R.O. Blechman on advertising

“‘Forgetting it’ is rarely the option for most illustrators. Even the most notable – the Sorels and the Chwasts – find the lure of advertising too great to ignore – all that money for so little work (and, all right, rework and rework and rework… When Andy Warhol was a commercial illustrator, according to his then-roommate, Philip Pearlstein, he would often work all night to turn in eight illustrations – for the art director to choose one.

Jules Feiffer has this to say about his experience in advertising: ‘I accepted the judgement of the people who paid me, the art director or the assistant, whoever it happened to be. And this was the procedure: I’d arrive at the studio with the layout for the assignment. Instant dissatisfaction. I’d be told how to fix it. I’d fix it. I’d be told to change what I’d fixed. I’d be told to fix the changes. Agonizingly, I’d move closer to, but still not quite attain, the approval of the art director.’ Invariably, time was up. The job had to go to the client or the printer. The re-re-re-reworked drawing would end up in a publication to the stupefaction of the artist and the raised eyebrow of the viewer. ‘Feiffer (or whomever) did that!?‘ Well, of course, he (or whomever) didn’t. The system did.”

— R.O. Blechman