oh! were artworkers, not designers! i get it!

i work in a department called DESIGN, at a place that makes watches & clocks. we basically artwork & DESIGN the watches & clocks.
certain licensors have recently become unhappy with our watches, (designed in hong kong rather than us, by a dept called product development).they want new fresh ideas

good idea 1: they want to hire a DESIGNER, at about £25 an hour

why dont you ask us to do it we say.
but youre artworkers, not DESIGNERS they say.
you hired me on the strength of my designs i say.
oh they say. we’ll get back to you.

make these watches ‘rocky’ and ‘funky’ they say. meaningless buzzwords used by people with no imagination or concept of design.

fucking arsehole company that has no idea of who works for them and what theyre capable of. treated like the other number crunchers that work here we are. on a wage thats at least £5000 less a year than the going rate for a person with my (now) experience.
im outta here as soon as i get another job. i only took it in the first place due to being unemployed for 9 months before.


A used to know someone who designed watchfaces. Her name was Hattie. Do you know her?

Who is this mysterious and unknowable ‘they’ who is making all these decisions and answering your hypothetical questions?

This isn’t that company I saw on Sixty Minutes that is run by an interstellar consortium of hyper-intelligent galactic cucumbers, is it?

“They” are really just one guy with a bunch of phones, working out of his basement.

You have my sympathies Paul. I have to deal with the same sort of shit at my job, although it’s often the other way around.

I prepare art for photoengraving and hand engraving. I’m usually pretty busy just converting other people’s art to what our company needs.

Then somebody calls up and says something like “I need a letter S to emboss envelopes. Can you make me something like that?”

We always tell them we need artwork. Now and then they come back with “oh, just put something together.”

Prediction: we will fax or e-mail them the art, then they’ll get back to us to tell us to make it “a little larger, and maybe bolder. Oh, and it’s awfully straight. I was thinking of something more cursive.”

Grrrr. Okay, let’s give them a bold script letter.

“That’s more like it, but now it’s too big. Back it off a little bit.”

(Internal monologue: Define “a little bit” asshat!)

After 3 or 4 more exchanges like this they finally approve the art and ask us how long it will take and how much it will cost. When we tell them, they often respond with “Oh, I didn’t think it would be that much. We’ll get back to you.”

Oh, okay. My time and effort isn’t worth anything, huh? You figured we just give it away? This isn’t a charity here. It’s a business you dumb fucks.
Exhale. I feel better now.

Perhaps it was a grammar issue.

‘they’ are collectively one of the directors of the company, and a ‘rep’ for the licensor. the ‘rep’ is a fat fuck who due to the fact he drives a low powered ragtop BMW and wears clothes with labels on them believes himself to be better and more knowledgeable than I on all topics, and theres no-one else about to back me up as they exist in their own little cliquey worlds of TV and further designer labels. this guy is riding for a fall, for when i leave, which hopefully will be soon, he may find himself with a pen instead of a left eye.
its a case of cant see the wood for the trees.

dont know anyone named Hattie, jjimm.

Don’t designers have to communicate well with marketing and development, as well as engineering? I dunno, maybe I’m thinking of the wrong kind of designer. Still, I’d brush up on my language skills, paul.

I’m not so sure that working in a department called DESIGN necessarily means that everyone (or even anyone) who works within it is a designer. If you conceptualize the design of a timepiece — a design that previously did not exist — then you are a designer. But if you draw up the concepts of someone else, then you are an artworker.

thanks, im aware of what artworking is. my beef is they treat us like shit and try to pass us over for some asswipe freelancer weve used before to ‘design’ when we’re quite capable of doing it ourselves, saving both time and money to the company. what they are asking is pure graphic design of watch faces and straps, some redesign of existing models, and some entirely new concepts with no clear brief and seconhand info from telephone calls they have with the licensor.
the times we’ve used a freelancer before, ive spent more time correcting his fuck ups than it would actually take to do something from scratch myself, get it approved and made into samples.

whats wrong with my language skills Waverly?

All I can say is, if they were treating me like shit, I would waste no time in contacting the man who forced me to work for them and beg his compassion in this instance. Perhaps he would let me find more agreeable employment.

Nothing, if you are satisfied they are an asset and serve you well.

I blame it on that whole “starving artist” thing. It has given some people the idea that all artists are cool with starving. So why pay them for their work, they’ll just go out and STARVE anyway?

i do this job be (for the moment) because i dont want to be a straving artist. artworkings a day job to pay the rent. until people recognize my mad skillz as a fine art illustrator, im stuck in this trade.

waverly, if youve got something to say, say it. dont beat around the bush.

and we deserve paying more than fucking number crunchers etc for our work. it takes brains and skill. its not learning a system by rote because you have no talent and ambition.

I have nothing to say, paul. I’m certain that if you wrote the director a formal proposal outlining your desire to branch out into design work, he would react accordingly.

I know that if I were the director, and an ambitious young Artworker wrote me as you have written here, that is how I would react. Accordingly.

Maybe if you could design a sentence, I’d be more inclined to believe that you can design a watch.

Ah, the straving artist. It’s an age old story. Once one has straved overlong, he inevitably yearns to apply his skilz to design (first picking up some penicillin for the straving.) Be because a designer, we know, deserve paying more than number crunchers, and a life far beyond the little cliquey worlds of TV and further designer labels.

sorry, mr sure in the knowledge he’s never made a spelling mistake or previewed before posting keyboard hero on the side of my arsehole bosses libertarian.

im happy for you that you’ve never been frustrated wound up or annoyed at work by inferior people who clearly believe they’re superior. but its clearly not my situation.
I shouldnt have to ‘write’ a ‘letter’ to my boss to say i could do what you want to go get outside help for. I should be the first person they come to for fucks sake.

I think I have the key to solving all your problems: the “Shift” key.

See that key right under “Enter”? Hold it and press the “I” key, or any other letter key. See how it makes the letter uppercase? Now try doing that every time you start a sentence, and maybe people will be able to read and understand you.

Lordy. I would need a chainsaw to cut through the irony here.