One of my first jobs in design was working at an adult publisher. To this day, it’s still the best job I had and not for all the crazy nonsense people assume about it. What made it so great was, it was the one place where I had complete creative freedom. The owner and editors had complete faith in what I could do for their pages. The titles I art directed had a mix of pictorials and editorial like travel stories, book reviews and news. They were Playboy-like. The work I did there enabled me to move on to companies like Essence, McGraw-Hill, CMP, Black Enterprise and Nielsen. Quite a few well-known art directors have also worked on adult titles during their careers. Playboy is the granddaddy of them all and for several years, it was showing its age. In the last five years, it has undergone some changes to keep it moving in the 21st century and beyond.
While the magazine commissioned some of today’s prolific illustrators and photographers, the pages were feeling rather dated—especially having read the magazine since my 20’s. Twenty some years later, it still had the same look and tone yet my tastes had grown. I wanted it to grow as I did. Judging from the last three to four recent issues, it seems that Playboy has indeed done that. The art direction has a more contemporary flair about it, mixing more bold typographic treatments with thematically styled photo shoots. They have moved from that “Barbie” formula and focused on presenting their pictorials as real women in real settings, the editorial content more gripping and timely and the culture tidbits are more in line with my current tastes. Continue reading The Bunny Is Finally Evolving
I decided to take some time off to recharge my mental batteries. Whenever your creative energy starts to ebb, the efforts you put out are so weakened and puts you (and your clients) at risk of bad design. In order to offset that, I decided to dedicate a week to doing nothing creative—just being. The week is almost over and I guess I accomplished my goal—somewhat. While I haven’t done creative, I also haven’t really done what I wanted. Issues with the babysitter not being here this week, bad starts to the day (I just couldn’t get out of bed early) to what now feels like a cold or something trying to brew inside, thanks to my 11-year-old son.
During all this time one thing has been consistent. My mind was tired. With my mind being tired, the body follows suit. That’s why its been so hard getting out of bed. My mind is tired. Mentally I’ve been going through a lot of shit the past 10 years since my (1st) wife was murdered September 11th. I kept working through all that grief and trauma because it kept my mind off of what happen. At the time I thought it was best. I’m not so sure if that was the right move now. While I have had great creative success during this 10 year period, it also came with a thorny backside to it. Winning my first major design awards at The Ozzies in 2002 left me so emotionally numb. What was to be a happy occasion was really a painful one. During the awards ceremony, I piled on the glasses of Jack & Coke. When my name was announced, I was in a tipsy haze as I approached the stage. Always the professional, I accepted without anyone ever knowing how I was feeling that night. I left early after getting two awards that night. Continue reading Taking Time Off To Recharge
It’s been a minute since I last posted. Many things kept me from writing like family, money stresses, work from the few clients I have these days, my teaching, Modern Warfare 2 and so on. But in all that time, I kept saying to myself “ you gotta get back to your blog”. 2009 has been a horrific year for me and so many others. Many of my clients halted their marketing plans, some have just disappeared…all in all it was a perfect time to think about the future of my studio.
Like I’ve done for many of my clients, it was time for me to rethink how I do my business. I started my studio basically after leaving corporate without really thinking of a plan. I just went ahead and put a “Open for Business” sign…and sure enough business was coming in. But I didn’t think about the dry season; about how to keep my studio out there. So for 2010, it’s time to finally get a plan and market my studio with all the gusto I give when creating design for my client. It’s time to give myself some of my magic.