The other night I get this phone call from my mom. She starts the conversation with "Guess what..." I know this tone. It's either horrific news or something she finds incredibly exciting. I was geared up for the former. Either somebody I know has died or has a fatal disease. But no, she has sideswiped me with "exciting news". A neighbor of hers had just called to tell her about a job opportunity for me at a local grocery store. Their resident artist had suddenly quit and he couldn't wait to tell them about me.
I listened patiently as my mom relayed his message and I could tell she thought this was a good gig. I told her I'd give it a try if I could work at home.
It took me about 4 days to finally get a hold of someone. I got my portfolio together and headed out, not really knowing much about their expectations but willing to listen. I walk in and realize all of their advertising is handwritten. Numbers and lettering combined with product and logo paintings. I sized up the situation and thought "Hey, I could do this!"
I'm feeling pretty confident as I talk with the managers. I'm pretty good at interviews and when I pulled out my portfolio I knew they were impressed. However, my confidence was short lived as they started asking how fast I was. And there was some mention of an audition where they would give me an assignment and time me. It was at this point in the conversation where I almost started giggling. An audition! Seriously!
Then they show me the studio room where the former artist performed his magic. Their excitement was very apparent as they showed me this room which was the size of a large closet. There was this huge painting of sailboats that looked as if it was created by a street artist. I could see the stencil lines and again suppressed a giggle. They were bragging that it only took him ten minutes. The only thing I could say was "Wow!"
Then I was shown something really impressive. A board advertising their hot chocolate. I listened to them for about 15 minutes about how amazed they were that this artist thought to cut the paper cup in half vertically and stick it onto the board. And the way the Ghiradelli logo looked so perfect. At this, I point out that he actually printed it out and stuck it on with clear tape. Their response, "Oh, yeah...it does look printed!"
Now, I hope I'm not coming out snobby. It was just so humorous to me. I was so out of place there. I phoned my mom back and told her about the auditions. We both laughed. Whether I like it or not I'm a fine artist. Not an illustrator, not a graphic designer, and not a resident artist in a grocery store. And I left that conversation realizing it's time to start working toward showing my art.
And that felt good.