Monday, April 22, 2013

Like, Seriously?

Back in 1992, I did something that only a small group of people could achieve.
I graduated from one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the world as an advertising art director (with a minor in graphic design).

I put in 4 long years toiling at a drafting table.

Thousands upon thousands of dollars were spent on art supplies, pencils, rapidographs, layout boards, markers, Letraset, etc. etc. etc., while studying under some of the best design instructors and artists in the world, to perfect the skills (and craftsmanship) it took to enter these professions.

Over 1300 applied to the college from around the world every year.

But only (roughly) 300 applicants were accepted.

You had to present a full portfolio of work (which I had completed through 4 years of after school programs and life drawing classes during high school) to a panel of 3 instructors and a student.

In my last 2 years at the college, I had the honour of becoming one of those students and sometimes, I wonder how many went on to lucrative careers thanks to my thumbs up?

After the first grueling year studying a wide array of courses, you had to apply again to be accepted into the “Communication and Design” program for the next 3 years.

Again, a select few would make the cut with approximately 60 students making their career aspirations a possibility.
Somehow, with a lot of work and determination, I was one of them.

When we graduated, there was a high sense of pride.

4 years of study.
The same amount required to become a lawyer, or an accountant, or any other white collar professional who made a very decent living and earned a degree of respect in the workforce.

“What do you do?”

I’m an art director and designer.
“Sweet. Which agency?”

Those (like myself) who found their way into ad agencies and design studios were handsomely rewarded for the skills they were taught.

Amazingly, in those years, I had to tie back my ponytail, take out my earrings, and put on a shirt and tie for job interviews.

Anyway, yada yada yada…there’s a brief history.

I’m not going to bore you with yet another tale from the good old “Mad Men” days of this industry.
My blog is filled with these stories (see “I love the smell of rubber cement in the morning”).

Now, you may be asking “Ronnie, what is the point of this post?”

Yesterday, I’m doing a search and I came across a job listing.

It was when I saw the bottom line that my heart sank.

As I said, those of us that were selected to put in 4 long years of study before the days of computers, Creative Suite, the internet, crowdsourcing and design “contests” were a well-respected bunch who belonged to an exclusive club.

Our profession had mystery. It had prestige.

There was a sense of jealousy and awe to those who learned what you did for a living.

Now, here we are in 2013 and once again, I’m just shaking my head.