Lately, a lot of my time has been spent scouring the help wanted ads in the newspaper, as well as the many, many, many online sources that are available these days (did I say many?). And boy... has finding a job changed a LOT since I was searching in 2004! The process is so anonymous... very impersonal... and kind of confounding. You click a button. Press send. Apply to a blind e-mail. You don't send anything through the mail. And you don't hear back from anyone. It's like a black hole. That's why I'm trying my best to get myself out there. Go to job fairs. Talk to anyone who will listen! And get some real face time and make some real connections.
Well, a funny thing happened while I was vending at the Ocean Grove Harvest Festival recently. A gentleman came into my booth and asked me who made these Crustacea Banners. I told him that I painted the original 3 foot by 4 foot piece and made mini banner prints of it. He shared with me that he used to paint sideshow banners for a living!! While he told me a little more about his foray into the circus sideshow job, I attempted to pick my jaw up off the ground and stop drooling. He commented on my style and said that it was "right on" with the original style of banners (can I pass out now?)! I laughed and confessed that my painting skills were limited, but since the old style was a little primitive, I felt like I could take it on... even though my background is in graphic design.
"Graphic design?" he asked. I explained that before I did the art thing full time I was a graphic designer, and that I'm actually looking for a full time job. Well, it turns out that he is the Design Director for the Asbury Park Press — our local newspaper! And they were looking for designers!! And I had actually handed in my resume to the Press at a recent job fair!!! And now I have a direct contact. How cool is that? So we exchanged e-mails and he asked for some samples. Of course I had to do something to stand out, paired with a little reminder of how we met. So I made a little sack using some muslin and a banner remnant, distressed it, filled it with graphic design samples, and hand delivered it to the Asbury Park Press. Now that's the way I like to apply for a job!