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.


J. E. Morris said...

Ain't it the truth. I don't have tape on my elbows (at least not at the moment) but I did go the store the other day with pencil smudges on my face. Sigh.

John Nez said...

Smudges... oh yes... I find that baby wipes are great for those... especially the ones with lanolin. They help keep hands from cracking after washing them 7 times a day.

Rumpled polartec with tape highlights... the latest look for illos!


Sam said...

LOL - too true, and very funny.
How about the paint under the fingernails, the blue streak in the hair, the ruined jacket (paint again) and people looking at you funny until you realise your glasses are peppered with specks of paint.
I haven't had the tape on the elbows...yet! LOL

PS you have been tagged as a thinking blog!

John Nez said...

lol! I'm afraid I scarcely distinguish between my so called 'good' clothes and 'painting' clothes.

Thinking blog... Oh, oh... I hope that won't be like homework. Thinking hurts if you do too much of it.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! This is so right on John! I have smudges, paint, ink and most of all glitter all over me. Whenever I go into a grocery store anymore the checkers always ask what new project I've been up to.

Ginger*:)* said...

I usually have paint on my sweatshirt... actually on ALL my sweatshirts. I keep on buying new ones hoping to keep them in pristine condition, but they seem to attract paint.... and it is never the same color that they are. I have been thinking of just painting directly on them on purpose, so it looks like I meant to go out of the house that way.

OH, and then there's my shoes...

paula said...

Food for thought, John! Working digitally, I don't get tape, paint, pencil led, glitter, etc. all over me, so I guess I'm covert. As for snazzy dressing--ha! By myself in the studio, my uniform is usually a t-shirt and men's boxers (which my husband abhors). I'm quite comfy. Thanks for making me think!

John Nez said...

Tee shirt & boxer shorts! Now that's one heck of a professional getup!


tlc illustration said...

My typical uniform this year has been my favorite plaid, flannel shirt (this is Seattle, after all) and sweats...

You're right about the cat as staff! :-) (We fight over my chair in the studio).