设计出现在2,000多种产品上,包括书、挂历、厨房用品等。 她办了一家零售公司,在9个城市拥有分店(另有16家商店正在筹划之中),有25,000名零售商销售她的产品,年均零售额在1亿元左右——所有这些都是那次令人失望的纽约命运之旅的结果。 也许以下这一幕并非偶然:在恩格尔布赖特的一张构思大胆的贺卡中,一个女孩穿着工装裤,赤着的双脚搁在一张桌子上,身后的窗户外面是一片农田。 贺卡夸口说:"我们不在乎他们在纽约如何成功。"
    一旦你熟悉了恩格尔布赖特的独特风格,你就能在20步开外认出她的贺卡:色彩艳丽、趣味盎然、充满怀旧气息。 她的贺卡通常有精巧的花边图案,常重复使用这样一些形象,如心、花、桃子或茶壶等。 卡片上最常见的是安·埃丝特尔,这个女人有一头短短的直发,戴着一副大眼镜和一顶帽子,说话尖刻。 安·埃丝特尔(名从玛丽的外祖母)实际上是玛丽人生观的体现。
    恩格尔布赖特乐观、率真、幽默、十分可爱。" 我觉得这个世界应该再多一些可爱的东西," 她解释道。 实际上,可爱是她的重要标志。 她的商业贺卡曾显著印着一幅安·埃丝特尔的画像:嘴里叼着雪茄,手里端着酒杯,同时附字一行:"恩格尔布赖特是我的名字,可爱是我的招牌。" 她补充说:"世界变得越来越复杂,身边有点传统的东西能帮人们应付现代生活的挑战,这不失为一件好事。 犹如有可口的食物,这是舒心的艺术。"
    传统艺术以及传统的价值观一向是恩格尔布赖特生活的核心。 恩格尔布赖特1952年6月5日出生在圣路易斯,是三姐妹中的老大,她几乎刚学会拿铅笔就开始画画。
    她最早的记忆之一是4岁时描绘父母身着盛装外出赴晚宴。" 我印象太深,所以非画不可," 她说。 但是,给她印象最深的,还是母亲读给她听的儿童书里的插图。 诸如杰西·威尔科克斯·史密斯和约翰尼·格鲁埃尔这样的艺术家对她早期绘画的发展产生了非常大的影响。前者是儿童文学经典作品的插图画家,后者是"蓬发安"的创作者。
    上中学时,恩格尔布赖特将几十张手绘的贺卡以每张25美分的价格卖给当地的一家商店,这是她第一次涉足艺术和商业领域。 她没有听从老师的建议做一名英语老师,也不想费心思读大学,因为"我已准备好投身于艺术家的生活。" 在一家艺术用品商店工作时,"我遇到了一些工作着的艺术家,并意识到这样做也能谋生。" 后来,她在一家广告公司做设计师,这工作"教给了我艺术生意经"。
    1975年,恩格尔布赖特认识了社会工作者菲尔·德拉诺,两年后二人结为伉俪。 德拉诺成了妻子最有力的支持者。 "即使我们身无分文,他也从未说过,'去找个工作吧,'"她说, "对于他的支持,我无法表达自己的感激之情。"
    那次倒霉的纽约之行后,恩格尔布赖特把她的画样寄给了两家贺卡公司。 其中一家买下了她的三张原创画作,而在另一家,她偶尔兼兼职,画了大量的鲸鱼、龙、城堡和传奇动物。 而后,1980年儿子的诞生给她的工作增加了新的成分。" 忽然间,我觉得日常生活更加生动有趣了,"她说。 孩子、宠物甚至"善良的老妈妈"都开始出现在她的贺卡上。 她的作品成了"日常生活的画卷,人人熟悉的事物"。
    1983年,怀孕8个月的恩格尔布赖特决定成立自己的公司。 在两年的时间里,她的公司生产了近百种不同的贺卡,年销售量达百万张。 1986年,她将贺卡的版权授予黎明出版公司,这使她能够将精力放在其他项目上,其中包括她那本订户多达55万人的家庭装潢杂志。 现在,黎明出版公司负责贺卡的生产与销售。
    尽管获得了成功,恩格尔布赖特依然脚踏实地。 她仍住在离自己的出生地16公里远的地方,依然拥有很多学生时代的旧友。她还从一栋大房子搬到一栋小房子中居住,她解释说,那是因为他们一家利用不了老房子里的所有空间。 她作画多半在夜里,在自己家的画室里。
    由于恩格尔布赖特的工作在多方面获得成功,她最终实现为一本儿童书绘制插图的梦想也就自然而然了。 1993年,她为一部儿童书画了插图,而且目睹它成为一本畅销书。 与此同时,她还惊讶地发现,"这很有趣,但说来也怪,我还是最喜欢做贺卡。"
 

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