……………………Only a safety precaution specialist with two or more burns or scars on his body has the right to argue with the designer……………
Once upon a time I needed money and this is how my career of a designer began. Before that I worked as a painter in the theatre, but my salary there was quite small, as in majority of government sponsored institutions. I didn’t have a cell phone and computer back then. I played in a rock band. We rehearsed and lived right in the garage on the edge of a town.
And off course, I had no idea of computer design. I decided to take CorelDraw and Photoshop lessons. Now, seven years later I can say that you probably won’t get much of these kinds of courses, although they give you some basics. Plus, they give you certain self assurance.
After I did all that, I got an interview with little advertizing agency. They had chosen me out of 5 other guys that I met on those same courses. And they told me why. It’s because I had a piercing on my face – that’s reason to say – this one is a designer. And so I went to work next morning at nine O’clock.
Same night I went to my friends place with some booze. I expected he had the programs that I needed on his computer and also the internet. I waited till he got drunk and asleep and began to study.
I had a simple plan – get enough sleep before work and learn vectors. Couple hours of sleep would be enough; the apartment was very close to a cemetery. The closer too cemetery – the better sleep you get.
It was all mixed up in my head in the morning. Going up the stairs of the firm office I bumped into my boss and his executive. They were gluing the sign with the firm’s name with a scotch tape and asked me to step aside to see if it hangs even. From that moment exactly I realized - I’m a designer.
Besides those two men and me there also was a secretary in the office. That was all, besides some laborers for putting the ad signs up.
My bosses gave me a task and went away. I began with the design of a sign for a restaurant called “ðþìî÷íàÿ” (from the word “ðþìêà” – a shot (of alcohol)). And, I should note that I managed very well. I f restaurant would hang such cool modern add, I’m sure they would get plenty of customers 24 hours around the clock. More over, I’m sure, that the drivers of cars passing by would stop to only have a closer look at this miracle sign!
By the end of working day my management came. They looked at it for some time and said that it would be impossible execute technically.
Next day they explained me the main designer rule. There must be three different sketches. One should be made according to my personal taste; another should be pretty and exquisite, and one regular. In most cases client will choose the regular one. Although I disagree with this, reality tells different. Customer is always right.
A week passed by and I felt my self more comfortable in a computer environment, but the management left designer position open. There were more candidates coming in for an interview, which was not very pleasant. In the end of a trial period I suggested to pay me a fixed amount for my work.
This is what I heard then:
“You didn’t learn anything here. Your pay reflects exactly that”.
After a long conversation it cleared out that I can’t even cut transparent plastic sheet evenly with a razor and ruler. After such events I came out with a plan.
Next day I came to the office in secret. It was a day off for all and it was empty. I took out a razor out of my pocket and estimated the cost of leather covering of the firm’s office door. My pay would take about 10 percent of that door. Very carefully and neatly, without any rulers, I cut out a piece of leather and put it in my wallet. That was my first designer salary.
After that I was more successful. I got a job at a much more promising firm. I put in my resume that I do have an experience. Every morning waking up in a dark damp garage over the mosquito buzz I realized all the greatness of my situation.
All my working clothes were kept in a plastic bag, to void dust. I brushed my shoes like a maniac. I can’t be looking like a bum, coming to a nice clean office.
One fine day, in the middle of working day, my operating system went down. According to my resume I was an advanced user. The ordered me to restore it. Now I know that it is system administrator job. But back then, you had to be able to do everything.
I was fighting with operating system till the dark and then went home all upset. One more surprise awaited me there. The owner of a garage lot figured that there are people living in one of them and ordered to switch the electricity off for the night, all with Russian kindness and care. It was raining and heater wouldn’t work.
There was a huge hanging lock on the electricity distributor box. I bent the upper side of the entry door, reminding my self at the same time that it’s raining and what I’m doing is totally suicidal. I have stuck my hand inside, trying to find a switch handle.
Same second I was thrown away. Suddenly, I remembered of that saying: “Those who struck by lightning are not recommended to be buried in the ground”. Finally, my consciousness was cleared and I realized how to reinstall that damn operating system.
After second attempt I managed to turn my computer on and keep my reputation clean.
Foma Tuturov, 08/2009