Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This week, I proved myself. (long-winded)

This week, I proved myself to my boss that I'm reliable, and I proved to myself that I'm committed to my work and meeting deadlines outside of school (not like I had a bad track record before). I showed my boss and myself that I'm unphased by being told, "No, this won't work," and instead can take that as an opportunity to push myself a little harder and create something better, even if it's work that I wouldn't normally do myself.

I make fliers for Blick. I paint the 30-foot long windows for Blick. And I'm usually given about 1-3 days to think up an idea, sketch out a composition, work it out in my head, and make it happen. The windows that are up now aren't my favorite - an octopus with art supplies in its tentacles isn't my idea of something mindblowing and newage and compositionally clever, but my boss liked it, and with time restraints, that's what happened. (I wanted munnies and dunnies painted like famous artists and papercraft monsters doing art, but oh well.)

So here are the fliers I made this past week.

This was my first attempt at our Midnite/Midnight/Moonlight Madness sale flier. I wanted to have a lot of fun with this one, and I've been working in the past year to have fewer text elements and work more with creating my own texts (like Mark Reusch and Dan Blakeslee and Brian Butler). So I had a lot of fun with this one, and it was quirky, and I got to use a million half-tone patterns like I love to and it was good. Hand inked.

But the problem my District Manager had with this is that... it has nothing to do with art, or art supplies, visually. And once I realized that, I kind of smacked myself in the forehead. I had gotten so carried away with doing something I thought would draw college kids in that I forgot to add elements that would be relevant to the content the flier was advertising.

So my boss was worried that I'd be upset when I heard what the DM had to say. But I sat there as she read the email and just started thinking. We thought of ideas that would have it please all sides. My boss told me that she was proud of me for being such a big kid about it and being so willing to fix/change it. That meant a lot to me.

So this is the flier we chose.

Not so visually interesting it will make you seize, but it gets the message across, clearly, sweetly, and it's still in my style (with lots and lots of delicious half-tones). My boss loved it, the DM loved it, and now there are a thousand copies of it circulating throughout Boston. Once again, I forgot to put my signature on the flier, but I'm just not used to signing my artwork yet. People will realize I did it later, hopefully.

Either way, I solved all of the problems that were set out before me, and I did it in an extremely short amount of time. And by short, I mean I had 2 hours to think up something, draw it, organize it in Photoshop, add tasteful text, color it digitally in greyscale, and still have it look like something I drew that I would like. So I think I did that well.

However. Because the sale is on the 22nd, the Art Institute of Boston doesn't start their classes until the 26th, so they would have to miss the sale. And instead of them missing it, we decided to have another night especially for them, where they can get the sale price on all their supplies for classes, something I thought was very thoughtful and smart of my boss to do to get business from a very prominent art school in the area. That Lisa's always thinking. So I was asked to do another flier, in the style of a VIP backstage pass. I never realized how awesome backstage pass artwork was until I looked it up - people made artwork for famous musicians just for shows, something so exclusive that only the band, some special guests, and the bouncers would ever see until ebay would come into existence. So I had a lot of fun with this one. I wanted it to be really MTV, graphic design-y, and Poison-roses-and-thorns-and-tribal-tattoo-swirls and crap. It was a lot of fun, and it helped me focus on text as the most important element on the piece, something I normally don't do. It was a switch, and I enjoyed it.

I know this piece got rather long, but I wanted to show you that aside from the paintings I've been doing and the sketches for Degree Project along with their color studies and my independent work, I've been meeting deadlines with a company and making a name for myself as a reliable artist and graphic designer. I'm more focused than I've ever been, and art has been surrounding my life and my thoughts at every turn, which I love.

So now I'm going to paint a caterpillar with a skull mask.

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