My online graphic design skills are akin to what June Cleaver’s would be. We do have that in common. So I sought some help in creating a logo and header for my blog just so it would be pretty in case anyone decided to read. I wanted something that referenced retro without being full blown in the 1950s. I found a fab retro clip art site online who happened to do just such work as well at a low price. After some back and forth emails and a small deposit, my designer asked me to look for inspiration online to send him to keep the budget in check and make sure he was on the right track. I came up with a list of blogs whose design I admired, as well as some downloadable designs from another retro clip art site that I planned to incorporate onto the site. I asked my guy to keep these in mind in terms of color and style so the site would be cohesive. In return, I received the following email:
Yikes! Just to let you know, those **** ******** drawings are basically the worst crap you can find on the internet (sorry, but I just have to be very straightforward about this… there’s no other way to explain it easily). Andy is just a guy with a gigantic ego, with very little actual talent, who made a bunch of amateur doodles about 8 or 9 years ago on his computer, and then his family and all his friends and a few other people in Denver who don’t know much about quality artwork, all told him how good he was… and he believed it! It all went straight to his head to help inflate his already out-of-control ego even further. He then proceeded to set up his website and has been working feverishly day and night to promote it all over the internet ever since, so that he can achieve status as “the world’s greatest retro artist”. Notice his site is called, “***********.com”…. it’s all about **** trying to achieve glory.Notice I don’t market my work as “**********.com”… it’s just “************.com”, because what we’re doing here is resurrecting all the real retro art which was drawn by very talented, highly trained illustrators in the 40s and 50s… these are people who had to jump through all kinds of hoops to study and learn their craft thoroughly, and who’s work had to be submitted to rigorous scrutinization by art directors, ad agencies, and clients before it was ever allowed to be presented to the public. For every retro art drawing that made it through, you can bet there were 50 rejects.Andy never worked in any ad agency… he’s never done true professional-level illustration in that environment, and even if he were to try and get hired in the advertising industry, he’d never get a job anyway, because his ridiculous portfolio would be rejected at every interview. No one on this business would give him the time of day.
It’s only because of the internet, which is basically the new “wild west”, that basically anybody can put up a website and claim just about anything they want to, and that’s precisely what Nortnik has done, and his absolutely relentless about it. He’s only created a couple of hundred drawings even after all these years because he spends 95% of his time trying to get his website linked all over the net in order to get more traffic. He has no desire to learn to draw properly, or to respect the true, authentic manner in which real retro art was drawn… he couldn’t care less! He has the nerve to call his tacky drawings “real retro art”. He’s absolutely shameless.I constantly receive emails and phonecalls from customers complaining about his sorry attempts at creating “retro art”.Anyhow, suffice to say, there’s no way I’m going to get involved in any design work which contains any of ********s abominations. That “Lady with the red hair” drawing you’re referring to is one of the absolute worst clip art drawings available. Just look at it closely… look at the way the arms are drawn… the face, the proportions, the composition, the body pose, etc… it’s like it was drawn by a 10-year old kid. It’s wrong in every conceivable way, and on top of that, it’s extremely pretentious to boot. Everything he draws just screams out, “hey, look at me, I’m a really cool retro artist! I’m **** ********! I’m just the greatest”.
Looking at his doodles literally makes me feel ill.Now if you think this is just because I consider him a “competitor” or I’m “jealous” or something like that, I can guarantee you… that has absolutely nothing to do with it.There are a couple of other sites who offer good quality retro art… just for fun, you should drop them an email and ask them for their opinion of **** ********’s artwork.
That’ll give you a good overview of how **** is viewed in our industry. It just breaks my heart when I see people actually falling for his hype.Anyhow, what we deal in are real drawings in the true, authentic ’50s style, and even if we create them ourselves, they’re still real. I’m a highly trained professional illustrator with decades of experience in ad agencies, where BS is simply not accepted, unlike the internet where you can put up any old crap you want and get away with it.Obviously I’m very passionate about what I’m doing here! It’s all about quality, skill and integrity. It either has to be done right or don’t bother. There’s no room for anything in between.We’re certainly willing to make sure you get a world-class, professionally designed logo and blog header, but we won’t be able to do it if we’re expected to integrate our work with ********’s.
I just need to make this clear. If you decide you’re not comfortable proceeding with us, let me know, and I’ll refund your deposit immediately.
I’ve since found that, contrary to the email above, this guy actually does operate a site with his name solely which is essentially an extended version of this rant, over eight pages long. Hope you enjoyed this email as much as I enjoyed egging him on in subsequent emails until he quit and refunded my money. It’s hard to pinpoint what threw him over the edge to do so, but it may have been my refusal to get involved in a “retro art pissing contest.”
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