Saturday, November 19, 2022

Uno's Glorious Second Birthday & Gaudy Career Advice From A Major Procrastinator

November 19, 2022

   Well, Uno had a glorious second birthday yesterday, although I don't think he quite understood what all the hoopla was about. He did, however, appreciate the glorious sunset last night over the Seven Sisters.

"Dang that's groovy!"

Uno es Dos

   A crazy old photo of the running of the bulls Sagrada Familia style:

The Sagrada Familia Basicilica, 1906

   We visited this famous Barcelona, Spain basicilica in 2003 and it didn't look like this! In fact, it was pretty gaudy. I believed this had to do with the architect Antoni Gaudi, but that turns out to be not true and a bit ridiculous. The word "gaudy" comes from the 16th century and Gaudi, the architect, lived into the 1920s, so that's a stretch, but both gaudy and gaudi come from the same Latin word 'Gaudere' which means "to enjoy." So that clears that up.

Triple B Inflation Report

   Earlier this week I ran up (actually, I drove) to Circle K for eggs: $9.24 for a dozen eggs. The Little Aussie Bastard wanted two copies of the October issue of True West magazine, since he wrote the cover story, so I added a Hellraisers book and a piece of art and the post office charged me $75 to mail it to Australia, AND I had to fill out a five page customs form and then get back in line. Seesh. Kathy wanted to do Sunday brunch at Manuel's Mexican Food Restaurant so we drove to the Bell location (the road, not my property) and we had a nice brunch for $103.65. True, margaritas were involved, but Dang!

Career Questions I answered for a mentor program in Minnesota

#1. Question: Tell me about your educational background. 

   High school graduation in Kingman, Arizona where I worked on the school paper and the annual; college at the University of Arizona, Fine Arts and Commercial Art, five years, no degree. Created a cartoon strip fo the Arizona Daily Wildcat called Dick Matric. After college I took Specialty classes at Scottsdale Artists School. I still read everything I can on art and storytelling and graphic novels and I study the masters, and that would be van Gogh, Rembrandt, Charlie Russell, Toulouse-Lautrec, Moebius, Frank Frazetta, Chester Gould, Gary Larson.  I could go on. 

#2. Question: What is the best part about your job?

   Work is only work if you'd rather be someplace else and I am exactly where I want to be.

#3. Question: What are the best ways to enter this field? What are the best ways to learn about specific job openings? 

   Your task is to get past the mob standing at the foot of the ladder. With Social Media now it's easier to find an audience, post and publish constantly is the key.

#4. Question: What background is necessary or helpful for this position? For example, are there any particular educational or training programs required or recommended for this position?

   LA Art School was the big dog when I was growing up but my parents didn't have the money to send me there. But so much information is now online it is much easier to find specific information. I am old school and I am currently reading a book, "Action: The Art of Excitement for Screen, Page and Game" by Robert McKee so I can improve my storytelling skills.

#5. Question: What are the most and least satisfying aspects of your work? What would you change?

   To do an article or a book or a painting and have people respond to it is a very wonderful thing. The deadlines are always stressful, and sometimes nerve wracking and life shortening, but I can't change that, I have had to learn to live with it. The best advice I have ever gotten for this is to write everyday, without hope, without despair. It works for art as well.

#6. Question: What are some of the current trends or changes in this field? What about challenges or controversies?

   In any time of upheaval there are always opportunities to do something different. It's a moving target. You need to study people who you admire and want to emulate. You can find interviews with them talking about their craft and you should copy them obsessively.

#7. Question: What are the five most important skills or traits for a person going into this field to have?

   Patience, perseverance, practice, and a good eye

#8. Question: What are your job responsibilities? What do you do in a typical day or week?

   Work on cover ideas, feature packages, write my editorial, create a four-page Classic Gunfight for the issue. Assign projects, write and draw ideas in a sketchbook. Argue with some, encourage others. Stay positive, don't get pessimistic, be grateful you have a flippin' job you like doing!

#9. Question: Can you suggest professional publications and associations related to your field?

   I am not a fan of professional publications or associations. I support them, like our local historical society and our local museum or, even the Phippen Art Museum (I am on the board) but I have never found a job from reading a publication or belonging to an association.

#10. Question: Does this type of position typically involve a lot of team projects, or do you work independently?

   What I love about magazine production is it is very collaborative. I love going into a meeting with one idea and coming out with a better idea because of the creative process. It doesn't get any better than that.

#11. Question: How did you become interested in this field?

   I have always been interested in movies, history, TV shows, comic books, Rock music and some Country music. Anything that gets my heart pumping. Remember: enthusiasm covers most bets.

#12. Question: What experiences in your background have contributed to your success in this career? What would you have done differently?

   Thanks to my Norwegian father I am very stubborn and I rarely give up until I have conquered my own limitations. I have been defeated many times but I keep going. It's the old Viking saying: get knocked down five times, get up six. The only thing I would do differently is I would start earlier, but that is the curse of procrastination speaking, which I am also very good at.

#13. Question: If this job or field were to become obsolete, in what other kinds of jobs could you apply your skills?

   I have watched comic strips, magazines and radio shows atrophy and they all have become more and more obsolete in my lifetime, but storytelling never goes out of style. Now there are podcasts, YouTube videos and graphic novels. The only thing constant in this world is change. Get used to it and figure out what is coming next and get there before everyone else.

#14. Question: Final Question - Who else should I talk to in this field?

   If you want to become a fine artist I would talk to Thom Ross or Ed Mell. If you want to become a cartoonist, I would contact Jerry Scott of Baby Blues fame. If you want to become a writer I would send you to a therapist. Or, Stuart Rosebrook, our editor at True West magazine. Good luck. You'll need it, but if you keep going you'll get your share.

"Avant-garde is French for Bullshit." 

—John Lennon

1 comment:

  1. That photo of Uno is gorgeous. Photoshop out the leash, and put that puppy on your wall! I hear you on postage to Australia. Even before the current run up of prices on everything, just mailing a brochure in a manila envelope cost about $23. Crazy expensive to that country, for some reason.


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