A brief Excursion back to my Roots

As you may, or probably may not know: I used to make my (rather humble) living as a trained and certified graphic designer. It’s actually what I studied to be, and what I did full-time before going on maternity leave, and from there into a shitty and ego-crushing job, and from there into unemployment, and from there into the pharmaceutical industry.

(Where I like it MUCH better, btw – there are SO many reasons why I am glad to be rid of my previous profession… sorry to all you professional creatives out there – but you are just not my cup of tea, not the type of people I feel generally comfortable around. Graphic designers in advertising specifically – snotty folk, hipsters at heart, always part of the in-crowd, and forever 25, with this disgusting flair of “I am so much better at what I do than you” surrounding them – (almost) every single one of them. It all sounded so much better in college than reality turned out to be, and I am especially sore about my last employers before finding my current awesome job. They managed to make me feel like an incompetent imbecile on a daily basis, who needed to be humble and grateful for the amazing opportunity they generously provided me with after 5 years of maternity leave, when nobody else would have me due to my long absence from the scene market. They very obviously felt that they were god’s greatest gift to the advertising world since the invention of graphic designers, whereas my own ideas and input were regarded as shit, and my dutiful execution of their ideas was usually ridiculed and put down, and then ended up being redone by themselves – on principle. On some days I felt as if the only reason they’ve kept me around was to bask in their own awesomeness by way of celebrating my shittiness, and I really wonder why they’ve hired me in the first place, since – as it finally turned out when they fired me – they didn’t actually really like my portfolio and work from day #1. Go figure? I’ve now almost completely banned these 8 or 9 months from my active memory, because thankfully they are no longer relevant. I even feel embarrassed thinking back on this time, and this terrible job experience played a huge part in my decision to turn my back onto the profession entirely, without ever looking back. I wish those two clowns all the best, but above all I wish them a sparkly dusting from the humility-and-social-skills-fairy, if she has a minute or two to spare.)

That said, I am occasionally still approached by some people who know of my background, for the odd little graphic design job here and there. More often than not this has to do with T-Shirt design, since my husband Geo is a T-Shirt making whizz, and word travels quickly. I usually decline such requests, because between work and family and university I really have neither the time, nor the interest in such tasks anymore, and I never tire to emphasize just how much I don’t miss the (commercial) art world and don’t want to get involved anymore. However, every once in a while something comes up that tickles my fancy – and a little project request turns out to be quite some fun in the process, a bit like graphic design used to make me feel a long time ago. It feels like flexing unused and rusty muscles a bit, and seeing the smiles on the requester’s face after the job is done still gives me some of that old satisfaction that I used to feel before my feelings for my old profession have curdled like sour milk.

(Oh my, all this introductory talk! I honestly didn’t mean to ramble like this, you guys. Got carried away with all my old anger, I guess.

…all of this just to show off a T-Shirt I made for a co-worker!)

It’s been done for a teacher to commemorate a school play of “The Lion King”, which my co-worker’s kiddo was a part of. The close-up has been pixelated in order to protect the privacy of the children shown.

I used these Disney characters under the premise of “transformative use” on a derivative piece that was made for a single item of clothing in a non-commercial setting. (Translation: I should definitely be on the safe side here.)

I love the way it turned out, actually – and I hope the intended recipient is happy, too!

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