A hack is an artist that will do poor quality art, very quickly that they do not care much about generally for money. They are artists whom abuse their gift as artists until they have no gift any longer.
I've know more than a few in my time and not all were artists. Most were though, because becoming a hack is actually the loss of something that was at one time precious.
|Copyright Jack Nightingale Artworks|
A hack is somebody who used to care but does no longer. The reasons this happens are many but the biggest reason is taking an art job and doing too much art you don't want to, to quickly until eventually you become unable to even create worthwhile art just for the pleasure of doing it.
I know, I may come off a bit melodramatic, but my drama stems from real world experience of the graphic artist grind.
I did not go to university and my college is also limited. My actual qualifications as a graphic artist rested only on my proven ability to get the job done on time and with style.
As a young man it was my dream to make my living doing art full time. My job at Jab-Art Enterprises occasionally allowed me to paint some graphics or do other art related projects but predominately I was a manager there first and artist last.
|Copyright Jack Nightingale Artworks|
It was great for a good while. My enthusiasm carried me through much of the disillusionment that I experienced.
Why did I become disillusioned?
Well for starers Jack was not in the art biz because of love. He liked money and him and his wife Deidre spent plenty of it. It's no sin to love money but for me the gratification of doing my art well is worth more than any cheap payoff.
Also, the buyers loved to kill good stuff by mucking with it, but even worse Jack himself would make stupid changes based on what he perceived as marketable. Stuff like taking some beautifully colored and rendered dinosaurs and just crapping all over the design by making us recolor them brown and flat.
So many times things liked this happened I could feel the grind wearing on me. But, I never gave in. I never sold out.
If you're in the commercial art business. I'm sure you need your living, but on every job you work on, you should ask yourself. Can I make this better? Is this good? Why is this good?
Never let them get to you and fight the power. I did, I fought every chance I could for us as an art department to produce great work we could be proud of.
And, if you're getting ground down to far. Ask yourself Is this worth the price I'm paying? Couldn't you make your living doing what you love or at least doing what you love on your own time and making your bread another way that doesn't compromise your soul as an artist?
A bit about these illustrations. Both of these designs were purchased by the San Diego Zoo and printed on a bunch of tee shirts. I'm proud of both of these and they represent some of the good work that we did at Jack's. Both of them exhibit the hand stippling technique that I developed specifically with an eye towards printing on tees.
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