Some people put pictures of their loved ones in their work area. Heather Tuttle keeps models of Godzilla, Max Headroom, a cowboy, a sumo wrestler and the head of a Ronald Reagan doll. These and other tokens of endearment are perched on the filing cabinet next to her drafting table.
On a bulletin board nearby, Pee Wee Herman and Bette Midler watch over her work.Tuttle works in the art department at the Deseret News.
The sumo wrestler is the only representative of a loved one. She says it reminds her of her brother, Matthew.
Some of these toys even have toys of their own. Christie Jackson Meyer, another News artist, gave Tuttle's Max a Max Headroom candy dispenser. "I got a Ken-doll head for Godzilla," Tuttle said.
Tuttle, 26, is the newest addition to the art department crew. She started in September 1986.
It didn't take her long to fit in. Soon after her arrival she got hold of fellow artist Cory Maylett's rubber chicken and dressed it - in clothing designs by Tuttle, complete with little chicken shoes. The decked-out chicken dangled in the art department corner for quite awhile.
"I like to dress up rubber chickens," she said. "I've made a Carmen Miranda chicken, a ballerina . . . my sister wants a chicken in leather for her office desk."
Tuttle doesn't sew exclusively for chickens. She makes a lot of her own clothes, too and her creativity shows in her wardrobe. She has her own style. "Some people think I dress odd. I just don't see it."
"Mom is a professional seamstress, so I learned to sew when I was 8. It's my only claim to domestic fame," she said. "I can't cook and I don't do housework."
Lately though, she has taken to re-upholstering furniture for her apartment - another trade her mother passed on. Tuttle, who is from Ogden (though she spent the first 8 years of her life in California), drives home every Sunday to see Mom. On Mondays, the pair comb the Ogden Deseret Industries store for old furniture pieces to re-upholster. Tuttle also keeps her eyes peeled for "funky old hats, old radios and nifty plates."
When she's not working, she hangs out in her Salt Lake apartment with her cats, Sam and Simone.
But Tuttle likes coming to work. She is doing what she wants to do. A Weber State College graduate in graphic design, Tuttle started training as an artist at an early age. Her father, of Santa Ana, Calif., was a commercial artist and he put pastels in his four children's hands when they were very young. "Mom, Dad and my sister all paint," she said. By junior high, Tuttle was taking art lessons.
Tuttle's latest medium of choice is paper sculpture and she has already had some success with her paper-cuts. Her latest piece won her an invitation to see comedian Jay Leno when he was in town. She created a paper sculpture of Leno's face to go with an advance article about the funny guy. After the illustration ran, an Osmond Productions representative called her and asked if she would let him give Leno the original artwork. Tuttle told him she would rather present it to Leno herself. So she did.
Leno met Tuttle backstage when the show was over. She handed him his "face" and he said, "Thanks, this even looks like me; I look like Mr. Potatohead."