Thursday, November 22, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I used to be an artist for a little while. I was just finishing high school. My sister was a student at Pasadena City College. She made a friend whose parents owned a women's apparel company. They did a lot of screen printed tee shirts. I'm not sure how it came up because I wasn't there, but my sister met the art directer at the company. My sister is not given to understatement, so she told him I was an artist. I think she meant that I drew well and liked to take art classes. I think she even showed him stuff I had drawn. The art director agreed to meet me. He didn't interview me; he could barely speak English. He gave me a picture of a chrysanthemum and told me to draw it. So I did. I think I spent a couple of hours on it, and when it was done, the art director said it was nice. It wasn't a test, it turned out; it was my first day of work.
This was before the advent of personal computers. The art director (hereafter "my boss") would go to the downtown L.A. library and borrow pictures he thought would make good shirt designs. There was a fashion designer too who was hired soon after me. She'd draw shirts with little indications of where the art would get printed and some idea of the subject. I'd render drawings in pencil, and then finish them with ink or paint or whatever my boss decided would look best. The art for the shirt above was airbrush over pencil. I did the pencil; the boss did the airbrushing.
Meanwhile I enrolled in college. When I explored possible fields of study, I decided not to be an art major. I thought, based on my experience, that it would be no problem at all to get a job doing art while I pursued liberal arts for the love of learning. The art department at my job grew by a couple of people. And when it was time for the department to get smaller again, they cut the part-time untrained college student. I had the job for less than two years. I think when I got a passport, it said I was an artist. I looked around for another job doing art, but people wanted to see a portfolio. I had some drawings and some shirts. My next job was preparing fast food.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Ernest Debs Park, as I've said before, is a great place to visit. It's especially great for kids. Kids of all ages can experience low-tech authentic encounters with nature and true adventures. They can hike and climb and paint.