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
Plans are great…until they get fucked up. That’s something you can never plan for. That’s where I happen to be at.
Since my days at Pratt, I had thought about operating my design studio. Working on the projects that interested me, selecting the kind of clients I wanted to work with and creating gorgeous, satisfying designs was what I thought running a studio was all about. That’s why when you’re young and full of zeal, you are thinking about all the other factors. Like your personal life—you might be married, you might be divorced, you might become widowed, you might have a kid or two, you might have health problems, you might have family problems or you might (just fill in the blank). When you’re young, thoughts like that don’t come to mind. It’s seen as a clear, easy road.
After almost five years of running my studio, it appears that I will have to let it go. At least in terms of a physical space. Why you might ask? Simple, the cost is draining, I miss the creative banter among other designers and I didn’t market myself like I should. Supporting my wife’s business, preparing for the birth of my daughter (and subsequent removal of my wife from the business fold), still running low on spiritual energy after my first wife’s untimely death (probably should’ve taken the time off instead of plowing through the beginning of a new job) and the enormous pressure of being the sole provider for an entire family took up a lot of my focus that I needed for my studio.. I’ve always been exceptionally strong but just didn’t think I’d run out of that strength. Boy, did I get a rude awakening. Continue reading A Long Held Plan Gone Awry…
My mistress and I are kinda estranged now. I really hate when we are on the outs like this. She’s been the only one around for all the craziness that is my life. I’m lost without here. Her name is Graphic Design.
Creatively, I’m in such a blasé mood. Ever since my wife died on September 11th, the roaring fire in my belly for design seems to have been reduced to just some smoldering embers. The funny thing is I received all my design awards during this 10 year period. I’ve also done some of my best work during this time. Now I’m not the greatest designer out there but I do consider myself pretty decent. Prior to my wife’s death I was hell-bent on my rising career path and can admit that I placed my relationship on the back burner. Late hours, business trips and weekends spent at the office were the times I enjoyed most. I was selfishly consumed with being this great designer. The only thing I was achieving was being an arrogant, self-centered prick. Continue reading I’m Lost Without My Mistress