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Hell’s Bells, self promotion

June 3, 2012

Before printing numerous copies of this image to the immediate left, I sent it to a few friends to get their opinion as to what it says and how it looks.  There were no unfavorable comments but there was one question that sent me into a tail spin, “who was your designer?”

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Since my return to Los Gatos about four years ago, I have been working non-stop on trying to re-establish my financial viability, focusing primarily on becoming a web site builder.  I have been out of the esoteric data processing world way too long for there to be any hope of me returning to that field and my old, “fall back industry,” custom construction, has not proved fruitful either, for my lack of tools and knowledge of current techniques and, frankly, my “advanced age,” which gives me no end of frustration, I’m still strong, fit and willing to slam nails with the best of them.  I guess, in this stained economy, the few contractors I know who haven’t retired have their pick of a million young bucks clamoring for jobs.

However, my long and thorough association with the graphic arts and my broad knowledge of computer technology, it seems simply logical for me to pursue a new career where computer and art most completely fit together, web site design.  With zero financial resources, I have to explore this field with the most rudimentary and basic of tools with which to devise art and build sites.  My web creations have to compete in the marketplace where my competition is using the most modern and sophisticated of software tools and devices.  So far the only client I have is myself.  I have designed and built numerous web pages for my Los Gatos Art Bridge project.  I usually get positive feedback from my professional artist friends as well as the lay person who happens to see my work.  On these pages, I do it all: design, layout, art selection and management, writing and publishing to the web.  The only person who has really participated at all is my editor, who keeps me on the straight and narrow, which I really appreciate.

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So, when someone asks me who my designer was, it is gruesomely frustrating, I’m the designer, the writer, the layout artist, the flunky and the guy who pays the bills for all this fine art and culture.  There is no one else!  But, I have failed.  No one gets this.  I’m the designer.  What is actually very ironic is that people have become very aware of my writing but it is the only aspect of any of this that I have never made a living from.  I made money in the graphics field since I was about 20.  I got a federal grant for a computer project when I was 22.

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As I was writing this, an old friend stopped by and asked if I wanted to resurrect a project I had worked on in the mid 1970s, Red Tail magazine.  The friend was Dan Pulcrano, the publisher of Metro, a local news magazine and Redtail was a fledgling fine arts magazine I attempted to publish a long time ago.  I designed and executed every aspect of Redtail, from its logo to its final layout and printing (to read more about Redtail, chick here).  It made it no farther than one sample issue.  The local money just was not that interested in the fine arts.  I told Dan I had enough irons in the fire that weren’t making me a living, I didn’t need another.

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So, hoping to make the point, I’m going to follow this with a bunch of work I’ve done since returning to town.  As I’ve said many times in the past, artists aren’t real big on promoting themselves so I guess I have to get real blatant about it.  When you hear that someone needs some web design,  hopefully you will at least think of me:

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This was a two sided flyer for the first Art Bridge event.

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Stationary Letterhead

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A sketch of a poster for a concert in the rustic Redwoods

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Cover and first page of a menu prepared for a Los Gatos Social Club dinner

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While these signs have nothing to do with computers or the web, they demonstrate how complex and demanding graphics projects can be, requiring lots or organizational skill and attention to detail.  Besides these signs, the project also included various printed and promotional materials as well.  This project was completed in 1975 and was installed in a housing development in the Southern Central Valley.

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This is a poster for a “FIRE” party
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A simple poster for happy hour

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And then there is the very first web “site” I seriously attempted (click here to see it) where I first tried to put it all together and do it all at one time.
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(and for those of you are bothered by all these extraneous “dots” or periods on these posting, this blogging site, “wordpress”  won’t allow any blank lines in this text, so, just to get a blank line, I put in the period.  It looks stupid but it works.

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