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  1. #1

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    Hey friends,
    I know most of out there doing our art sometimes long for a steady paycheck, insursance, etc. Well, most pf you don't know that I'm an art director at the thrid largest ad firm in the world (the name rhymes with saatchi & saatchi). I've been on disability for awhile for crohn's disease. Today i was brought into the human resources office where I was scolded for actually making artwork while I was sick. Seems that they (THE MAN)have been spying on me via my website for months. They ambushed me today as I'm trying to recover from a life threatening illness. They get angry every time they see me do an art show or get another gig. Moral of the story is this, if you dance with the devil, you dance until the song is over. Many of the agencies jobs are easy, completely uncreative, and pay loads of cash. But from their hermitically sealed buildings, they slowly try to break you down. As most of you know by now, there is noe breaking point for me. I'm saying this to designers young and old. Stay with what you love. These people are who I'm warning you of in my 'The Man doesn't love you he only wants to eat you" poster for Int'l noise conspiracy, my King Kong of yuppies on my Radiohead poster, and my tshirt that simply states "I am not a monkey". Today I learned again that corporate america is just a big zoo full of monkeys. Maybe I was weak to take the job, but I wanted to learn the technical shit I didn't learn in art sschool (i have a finance degree). All I have learned is that brainwashing, spying, and political backstabbing extend farther than you will ever know. So the next time an agency comes begging for your help, please, don't dirty yer hands with their work. And I work for an agency that's considered one of the most innovative on earth. It's crap. Every poster on this site blows away the pablum they put out.

    OK, thanks for letting me vent, and thanks for the great letters from Justin, Monoshocks, and my ace Jermaine. You guys are too true to fall for the scam I fell for. Of course, I made over $100,000 last year, but I was much happier making $20g and conytolling my own destiny. They are what we are enemeies of, and I'd love to hear any other war stories to further convince young designers to make their own wyay, and leave the glas building brain suckers to die a painful death. It's embarassing to know I fell for these imposters, but maybe my story will help a friend in need.
    Thanks for the time,
    Speed

  2. #2
    Steve H's Avatar

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    Jul 2001
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    thanks for that speed,i cant believe they have a problem with you producing artwork when ur off sick,thats just wrong,its none of their fuckin business,they employ you because of your talent,they need you more than you need them at the end of the day;sounds like a classic example of corporations trying to take over the planet to me;fuckin greed heads,vive la resistance!
    get well soon. steve

  3. #3

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    right on, Speed!

  4. #4

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    Hey- I agree. First off lemme state that I have been doing freelance for ovewr 10 years- and the lamest part was dealing with local ad agencies. They expect things to happen FAST- and pay by the hour (inmy cases) and then take their time paying you! I actually got in the habit of calling them and gently persuading them to actually pay me! I have sworn off ad agencies- they can all screw themselves. Here in central NY it's a pack of "know-it-all" condescending college bred geeks who pat themselves on the back at their "pushing the envelope" mentality-even though all they produce is pablum for the middle of the orad american TV audience. I say DIY- set up a web site and get half down in advance- I do it that way and draw what I want.

  5. #5

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    Sorry about my spelling- it's late.

  6. #6
    DaveGink's Avatar

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    Nov 2001
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    You nailed it Tikimunster. I just left an agency in October where I had worked for nearly eight years, the last two as Senior Creative Director. I couldn't take it anymore! First of all the 'title' was a joke, the owner and the account execs (two of which were the owner's sons) were really the 'Creative Directors' (and the Art Directors). None of them had a creative bone in their bodies. The sons came from such qualifying backgrounds as a used car salesman and a collections officer. Just who I wanted to have tell me that "this should be yellow"! and most importantly...the elitism and greed was rampant. I couldn't stand seeing vendors and freelancers raped (many of which I had known for years). And I was told to do it! I've been a Graphic Artist for nearly 18 years...came up through the ranks. I couldn't do that to my fellow artists, photographers, printers etc. This 'ALL ABOUT MONEY' bigger, better, faster, cheaper crap philosophy bled my soul. Anyway...I left a 'really' well paying job because I couldn't stand what I was being asked to do. Now I'm doing my own thing (and nearly starving) . But at least my night sweats are gone. Guess my concious is now at ease.

  7. #7
    drowningcreek's Avatar

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    May 2001
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    Georgia, USA
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    Hey Dave...we may be starving, but isn't it a good hunger?

    Since I left the corporate job going on 3 years ago and started doing what I loved and printing what I loved as opposed to mindless crap 2 things have happened.

    1. My income dropped to 1/3 of what I was making ...officially making me a starving artists again.

    2. I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work.

    the first sux...the second compensates for everything.

    and Speed. Dude I can sympathize with you about the agency crap, but look at it this way:

    If a plumber get leave for disability and the company sees he's out doing "freelance" work fixing pipes across town don't they have a right to call him on it? maybe even discipline him? He's supposed to be at home getting healthy right?
    If he could still do the job shouldn't he be at work at not at home?

    I'm not ragging on you, I have a close friend whose wife has crohn's disease. I have seen the pain she has goine thru.

    But being an artist is a unique job..we love what we do and enjoy it as a hobby as well as a way to make income. Hell I even consider psycho therapy so I can vent. We aren't exactly talking about "fixing Pipes", but it's the same principle in their eyes.

    Maybe the best solution for them would have been to allow you to work at home on a reduced schedule. that might have made everyone happy. But the sad part is the the art we do is the commodity they sell and when they put you on leave they thought you needed time off from producing that commodity.

    I know it sucks, but that's how those guys think. Personally I say if working for yourself and making a 1/4 of your salary makes you happy...go for it. I did it and so have many others.

    i think the worst addiction an artist can have is one of money. I suffered through that gnawing feeling of weighing money vs happiness. It was torment, worry, stress, and uncertainty all rolled into one massive mess, but I had enough faith in my ability as an artist that when I finally made the jump..the landing wasn't so bad.

    Get well soon...and take care of yourself. I hope one day to see you have joined the ranks of the rest of us "starving artists" and left the rat race agency world behind you as great learning experience, but a rather unpleasent one.


    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: drowningcreek on 2002-02-03 08:36 ]</font>

  8. #8

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    My ad agency denied me the idea of working at home. So, for the 3-4 hours a day I can move around (usually because I'm on enough medication to keep the pain at bay), I make art. But that's a trivial point. You and the rest explaining your own corporate nightmares will hopefully keep some younger artists from falling into the pit of mediocrity called american advertising, and maybe the catalyst for others to drop the safety net of a corporate gig and go for whatever their own brass ring may be.
    Peace,
    Speed

  9. #9

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    Well, shit. I'm moving back to Chicago this summer and I've been wanting to get a job with a design firm downtown for the same reasons Speed got his job - to learn what you weren't taught. Well, it doesn't really seem worth it after reading this thread (and some others in this forum).

    Sure, I'd love to just start up a freelance illustration/graphic design business and enjoy life but I'm getting married, getting tired of renting, moving 1000mi, and thinking of starting a family. I work in telecom now and I'm tired of it, tired of corporate america. But it sounds like i'd just be working for a whole other bunch of assholes.

    Decisions, decisions. Anyway, hope to meet some of the Chicago artists when I get there. It'd be cool to pick your brains a bit.

    -matter

  10. #10

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    Dec 2001
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    like it or not folks ad agencies make the world go round.

    speed, what you have is brutal, i know. and i wouldn't wish it on anyone. (get better)

    did i miss something? can you really blame a company for wanting a guy on disability who's working, to come back to work? maybe i'm missing something, but that's not so evil. i mean if they're paying you cuz you can't work and you obviously can work. work, that's all...

    i hear a lot of complaining (whining) on this thread. i'm not judging anyone but i thank (something) god (like) that i get to do this in any capacity. it's better then digging ditches and being a 'starving' artist is dumb in my opinion. but if calling yourself that is what get's you thru the day more power to you.

    i love advertising. i love tv commercials, and billboards, and radio ads, web banners, direct mail, bathroom stall ads, ads on turnstiles at arenas, ads on the sides of rockets, let'em rip baby, and all that shit - cuz it's what stands between my family not starving and me not having to work in a field with poisons, or dig in a tunnel with poison, or have to carry a gun for a living,

    thank your stars there is a field that pays you at all to do what you do. it's a luxury to get paid to design/illustrate/photograph/write/etc...

    we got it pretty fucking easy folks. an that's coming from someone who 'life' has kicked in the ass several times too...

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: vibranium on 2002-02-05 18:28 ]</font>

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