Nowadays, employers seem to think that all graphic design work is done by software and that the employees are just doing data-entry. I’ve even seem job offers that refer to graphic artists as “computer operators,” rather than the trained and (hopefully) experienced professionals they are.
However, a few years ago, art directors and account managers had more respect for the skills of their artists. Well, sometimes…
It was a friday afternoon, ten minutes before quitting time, when the account team raced into the studio of a major ad agency—they ran right to my desk and dropped a handful of paintings and photos in front of me. “We need your help—but we promise it’ll only take an hour.” I understand about advertising deadlines and I was the “go to” guy when jobs were on the line. “Sure,” I said, “whatcha got?”
They showed me a completed illustration: a painting of a man in a rowboat on a lake, with the wake of the boat spelling out the name of their product. The also showed me some photos torn from magazines which were probably reference pix for the painting. Lakes, man in boats, that sort of thing.
“We commissioned this illustration,” they explained, “and we decided we want to give the client another choice, but we have to ship the ad to the printer and we have no more time. We want you to reconstruct the illustration from these magazine pictures, but it has to be ready to release, so you have to make it really polished—and make it sharper and hi-rez.”
“You realize, if I can do this, it’ll take about 12 hours, and no guarrantee I can make it look like a real photo,” I advised them.
“Yes, you can. You have Photoshop!” The art director screamed. Meanwhile, one of the account guys brought my boss over,who corroborated everything I said.
“Listen,” I said, “you have a finished illo, but if you really want me to do this I will, but I can’t have it done before tomorrow, and that’s if I stay all night. your illustration will still look better.”
The art director blew his stack “LOOK—THIS WON’T TAKE MORE THAN TWO HOURS!!” And then he added “I’D DO IT MYSELF IF I KNEW HOW TO USE PHOTOSHOP!!”