maybe YOU were, frank, but i wasn't. i lived in seattle, an overpopluated island menatlity and had to survive only on what i could find locally. you've always gone outside because you had a great established system for doing so, even your own printing. it's an extremely different experience for you, and to dismiss what i said on that basis is kinda kneejerk and not very insightful, even lame. to say i could have gotten work anywhere is just not true. i tried - ny, la, sf, everywhere - repeatedly and constantly. i was a real aggressive go-getter. i lived in seattle and i depended on my local community for support. but it was EXTREMELY competetive, and those who rose to the top competed the most effectively, not necessarily the most honestly.
undersatnd? i'm sure it happens everywhere, but it was very nasty up there for me. it really killed me.
i'd like to weigh in on the 'turf' thing. i know that on these threads it's looked like i was whining about 'turf' battles and all, but i'd like to explain what i meant. i really do think there is a line that gets crossed when a 'competitor' literealy imitates your style and goes after your established clientele. i had this happen many many times from several fronts when i was in seattle, and it really killed my income - one outfit went after my clientele exclusively and wrestled away over 75% of my work. others, imitated whatever poster i put out so closely, that i got accused of copying his style by my own clients. this sort of thing happened to me time and time again, and it was my 'friends' and 'students' and 'co-workers' doing it to me, people i had befriended and even trained. i had to stay one-step ahead, because i knew a client was only good for about three projects and then a competitor would take away the client. i was so broke during most of time in seattle that it wound up being the biggest reason i had to move to st. louis. i literally was put out of business by my own little frankenstein monsters and forced out of the market. for the last 2 or 3 years up there i got no work at all from seattle. it was extremely tough, because i got very little work from outside seattle.
so, i'd like to point out that there is such a thing as unfair business practices and that i've seen it up close and first hand in seattle. i'm also not saying i was the only one who suffered this same problem - talk to hank trotter or frank zepponi. but i will say (with a touch of pride) that i was the biggest target. i guess i was doing SOMETHING right up there.
ya know, blackface humor was all the rage over much of the last century, but today you can't touch it. it's poison. i'd love to work with it, but it's like using the 'n'-word or making racist jokes. the problem is that it still allows people to create an area where it's still ok to ridicule others based on sterotypes that are associated with the most vicious type of repression. to turn it into a joke is simply not yet ok. it's just not funny, even as socio/political sarcasm.
so, as much as i'd love to take the balckface imagery and play with it, make it a joke, even use the iconography of oppression to usurp it's intrinsic power, i have to say i won't do it. it's the one spot i draw the line. i do all kinds of shock value in my work, but that's the one area i will not step because it's still too fresh and painful for a huge portion of our population.
oh, and auschwitz humor isn't funny either. that's the other one i won't touch.
if you see al von zipper, tell him i said he's ugly and stupid for me, ok? (it's a running joke between us. don't worry, he won't try to punch you, he'll laugh). do you also know bagley? i think he's brilliant - i'm a huge fan.