Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Job World Part 2

Around 1994, I began to learn some of the basic design programs which were still coming into fashion: Pagemaker, Photoshop, Freehand and a little later, Quark.

The Leopard's background has mostly been in drawing, so it took a little getting used to a technological mindset. Soon, I had a little experience working on small publications, but for the most part, I was kinda of figuring things out as I went along. My first real gig as a designer was at a small magazine called Pizza Today in Indiana.

Yup, a magazine solely about-- pizza. And yes, before you ask, The Leopard did get a lot of free pizza. The whole enterprise was really a promotional device for the owner, who put on a huge Pizza Expo every year for vendors catering to the business. Apparently, this was extremely lucrative and made him a millionaire. But the magazine was legit. It was bi-monthly, and there was a full staff. The thing I remember the most was sitting around in an editorial meetings discussing stories about pizza. How they come up with them issue after issue, I'll never know.

After leaving there, I took a gig at a tiny minority-owned ad agency. It was run by a former football player who didn't really have much experience but a lot of "heart". He used to call me B.O.P. (Big Ol' Pimp) because I drove around in a late 70's customized van at the time that an uncle gave me--a Leopardmobile if you will. There were numerous cash flow problems at the agency. Sometimes, we didn't get paid at all. Eventually, he fired the whole lot of us except for one guy. But I learned a lot while I was there about the business.

But boy oh boy, did I have learn the hard way.

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