I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Dusty"

One of my early jobs was at an art studio. It was the good old days when illustrators, designers, retouchers, and production artists all worked in the same building. We laughed and played while we did the serious work of selling stuff we really didn't care much about.

One of those products was a feather duster. A dull product if there ever was one, and this didn't even have feathers, just plastic bristles. Someone named it "Webster", and the creatives had fun playing with it. We put a face on it, and it often appeared around corners to watch artists at work. Our play turned into memorable packaging with a funny face wrapped around it. Awesome! Brilliant! Lots of projects and money resulted for the studio. To be clear, this was another artist's work. I'm just passing on the process of the inspiration. I did however take part in the mock battles we had with them when the product samples came in.

I miss the old guys and going to work with people who play. I miss Brian's collection of model airplanes spinning in the warm air by the heating vent. I miss the camaraderie of going to bars after hours. I miss learning from the masters of the craft. I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience that moment in time.

It's tougher to dust myself off without my happy companions. I've gotten into comfortable, nonproductive habits, and my life needs stirred up. Bills need paid, and I need to kick my muse into gear. Besides, I'm happier when I'm productive.

I suppose there's lots of people who don't value social networking, but we can't all live in vacuums, churning out brilliance in the privacy of our own homes every day. Play matters. Creative competition matters. Feeding off of each other's ideas helps all of us to go further than we can go alone -- and makes the journey so much more rewarding!

As for the illustration... let's call it virtual housekeeping. I don't feel like actually cleaning house today!!
This is my niece's interpretation of "dusty". I love the bunny's face!

35 comments:

  1. Excellent!!!
    Have a nice weekend, Linda!

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  2. Really great post. I am one of the guilty ones who like to live in the vaccuous confines of my studio and watch anonymously from the sidelines of the world wide web. I force myself to 'network' on the web but FORCE is the operative word. I am an introvert to the Nth degree. It's not that I don't value people, their talent and learning from what they do but I too easily get 'caught up in' the digression of it all and even in the web there are the cliques. Biggest issue for me is time. Illustration is a side passion while I still labor 8-5 at the $ job. If I have an hour I would rather sketch or learn photoshop than Tweet with people who often do not reciprocate a reply. I do miss the commraderie of the creative studio space - actual LIVE BODIES all learning together...my internships in the studios of architectural firms was another matter, though. There I was introduced to 'the creative ego.' I still have vivid memories of the AD tooling the office in pencil skirt, stillettos and a handsfree headset hooked to her ear.

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  3. So often we forget that the true value of what we do lies not only in the end product but in the process. And part of that process is taking time to step back, interact, learn, chill out, listen and 'perk' off of others. I try to take time in my day just to leave the work on hold to go talk to people. And if there are none around there are a lot of great memories to listen to... and great posts to read. Like this one!

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  4. So true! There's nothing like the experience of working together or just networking with creatives, even if it's online, as opposed to face to face. Oh, the mischief that passes for hard work! (Shh...don't tell all the secrets)!
    As for the housework, well, all work and no play...Webster will back us up! Have a great weekend! :o)

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  5. wonderful post... I worked in a similar design group for a while and it was a great creative environment to be in. Play does count!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I don't think I've ever been at a "creative" office where play was allowed, so I'd love to leave my 8:30 to 5:00 for time alone to create. But I do still get to socialize a bit so at home creating all the time would probably be too much time alone. A balance would be ideal... as in everything to obtain a balance would be heaven.

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  7. I love learning facts about you. The feather duster illustration is wonderful, so meticulous.

    I actually hate social networking sites such as Facebook but I am there so I can see my teenagers. Then my friends found out and now I have 108 friends! However, I make it a point not to be friends with anyone with whom I have no history of personal relationship or interaction, in the beginning. I also do not like accepting friends request from strangers. Two thirds of my FB friends are relatives. The rest are nursing college classmates. Sort of defeats social networking :)

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  8. Great post Linda, I actually like (and I am fortunate enough to have) the best of both worlds. My day job in a busy doctor's surgery gives me all the camaraderie I need with lots of different team members all working together. We are not only colleagues but friends and boy do you need laughter as it is a pretty serious place to be at times....
    What I enjoy about the internet is meeting people such as you who I would never, ever have met any other way! How cool a world we live in now!
    Keep socialising both ways - I have so enjoyed getting to know you. Jane x

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  9. Thanks everybody! I love your comments.

    @Jennifer, I had to force myself to blog in the first place, but I'm having so much fun with it now. Live bodies are better, but the web can be good too when you don't have live bodies. You're right though, it can take up a lot of time if we aren't careful. Love the picture you put in my mind of the AD. That's one of the types I don't miss!

    @Rand, I had a boss who chastised me for just sitting and staring out into space. The world would be better if bosses understood that sometimes we need time to think and time to play.

    @Michele, Sometimes mischief IS hard work! lol

    @Fallingladies, Yeah, balance! Something to strive for, but so seldom achieved!

    @Ces, I'm with you about facebook! Some things that get posted are fun or informative, but most aren't. The best thing about it (and Linked In) has been finding people I'd lost touch with over the years.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

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  10. Hi Linda! I worked in an illustration studio for five years, and it WAS a lot of fun! It was a great job, I made a salary, didn't have to worry about what to do next or if something would sell since we were handed assignments. (However, I guess we didn't sell enough, because the company closed! ;) I'd walk around the studio after hours thinking "WHAT IN THE WORLD am I doing here?" meaning that I thought everyone else was soooo much more talented than I was. And they were-- I was just a kid out of school. But I learned a lot, and I can't imagine working alone as long as I have without having had that foundation. It was just nice to talk about the mechanics on a daily basis, like are these Winsor and Newton series 7 brushes really better than the cheapies? and really, HOW do you make a gift wrap pattern repeat?

    Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I'm so glad to have found folks like you who share your art and show how you work! That Webster sure made a great memory for you!

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  11. Krista, love the rambling! And yeah, Windsor Newton series 7 ARE better than the cheapies!!!

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  12. Lol! I love the illustrations and the post! Your details are great!

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  13. Dusty....a duster...that's it!
    Very effective and pretty.
    Paula

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  14. Oh, that is much to pretty for dusting! Beautiful colors, and the feathers look so plump and wonderful! The background is elegant. Love the swirls, almost like it's kicking up magic pixie dust rather than real house dust.

    Your niece's drawing is AWESOME! Hahahahaha, I love that screaming face. "Nooooooooooooo!!!"

    I am terrible at social networking. I love my solitude and am happy just to observe. But I know what you mean about being inspired by friends and collaborating. Those days in the studio sound like a lot of fun!

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  15. Thanks!

    @Bella, I like the idea that the duster is too nice for actually dusting. Gives me a good excuse not to bother the dust! Also liking the idea of pixie dust. If I could only find my house elves, maybe I could sprinkle some of it on them to get them to clean the house?

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  16. Heisann!

    This is true, we are more creative and productive
    when we are social - and work side by side, having responds, feedback and correctives.
    Have a nice week ;:OD)

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  17. Nice illustration. I like your background and also the little details in each feather. Great Work!

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  18. that's the prettiest duster I have ever seen ;)

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  19. So true, so true! What a great illustration, and post..and thank you for sharing your niece's sweet illustration too!

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  20. Thanks everybody! Love getting the feedback, and I'll pass on the compliments to my niece too. Always good for young artists to know their work is appreciated :)

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  21. I love your dust bunny and your post is so true!

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  22. Virtual housekeeping ...I love the idea. Very nice!

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  23. Hey Linda!Some of the great artistic accomplishments come from playing around! Great post! Hey you guys came up withy the human like duster long before the Swiffer Sweeper commercials! Your nieces dust bunny is adorable! You’re right... that face is priceless!

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  24. if that's the dust kicking up... it's too beautiful and ornate to sweep away, and as others have mentioned the duster is too visually valuable as well. We'll have to leave it be, and hope for elegant visually delightful asthma!

    ~thanks again for the 'stylish blogger' award.

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  25. Haha I have finally found the feather duster. I like the idea of the hawke - but whose feather's are on the duster eh?

    Well as always - lovely contrast in texture - so very difficult to do feathers yet you have no problem at all I see - Not many people could make a piece of art of such a common object but you have succeeded wonderfully :)

    Hats off!

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  26. Wow, this is a really lovely, creative interpretation of the topic...and your niece's art is fabulous!

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  27. Thanks everybody! When I first started making this feather duster, I thought "how dull!" I'm glad you all like it. I surprised myself by having some fun with it. Kind of meditative to do the feathers and background.

    @Andrew, Those are definitely NOT hawk feathers on my duster! Perish the thought!

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  28. I like your duster better, but it would be to pretty to dust with. Love the detail work. Very wonderful.

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  29. Lovely illustration(s) and commentary. I really like the background pattern combined with the amazing line work of the feathers in the duster.

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  30. Feathery! Lots of color and awesome detail! :)

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  31. Thanks everybody!

    Thanks for the follow Heike!!

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  32. Awesome texture on the feather duster rendering!!! And your sheep on the above post is super!!!

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