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“The Design of a Career” Design Industry Research Project “Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure” ~ Alfred North Whitehead By Christopher Chance

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Graphic Designer & Illustrator In Rob’s own words he is “easy/fun/charming to talk to.” I have had the privilege of knowing Rob for a little while now; we share some unusual interests (to most that is). Rob is an expert Freelance Illustrator/Web designer/blogger (with 21 personal blogs to his name). His illustrations have appeared in and on, among other things, nationwide advertising campaigns, magazines, consumer packaging, posters, newspapers, greeting cards, and comic books. His client list is very long. “Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.” ~G.K. Chesterton Interview

Interviewing Mr. Kelly : 

Interviewing Mr. Kelly Questions that I asked in our email interview on Wed. March 24,2010 1.What was your formal education for becoming an artist and why did you want to become one?. 2. Who was your biggest influence in the field and why? 3. What about a subject, leads your design ideas? 4. Where do you see your field in 5-10 years from now, will technology make your job obsolete? 5. What is the most ambitious project you have ever done (maybe the biggest or hardest to complete by deadline?) 6. Do you prefer Freelancing over working with a crew in an established studio? (have you worked for an established studio?) 7. How do you keep things fresh, so monotony does not set into your work? (must be hard coming up with new ideas every week for portraits composition?) “Art is not a thing, it is a way.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

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CC~ What was your formal education for becoming an artist and why did you want to become one?RK~ I attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art because I intended to work in comic books, and that was the only school (at the time) that taught that stuff. Not too long after being there, and doing comic book work day in, day out, I realized I didn't really want to do that kind of work. On top of that, I realized my skills were much more suited for graphic design rather than comic books. So about halfway through my 2nd year there, I gave up on working in comics and tried to do more graphic-centric work. I was fortunate that my instructors allowed me to do my assignments in a manner that I was more interested in, as opposed to everything being comic book-centric.As for why I wanted to be one, I can't answer that. All I know is its all I ever wanted to be since I was a kid, and that never changed. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~Pablo Picasso

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CC~ Who was your biggest influence in the field and why?RK~ I don't have a single influence. Rather, I was and am inspired by whole fields of graphic design: movie posters and book covers, for instance. I have an entire book shelf of movie poster and book cover books, and I love going through them, soaking up inspiration. Its still the kind of work that influences me the most.As a kid, it was a book's cover or a movie's poster that got me interested in what was inside, and I love using art to create that sense of anticipation in the viewer. There are a couple of movie posters that I think are so gorgeous that I long to create something half as good. Maybe someday. “All art is a revolt against man’s fate.” ~Andre Malraux

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CC~ What about a subject, leads your design ideas?RK~ It varies. Sometimes there's a specific subject I want to "talk" about and I'm driven to create some piece about it. Other times, there'll be a portrait of someone I want to do, so I'll use that as inspiration. If there's some visual approach to that subject that--as far as I know--hasn't been tried before, then I'll really get motivated to try it.I've always loved the old-time movie monsters, for instance, so one day I decided to create a series of custom movie posters featuring those characters. They ended up becoming the most popular things I've ever done, because the combo of my passion and skill seemed to make the posters really connect with other old-time movie monster fans. “Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.” ~Lincoln Steffrens

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CC~ Where do you see your field 5-10 years from now, will technology make your job obsolete?RK~ Geez, I hope not! I tend to think that more and more of my work will be used on the web, rather than print. Many of my clients are magazines, and of course they're having a tough time staying afloat. A lot of the work I do is used by the client for both print and web, and I guess over time there will be more of the latter than the former. Which is too bad, I love seeing a magazine on the stands that has a piece of my artwork in it. “An artist never finishes his work; he merely abandons it.” ~ Paul Valery

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CC~ What is the most ambitious project you've ever done? (maybe the biggest or hardest to complete by deadline?)RK~ The biggest, most complex job I ever had was probably doing all the ad art for the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. I had to create something like 10-11 portraits of the players in exquisite detail. Because the portraits ended up being printed on 40-50 feet high banners (hung over the front of the stadium where the game was played), the portraits needed to be hyper-detailed, which was painstaking and the NBA had to approve every stage of their creation. It was certainly the "biggest" job I've ever been involved with--my art was hung all over the city in the run up to the game. “Art is the difference between seeing and just identifying.” ~Jean Mary Norman

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CC~ Do you prefer Freelancing over working with a crew in an established studio? (have you worked for an established studio)RK~ I've always wanted to be self-employed, and I'm VERY fortunate that I've been able to keep enough work coming in to stay self-employed all these years. In terms of day-to-day freedom, yes, I enjoy being freelance much more than being someone's employee. I've worked at a couple of studios, and even though there's always promises of creative and personal freedom, it never quite works out that way. So I like being my own boss--I can take the afternoon off if I want, without having to ask permission. Its nice. “Everything is art if it is chosen by the artist to be art.” ~Samuel Adams Green

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CC~ How do you keep things fresh, so monotony does not set into your work? (must be hard coming up with new ideas every week for portraits composition?)RK~ Well, sometimes monotony DOES set in--and those are the pieces of mine no one ever sees! Otherwise, I just try to get excited about whatever it is I'm working on. If its a job for a client, sometimes the work is very boring, and I need to rely on pure craftsmanship and a work ethic to produce the best work I can so they'll be happy. For my personal stuff, I try and tackle subjects I care a lot about, and I think that shows up in the work.I take occasional breaks where I only work on client stuff, to give myself some time to just think about what I want to do next. Then I'll have a rush of inspiration where I'll create 2-3 new pieces in one day (like today). Its unpredictable. Let me know if you need anything else from me. If you have follow-up questions send them along. Good luck with the assignment!Rob ~ “There is no must in art, because art is free.” ~Vasily Kadinsky

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A Thumbnail of some of Rob’s other work. Rob’s Work can be found at

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Industry Research “A subject that is beautiful in itself gives no suggestion to the artist. It lacks imperfection.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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Communications Manager The communications manager is responsible for implementing and overseeing programs that effectively promote his company’s image and products. He also assists in prepping speeches and presentations for both employees and customers. It is also a supervisory position. This position requires at least a Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of experience. The average annual salary range for this career is between 62K and 85K (top 10%). Though my plans are to run my own studio, I will only see this job title as an overlap on other responsibilities. I am not directly interested in this particular career. It is an amazing job description maintaining a company’s brand integrity is a huge responsibility. You must also evaluate the level of success of your implemented strategies both online and offline, creating newsletters, brochures, an annual report, event invites, posters, etc. EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS MY THOUGHTS “A great artist is always before his time or behind it.” ~ George Moore

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Graphic Design Manager Graphic Design Mangers (GDM) careers range from hands off account management to creative endeavors. Intensive client handling, budgeting and reporting client relationships, have input in larger team marketing projects. Oversees pre press and print production processes. An important aspect of this position is that the GDM is the liaison between Company managers (who control the budget) and the individual designers. EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS At least a Bachelor’s degree is required, as well as some type of Business degree or equivalent experience, as client handling is an important aspect of this career. The average salary of this position is 63K annually. MY THOUGHTS This is a part of what I plan to do, as an owner of my own studio, these will be some of my responsibilities, Although I predict the overlap scenario, which means I will do a lot more than just this. I will have to balance it out with other responsibilities. I am still an artist, and an artist who neglects his art is doomed! “The great artist is the simplifier.” ~ Henri Fredric Amiel

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Design Artist and Illustrator The Design Artist (DA) has the job of planning and developing new ideas and concepts from client input then implementing them into original art using various media. He prepares sketches and layouts wither by hand or electronically to illustrate the concept of the design selecting all colors, sounds, artwork, photography, animation, and typography involved in each project. Proper training in the tools of the trade is mandatory, it is a career that you must prepare for, have a love of, and not just anyone can do it, because you need creativity and artistic ability. You need good color sense, and common sense to make someone’s idea a reality. EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS A DA career usually requires a bachelor’s degree for entry to mid level positions, in addition to design courses, art history, writing, psychology, sociology, cultural studies and even foreign languages. The Salary range is between 33K & 57K. “Art is either a revolutionist or a plagiarist.” ~ Paul Gauguin

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Design Artist and Illustrator MY THOUGHTS This is the career title I seek, it is what I came back to school for. I would love to be a designer with a company like Disney; I have dreamed of it for years. But I first want to succeed with my own studio images2icons. The thrill of design is a natural high to me. I cannot wait to graduate and begin my work in earnest. My only regret is that I did not start years ago. But I will not let that stop me from doing what my heart tells me to. I love this field, and have since I was a child making my own flyers, brochures, newsletters. It is the culmination of a life long dream.

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Samples of the World’s best

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REFLECTIONS This project has been an eye opener (and not just for all the coffee I drank while doing it) I have learned that being a graphic designer has a lot more responsibility than just drawing and creating. It is an integral part of almost any business. Try to find a company that doesn’t use designers (and isn’t out of business.) I also happily found that the average salaries were more than what I expected (But I am not sure how to consider them given the current economy.) I do know that whether a designer works freelance or with an agency/studio there is job security in that someone will always need a designer, no matter where in the world you go. I have learned that I have indeed made a good choice in careers, and I am happy with the information I gleaned from this project. “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

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“The Design of a Career” Design Industry Research Project

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Works Cited (2009). Retrieved March 24, 2010, from Westwood College: Design (2008). Retrieved March 12, 2010, from (2008). Retrieved March 21, 2010, from Kelly, R. (2010, March 24). Interview Questions. (C. Chance, Interviewer) Kelly, R. Portraits, ads. New Jersey. Lake, L. (2010). Corporate Communications Manager. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from Marketing and Communications Manager Job Description. (2009, July 1). Retrieved March 26, 2010, from (2010, March 19). Retrieved March 21, 2010, from (2010). Retrieved March 20, 2010, from US Department of Labor. (2009, December 17). Retrieved March 24, 2010, from Bureau of Labor Statistics:

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Works Cited (pg 2) Works Cited Slide 17 A diamond is forever ad. Coloribus. Absolut Bottle ad. The Intoxicologist is in. Chik Fil A ad. Coca Cola "the real thing" ad. Gale's gifts. Coca Cola Ad. The Visual Tour into Coca-Cola Print Advertising. Marlboro Man. TV Acres advertising Mascots. Nike Ad. Advertising Campaigns. Seal, A. I'm Lovin it ad (McDonalds). The "idea" lightbulb. Walkoff Walk.