I’m a production artist and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and got my start studying Graphic Communication Management at Ryerson. I then jumped around from service bureaus to pre-press houses to printing companies to agencies. I even did a little stint at a CD manufacturing plant. I’ve been the go-to-person for digital work for print, online and promotional creative. With all that background behind me, do I consider myself an expert? No way. Far from it. I will always consider myself a student, continuing to learn from others no matter what status, age or experience they have. That’s the beauty of this industry – it’s ever changing and evolving. It makes for an interesting career. My very first job straight out of school doesn’t even exist anymore. Something to be expected this day and age. Yet if you embrace change it really is rewarding, engaging and fulfilling. It may even keep you young. (DISCLAIMER: young at heart, only)
I’ve always had an interest in graphic arts. Probably because it was the only class I’d ever received an “A” in. Luckily, I was forward thinking enough to choose commercial arts classes instead of fine arts, since I wanted to make some money doing this. As a typical youngster I still had the dilemma of what career path I wanted to take. Stupid things like money and stability became a consideration. I contemplated becoming a sports coach, comic book artist and commercial artist. Now while not monitory rich I do enjoy having a comfortable lifestyle with family, mortgage, kids and a few cars. Looking back I’m thankful I ended up in the same industry I imagined myself in from early on in my life. If I could give anyone one piece of career-advice, I would say to do what you love and do it well, no matter the circumstances, or your way of thinking. Do what you’re passionate about. Everything else, money, family, status, and stability will follow. It just falls into place, later. You just have to trust in that.
Procrastination, yes I am very good at this. I think everyone has a tendency to do this. That is why I thrive on and look forward to any new project that requires something a little different than “the normal”. It pushes me like nothing else into problem solving and research which invigorates me and gets me excited. Discovering something new, whether a new technology, procedure or media is a reward to me. I like the ever-changing role I have and I think that has helped me evolve with the industry. It’s also one of the very reasons you are reading this blog right now.