I had to go outside and furl-in the big deck umbrella that was starting to get whipped around. For those of you in the Pacific Northwet and those East and Southeast of the Rockies, our obsession with precipitation is probably a little weird – but the drought continues and it’s not looking up from here. This rain will get spread-out over a couple days, which is good because our trees that are getting hammered by the drought need a soaking, not a dump. We drained the 60-gal onto the cedar tree on the backside.
Meanwhilel we’re going to lunch with an old and long-unseen BFF of She-Whom-We-Obey – and her young artistic-prone lad. Someone who was back-in-the-day a bit of a “here comes trouble” has for a variety of reason (mainly the usual suspects: divorce, job-changes, economic stagnation) not been enjoying the uplifting aspects of Obamanomics in the 2010’s. I was also asked as a former graphic designer and user-interface pixel-pusher guy to give the aspiring artiste some tips…
At first I was flummoxed that such a request would be made of this old decrepit cast-off, especially in this day and age of “Software Hedonism,” – then I thought about it and came up with a couple things that might contribute:
1.) Drawing, namely Life Drawing. As an artist, anatomy is absolutely crucial. You simply gotta be able to pencil to paper and and shade bodies and textures – human shapes in all varieties of wrinkles and sizes: Plus! Live Nude Girls! (But frequently rotund for more complex surface-modeling, and/but then there’s Live Nude-Dudes! too…)
2.) The Color Wheel – you gotta master Complimentary, Contrasting, and Opposite colors on the big-wheel, so your work translates cleanly and isn’t muddy. Visually speaking, don’t poop on your parade.
3.) Type and Typography – learn kerning so that a word’s visual “color” is clear and concise – the letter spacing that your computer automatically makes happen isn’t always what you want.
4.) Tech Illustration: there’s jobs all over but not all are a lot of fun and zoomie-wowie 3-D crap. Engineering type People still and always will need block-diagrams and pictures of equipment, the backside of an array where the proper plugs go, flow-charts (not automated MSDraw crap), and Real Drafting. This is not CAD drawing but something similar and very-very flat. Enter Flatland, and learning *how* to do a proper block-diagram in Engineeringland will teach you things too, like the importance of clarity.
5.) Draw what you know and do it a lot. Even if it’s just a lamp. Draw a lot of different things and in different styles – and then separate them in your Portfolio so you’re not type-cast. Group things and styles-of-things together, and keep ’em separated. Managers and hiring-types are not usually visually competent, like an Art Director, and once they see a certain thing they latch onto it and are unable to shift mental-tracks, so an abundance of stylistic differences is only confusing and disorienting to them. For instance: we once made some changes to the UI we were developing, and in order to highlight the subtle differences that we changed, we altered the color of those elements to purple so they would stand apart… But Once the Big-Boss Manager Doofus saw “it,” all he saw was PURPLE – and he loved it! He wanted EVERYTHING PURPLE!! But nooo! We were already on a different track that was well and scientifically established. Still for a month or so we were forced to include PURPLE in stuff that was sent-up for approval, until finally more level heads prevailed. Which leads to…
6.) No Job is Forever, No Job is without Do-Overs – and No-Job is without stupid-retarded time-compressed Turnarounds. Expect that on a Friday afternoon full-scale makeover is DEMANDED using a completely different style, that HAS to be at FedEx by 6:00PM to go to New York – when the FedEx is 7-miles away in rush-hour traffic populated by sleeping drivers who block and pace and generally frustrate Life and cause Mayhem and high blood pressure. Also No Job is Too Small. You get to meet a whole different set of people with small piece-work that the Industrial-Scale Artshop doesn’t accommodate, like Nice People instead of smarmy artsy-fartsy self-important Asshoolians with too many tattoos and piercings and caffeine in their veins. Also Things Change and what you were doing and the Godlike Software you were so adept at using just got bought-up by a competing company who doesn’t care for it, and suddenly your skill-set is obsolete. Things Change and what you were doing that was so vital for the Future of Mankind suddenly got sucked into the Black Hole of a Corporate Merger, and in the blink of an event-horizon you are sitting on a park bench enjoying the sunshine instead of laboring under fluorescent lights – you’re unemployed (again). Get ready for that.