So several of us artist from Masters of Chicken Scratch vol 2 were interviewed by Car Craft Radio. This is part 2 of that interview. Some really funny and interesting stories about how we all ended up drawing and painting as a full time profession. It seems like all of had guidance counselors that did not know what to do with us. Or we got in trouble for drawing all over our class assignments. So have a listen and let me know if you have any stories about becoming an artist or designer. I love hearing your stories.
First of all, it’s guys like you that make guys like me just want to go cut grass for a living. Let’s get that out of the way real quick.
Similar to some of the other stories, I constantly was doodling on anything that didn’t move, and many things that did. I kept my head down and out of trouble, which was what made the guidance counselors THINK they knew what they were doing with me. Unfortunately, my high school art teacher destroyed any hope I felt I had as an artist while the rest of my teachers and influential grownups simply convinced me I was either stupid or lazy. Except for one, who taught me about printing and photography – Jim Marshall.
After I worked for 14 years in the printing industry, running pre-press departments and working closely with designers in San Diego, I’d gotten over the conviction that I wasn’t all that good at “the art thing,” learned everything I could about the “desktop publishing” world that was emerging, and started doing freelance jobs for extra money.
I asked one of the Creative Directors of one of the top San Diego design firms for advice on whether to pursue design and art full-time, to which she said “Don, you’re the BEST pre-press guy in the business here; why would you ever do such a thing?” I took that as a resounding “YES.”
Within a few months I had quit my day job, bought a Ford Aerostar and watched as my wife delivered our fourth child. And while it was tough, I never looked back and never gave up. Glad I didn’t, glad I decided my art teacher sucked at teaching, glad I asked the right person for advice I didn’t take.
Not glad I never got a bit of formal training, and I gobble up your videos like a chicken hitting a pile of corn. When I grow up I want to be like you. (I wish I had a Mulligan, you know?)
Oh, heck. I forgot to actually tell the story I meant to tell!
Late in my elementary school career as an artist, I gave myself the task of drawing the perfect moustache. Of course that meant a fair bit of practice, and it just made sense to use a bright blue felt-tip pen and as many different substrates as I could think of to draw on.
I didn’t figure my mom would notice right off when she got home, but for some reason she actually looked at the plaster statue we had in the entry way that day; the same statue in which I’d very cleverly hidden one of the less-than-perfect attempts. The second surprise is when she actually suspected ME of doing it! How untrusting and unreasonable could a mother possibly be?
Not only did she not appreciate the artistry on the statue, but she was equally unhappy with several of them on different walls, the brick fireplace and I don’t remember where else. Needless to say, with the lack of understanding of the artistic temperament and utter disdain for the effort it took, I never did point out the masterpieces in the couch and under an expensive coffee table.
Gosh, I hope she doesn’t read this. She’ll have my wife slap me.
Don I laughed pretty good at both your stories. I need you writing for my blog :).
Yeah, well I need you drawing my pictures. 🙂