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Photoshop Isn’t Magic, People!

, , | Right | March 18, 2022

Client: “We don’t like this girl’s smile on the brochure cover. Can you Photoshop another mouth onto her face from one of the other photos?”

Me: “Unfortunately, none of the other photos of her smiling are from the same angle.”

Client: “Well, then Photoshop her whole head out and use a head from the other photo where she is smiling.”

Me: “Can’t do it. The heads aren’t from the same angle as the body. It won’t look right.”

Client: “Sure, it will! People Photoshop heads and body parts all the time.”

GrApHiC dEsIgN iS mY pAsSiOn

, , , , | Right | March 17, 2022

As an in-house graphic designer, I worked with an interior designer on a design for an exhibition stand for our company at a big London furniture show. With dark wood panels and simple silver lettering, it looked great.

However, a salesman who liked to make his own Powerpoint presentations had talked them into letting him create an animated presentation that would be displayed on a loop on a big flatscreen in the middle of the stand.

I arrived at the exhibition to see the company name in Comic Sans, flashing in purple and yellow, and pictures of chairs flying around the screen.

I expressed my dismay to another member of staff who was also watching it. He said that he thought it was comparable with anything I’d ever done.

Never Come Between An Artist And His Ego

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2022

My great aunt turns ninety this month. Lockdown has been very tough on her. Not only has she lost several friends, but there is a disproportionate number of idiots living near her, not following guidelines. She hasn’t felt safe leaving her home, let alone make the annual trip back to Scotland to visit the village she grew up in and where her brother is buried, which was a big disappointment for her.

We all pool money together to commission a local artist to paint the Scottish village she grew up in. It’s a nice way of having a little piece of Scotland with her at all times. What we don’t realise at the time is that the artist’s initials are the same as her brother’s.

We agree that it might be a little much; it is a happy scene, not a memorial.

We try to get the artist to not sign it; he refuses. We ask him to sign it on the back; he refuses. We ask him to use any other signature than those three letters; he refuses.

Being a little brasher than most, I’m asked to speak with him and see if we can sort it out.

Me: “Hi. My name is [My Name] and I’m calling about the painting we commissioned.”

Artist: “Oh, another one. How… lovely.”

Me: “About the signature…”

Artist: “Yes, I know, very sad coincidence. But this is my work and I will not be changed.”

Me: “Then we have agreed to ask for a refund and find another artist.”

Artist: “Good luck finding anyone available at this short notice.”

Me: “Actually, we have a choice of people to go to.”

Artist: “Well… Well, it doesn’t matter, anyway. It’s not refundable once I started, so…”

Me: “Your email from last week said that you needed a bigger deposit to start the painting. That hasn’t been paid. So, which one of those situations was a lie?”

There is a noticeable pause.

Artist: “I managed to start the painting by borrowing some paint from another project.”

Me: “I will talk with my family, but there will be no more advances. And I will be holding you to the delivery date if we go ahead.”

Unfortunately, they couldn’t afford to lose the deposit. Then, the artist had the nerve to ask for another payment early. My word was clear: remove the signature and we would think about it. He agreed and the painting was completed.

We got photos occasionally throughout and things at least looked good. On delivery, the day before the birthday, we found that he had signed it anyway. I spent three hours carefully scraping away the paint to remove it.

Some people think they know better.

There’s Magic, And Then There’s Whatever This Is

, , , , | Right | March 6, 2022

I am getting a design brief from a marketing manager of an adult college.

Me: “So, you want me to design a double-sided A5 leaflet that completely ignores the established corporate identity, is targeted at all age groups, has no clear call to action, is for both tutors and students to pick up, doesn’t look like the very different samples you emailed from your current social media feed as examples, has line drawings and interconnected pencil lines, within a two-hour design budget and signed off at the end of this week for printing next week?”

Client: “Yes, I know you can work your magic.”

But Now You’re REALLY Good At Painting Flowers!

, , , , , | Learning | March 6, 2022

I signed up for a still life painting course. In discussion with the organiser, I explained that I was looking to gain some experience and learn to paint different things. They seemed to say all the right words and convinced me that this was for me.

In the first class, I noticed two things straight away. One was that I was the only man, and the second was that the room was full of paintings of flowers.

I didn’t really register anything into either, but I wasn’t surprised that the first thing we painted was a vase of flowers.

The next thing was a different bunch of flowers and then another bunch of flowers.

After a while, I started to want something new. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t going to paint flowers at home. This wasn’t teaching me much.

After being presented with another bunch of flowers:

Me: “Sorry, but will we be painting anything else?”

Instructor: “You don’t like these flowers?”

Me: “They’re fine, but I was expecting something different at some point. I don’t know, fruit, people, or something.”

Instructor: “Don’t worry, your masculinity won’t be hurt by flowers.”

Me: “I didn’t say that. I don’t mind painting flowers, but that’s all we’ve done. I was hoping for variety.”

Instructor: “Well, I’m sorry but that’s all I prepared.”

I went with it for now, but when the next painting was of flowers again, I had to say something.

Me: “Sorry, but are we going to do anything different at all?”

Instructor: “The subjects will be chosen by me.”

Me: “Fine, just wanted to know. Excuse me; I have a phone call to make.”

I called the company and ask to cancel, explaining my reasons. They begged me to try one more class and said that they would talk to the instructor.

I went to the next class.

Instructor: “Thanks to somebody, we will have to not finish last week’s painting. Instead, we have a new model.”

She pulled off the cloth to reveal the still life: instead of a vase of flowers, it was… flowers on a plate. I got up and left, got some of my money back, and found a new instructor.

I wasn’t shocked to see some of the people from the last course in the new one.