Susan Roberson has been doing many different things for a number of years. Starting out painting windows around town in Pampa.
“When I was painting windows, around the area and downtown Pampa, one day I was just running around tired and busy when a business owner gave me the best advice,” Roberson said. “He (Brandon Richards) told me that no matter how much you love what you do, you have to be careful to not get burned out and lose the joy that you started with. So that advice has always been in the back of my mind with everything I do.”
After painting windows for many different places, Roberson, whose daughters were both Pampa cheerleaders, began painting megaphones for the cheerleaders, her very first being for the Lefors Pirates.
“The first megaphones I ever did were for Lefors in 2008,” Roberson said. “I’m weary of how they look considering I was just beginning to do them. Hopefully, I have improved over time. I took a few art classes in college but I have mostly been self-taught over the years.”
Since 2008, Roberson has continued painting for cheerleaders all around. But once her daughters began high school in Pampa, she began her business there as well.
“I paint megaphones for mostly high school cheerleaders,” Roberson said. “They use a variety of sizes so prices vary. I try to be responsive on Facebook to answer any and all questions they may have about anything I am painting. It’s a personal thing for them, so I want to do my best I can to meet exactly what they’re looking for.”
Roberson works in the megaphones throughout the summertime, after the cheerleaders have been named. Working throughout the summer allows Roberson to have the paintings done and back to the girls before the first football game takes place. While Pampa is the closest school she does them for, she also does work for the schools that allow it.
“Not all schools allow the cheerleaders to paint their megaphones,” Roberson said. “There is always a poor cheerleader worried I won’t make it. Even if it means delivering it as she’s walking out onto the field, I get them to the girls when it’s gone time for cheer. The megaphones are a big part of the cheerleaders and they want the one they use to be customized to them as a person.”
When taking an order, Roberson asks for the colors, patterns, and all the things the customer would want on their customized megaphone.
“By the time I finish a megaphone, I feel like I know them on a personal level,” Roberson said. “Whether I have met them or not, based on the things they wanted to be added and displayed really show me who they are as a person. When it’s done, I know their favorite foods, clothing brands, song lyrics, bible verses, tv shows, etc. I learn a lot about them throughout the process. I have painted some crazy things on them over the years.”
Roberson notes that one of the most memorable things she’s painted was a depiction of hair in a shower drain.
“It was an inside joke with the girl’s family,” Roberson said. “It was the first time I’d ever painted something like that, but again, these are pieces of them they want to display and I love getting to do it.”
Counting up all the megaphones Roberson has done brings back all the times she’s had to paint characters from The Office and logos from all over.
“I have painted Dwight from The Office, and Starbucks logos more than I can count,” Roberson said. “I’ve painted a lot of logos from clothing to food chains.”
This past summer, Roberson painted 30+ megaphones. After doing that extent of work, she plans to cut back a bit.
“That may not sound like a lot, but that is so many hours put into them,” Roberson said. “This summer I’m going to have to cut back a little, just for my own sanity. It’s going to be a busy summer just from work, but also because I have a senior that is going off to college. So I just want to slow down a bit this summer. But I want to continue to do this and have a love for it, for as long as the cheerleaders want me.”
Roberson’s megaphones go further than Pampa, painting and shipping to Florida, Louisiana, Dallas, and the Houston Area.
“I shipped one out last year and it got lost in the mail, so I had to completely redo it,” Roberson said. “I shipped the new one out and the lost one has never returned or shown up.”
Roberson takes great pride in what she does, and in seeing them out on the field or around town.
“This past year, I painted all but one megaphone for the Pampa Varsity cheerleaders,” Roberson said. “That was a huge accomplishment to me and made me very proud.”
Roberson has also done numerous megaphones for White Deer, Clarendon, and West Texas High for the past several years. She’s now added mini-megaphones for the fans.
“I felt like maybe the fans or cheer moms would want their own megaphones,” Roberson said. “So the mini-megaphones are 13” and have been really fun for the little junior cheerleaders and even some of the moms.”
The painting isn’t just on the outside, Roberson also paints the inside to the likes of the customer. Although challenging, she accepts the challenge.
“Painting the insides is always a challenge, but fun to see what the girls come up with,” Roberson said. “I hope, and I think it’s true, their megaphones will be something they cherish and will have fun looking back on in the years to come. It’s something that can remind them of a happy memory or a funny moment reminding them how much fun they had in their time as a cheerleader. I know both my daughters will.”
With the school year coming to a near close, Roberson will begin working on next year’s cheerleaders. To reach her about her services, her Facebook ‘The Lady that Paints Windows,’ a name she jokes is in need of changing but she doesn’t know what that change would be.
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