“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” said Henry David Thoreau… and in my role it truly is about what I see. In the ten years plus that I’ve been here, I’ve sure seen some! I’m Kris by the way and I have a double hitter of a job title in Senior Artworker / Brand Guardian. I started out as a junior here in a sizably smaller incarnation of what we have now. I’m a swift stroller in terms of how I arrive each morning and that’s been true since the day I was interviewed when I slightly disproportionate map concealed the true length of the journey ahead. These days I’m better known for my eyes. Some describe them as the windows to our soul but these bright blues bear more similarities with a colossal fishing net, cast out over a vast sea of visuals capturing all and retaining its mighty hold.
Once upon a time I did it all, from initial visuals and amends to approving proofs and preparing print ready artwork. I set up separation’s, ran transfers and all that in between. I now work alongside some zealous shipmates who help me navigate the choppy waters of initial visuals whilst the separations and transfers are done in our adjacent unit across the way. Once the visuals are complete, they are canon-balled over to myself for a super strong eyeballing to ensure that everything is all on-brand and equally important — possible!
I use an ancient golden compass to help define what is on-brand and off-brand and that’s been a trusty aid in my time aboard this ship. That might concern anything from an exclusion zone or minimum size to a colour or typeface. All in all it means I need to have a far-reaching grasp on each and every brand that we work with, which is where the brand training and inductions come into play. Ask what I received for ones birthdate last year and I’ll be walking the timber beam in a blindfold but rack ones brain for the Pantone reference of a client from our vast and abundant fleet and I can pin point that with the tip of a sword.
The challenges come thick and fast and often I do have to batten down the hatches preparing for the storm. Artwork will always be ruler of these seas and it does mean other internal tasks are given a momentary heave ho. Yet I do come back to them when opportunity knocks and the tide has calmed once more.
For those involved within art and design I’ve often found that there’s always a hunger for ‘satisfaction’ and in this role that would be my chosen characteristic. We have the ability to take a scattering of rubble, bind that together, shine it up real swell and leave it looking like long lost treasure. We untangle the nets of untidy briefs, sweep the decks and generally ensure its all shipshape, on-brand and looking handsomely. We flourish with our fix of appreciation and consume that in abundance creating some remarkable gems that would shiver anyone’s timbers. Basically I don’t let the substandard pass, until they’ve been chiseled with precision, akin to the beauty of a traditional mermaid figurehead.
Over the last six months, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a duo of new starters and truly enjoyed working with the privateers that I have been dealt, showing them the ropes and welcoming them to the crew here. I coordinate a scheme with a local social enterprise which scours our ocean floor for any useful scrap resources. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure and that’s the case here as all our tubes, bobbins and pots are collected and averted from their otherwise landfill destination.
Away from the Crow’s Nest, you might find me frequenting one of our intermission establishments. I’ve been able to acquire a quartet of games for our ‘room of ruckus’, with a pool table, a ping pong table, a table football and a giant draughts board! I’ve been known to spend many a lunch-time out there and one day they may even re-label one of the cabins in my name.
If I were to overthrow the life of a famous landlubber I would choose the one known as Chris Pratt. Not because he is the actor I adore most — that distinction lies elsewhere… but who wouldn’t want the opportunity to ride alongside velociraptors, battle aliens with a psychotic raccoon and a giant walking talking tree whilst chanting “everything is awesome” over and over again. All this is without citing the forthcoming act of being lost in space with Jennifer Lawrence, playing Cowboy’s with Denzel and the whispered role he has in the next Avengers flick.
Even though we’re all hand hoay, we treat our ears to a shivering sum of tunes from near and far. You’ll often find us joining in with Craig Charles and the folk over at the BBC in their sixth form. To name a song that stands above all others is a testing task and one that changes like the wind but were I to choose today, it would be the mighty Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.
Next contributor you ask? In the spirit of this transcript… Ahoy Captain Morgan!