May 17, 2007
Dressed Like a Design Professional?
Usually the best way to pick an illustrator out of the line at the supermarket is to see if they have bits of tape stuck to their elbows.
I have a theory that Designers and Architects are snappy dressers compared to artists. They adhere more to the basic black dress code... turtlenecks, nehru collars and designer eyeglasses. Their studios are usually far snappier too, with Italian furniture and Danish lamps.
How come illustrators can't work up anything stylish along those lines? Aren't we design professionals too? Michelangelo and Raphael used to whip out architectural designs just as a sideline. It was almost like, "Don't bother me with redesigning the Pope's palace... I have a painting to finish this week!"
Le Corbusier, Liebeskind, Philip Johnson knew enough to wear spectacular spectacles... and snappy clothes to match. But I've noticed illustrators tend to dress on the shabby & comfortable side. Michelangelo was notorious for scarcely ever changing his ragged clothes.
So much of professionalism is associated with all the trappings. It's the fancy office, the enabling 'staff', having important meetings to sit through, big important papers to 'route' and sign. We illustrators have to make do with our home studios (which resemble a converted bedroom usually), a cat for staff and very few important meetings to attend.
The times I feel most professional are when I manage to meet a deadline in 3 days which was originally supposed to be for a 2 month working timeframe. But that usually goes unrecognized.
Got tape on your elbows? You just might be an illustrator! Oh well, at least we've got the beret... the signature of the artiste.