I'm asked often why I chose to put this journal together.
Aside from what inspired me (that is a post for another day), I'm doing this because I didn't have any form of mentorship or guidance when I left high school and ventured into the 'real world'.
Having completed high school, I felt unprepared and overwhelmed. The late 80s and early 90s were a time of upheaval—a recession, the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Gulf Wars, computers were becoming more accessible and this thing called 'The Internet'.
I was confused. I was nervous. I felt inferior. I was lost.
The one thing I could do was draw really well, so my high school teachers pointed me towards a career in graphic design. After applying for a host of University degrees I failed to gain an interview that first year out. I was left facing 365 days of bumming around on the beach, wasting both time and money on doing nothing.
Back then Universities requested that we photograph our folio onto transparencies and submit these 'trannies' mounted on card so they could review them and decide if we were worthy of an interview. Transparencies cost upwards of $120 to produce at that time. Where the fuck was I meant to get that type of money from?!
I spent the better part of that first year in a design course, putting together a graphic design folio. In 1991 that meant doing a lot of drawing, cutting and studying the BauHaus a topic I still find completely mind-numbingly boring.
I didn't get into the design degree the second, or third time. Universities at the time didn't want to know me—but the Art & Design course was something of a Godsend because it kept me busy.
I lacked mentorship, guidance and role models.
Albeit, during this time I etched out a small living as a freelance designer (mostly for friends) an illustrator (for a local paper) and video store assistant. I got to play with bromides, ink pens, gouache and pasting up layouts—not to mention watching a shit load of movies. When there wasn't any freelance work for me, I'd take jobs in book stores and hospitality—as you do.
I eventually completed a degree in Advertising and a Diploma in Marketing. By this time that 'internet thing' was well and truly in full swing and I had come to the realisation that I was never going to work in advertising.
It was 1996.
These early years were very influential to me—I faced setback after setback but I chose—stubbornly—to keep on going.
I wished at the time that I had someone and something, to turn to and learn from. Someone to emulate or bounce ideas off. Someone who wouldn't laugh if I asked really dumb questions.
I still ask lots of dumb questions!
This is why I'm doing this.
I hope you find it valuable.