As if you needed more of a reason to visit local-Austin chain Kerbey Lane Cafe, server Wanwisa "Aye" Sanguanrueang is, literally, drawing some attention.
Sanguanrueang has been working at Kerbey Lane, located on 2606 Guadalupe St., for five years now, and it was two years ago that she picked up a hobby that delights: caricaturing.
She started small, only drawing friends or coworkers in the beginning, Sanguanrueang said, until she realized how happy it made other people to receive an impromptu image of themselves.
Then, she started drawing all her customers.
Sanguanrueang was born in Thailand and has been living in the U.S. since 2007. She said her caricatures gave her something to talk to her customers about in a time where she felt uneasy speaking English.
"After I do the caricatures, I feel more connected to the guests," Sanguanrueang said. "At the end, they have a big smile on their face."
Sanguanrueang said drawing was completely new to her when she started. She originally learned how to draw via YouTube as a mode of self-expression, bit by bit, starting with faces, gradually learning new features as they came up.
Now, she can draw all sorts of things: cats, robots, even airplanes. Each caricature she draws for a customer takes no more than a minute and sometimes she even adds colors or stickers.
Kerbey Lane customer Sophia Alaniz said she and her friends were instantly obsessed with their drawings, which they all took home with them.
"It was like nothing I've ever experienced at a restaurant," Alaniz said. "I honestly love the idea of a server making their job more enjoyable by making the customer smile extra big."
Associate manager Gabriel Chaligne said Sanguanrueang's caricatures have led to people asking to be seated in her section, bringing her more business.
"I think it shows that we encourage our staff to go the extra mile for the guests," Chaligne said. "People seem to love it."
In addition to Kerbey Lane, Sanguanrueang can also be found giving out caricatures at Haru Sushi, 9503 Research Blvd., and Haru Ramen, 2525 W. Anderson Lane.
Sanguanrueang said she is very grateful to work at places and with friends who support her creativity and she even has a wall dedicated to caricatures of all her coworkers.
"I've worked at many restaurants before but this is the best place to work," Sanguanrueang said.
Sanguanrueang frequently features her work on Instagram, under the username @sarang_aye_yo.
Communities are rallying together after an 18-year-old shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Funds from organizations all around the state–including from Austin’s own Los Verdes–are being raised to support families affected by the tragedy. Here's how you can help.
If you are looking for ways to help, please consider donating blood. Your donation can help ensure we have supplies immediately available for the victims of this tragic shooting.— University Health (@UnivHealthSA) May 24, 2022
Our donor room has availability the rest of the week. Please schedule online: https://t.co/0F2lKDqYzO
Austin-area residents can donate blood with We Are Blood.
South Texas Blood & Tissue was able to send a total of 25 units of blood both to the school and local hospitals to support treatment. After an emergency blood drive on Wednesday, the blood center is hosting a Memorial Day blood drive and should have appointments opening the following week.
The largest blood transfuser in the San Antonio area, the University Health System, is also asking members of the community to donate blood. Appointments may be scarce due to demand.
The Los Verdes community is heartbroken at today's senseless act of gun violence in Uvalde that ended 15 lives too early. We are currently raising funds to support the families who lost loved ones today, and you can join by donating here. https://t.co/52L1ZtbSND— Los Verdes (@LosVerdesATX) May 24, 2022
There is a growing list of verified fundraisers through GoFundMe, where almost $2 million has been raised so far for families and victims of the tragedy.
- The VictimsFirst fundraiser is raising $2 million to provide “100% of what is collected” to the victims’ family members.
- Austin-based Los Verdes Supporter Group is raising $100,000 for the families “affected by the horrific school shooting at Robb Elementary.”
- Allison McCullough, the aunt of victim Makenna Lee Elrod, is raising $50,000 for her family.
- The Alithia Ramirez funeral fund is working on raising $8,000 for the young girl’s funeral.
- More are being added by the hour.
An official account with First State Bank has been set up for donations through UCISD to assist the families of this tragedy.— Uvalde CISD (@Uvalde_CISD) May 25, 2022
Please know that the FSB account, is the only verified location to make any monetary donations. No other source is currently recognized. pic.twitter.com/psQb6fD6Ls
Uvalde CISD has opened an account to support families of the victims with the First State Bank of Uvalde. Checks to donate should be made payable to the "Robb School Memorial Fund" or through Zelle at email@example.com.
The League of United Latin American Citizens has created a fund for victims, which it says will donate 100% to families and University Health has also organized the Uvalde Victims Relief Fund to help provide care for victims.H-E-B has also donated $500,000 to aid victims and is collecting donations for its Spirit of Giving Fund, which supports philanthropic efforts in the wake of Texas tragedies. Starting Wednesday, shoppers at H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda can donate at checkout or online.
By Patrick Svitek
Beto O'Rourke caused a dramatic scene on Wednesday when he angrily confronted Gov. Greg Abbott at his news conference about the Uvalde school shooting, yelling, "This is on you."
After Abbott was done giving his initial remarks, O'Rourke approached the stage and told Abbott he was "doing nothing" to combat gun violence. He said the Uvalde massacre, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults, was "totally predictable."
Some of the Republican officials onstage with Abbott quickly denounced O'Rourke, telling him to go away. Another man onstage used expletives to criticize O'Rourke for interrupting the event. O'Rourke was eventually escorted away amid the unruly scene.
“I can’t believe that you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told O'Rourke at one point.
.@BetoORourke just showed up and shook things up. @statesmanpic.twitter.com/Z1FtBwUEdJ
— Luz Moreno-Lozano 🦇 (@LuzMorenoLozano) May 25, 2022