A Day at the Races

Marc Ericksen’s First San Fran­cisco Free­lance Inter­view: A Day at the Races.

As a young illus­trator, I found myself working at Artworks at 50 Gold Street in North Beach. I had grad­u­ated from Art Center in 1975, worked a year as a staff illus­trator in Chicago at O’Grady Graphics at 333 Michigan Avenue. While it was a great shop, and I had appre­ci­ated all I had learned there, the weather was brutal.

After some degree of delib­er­a­tion, part of which involved my working late on a dead­line during a bliz­zard, walking at 9 PM to the North­west Station to catch the last train to Arlington Heights Station, only to arrive to find all the locks on my ancient Alpha Romeo 4 door frozen solid. By the time I had walked a mile or two to our apart­ment in my street shoes, Levis, shirt, and light jacket – – my face was also frozen solid.

I terri­fied my wife by tapping on the back patio sliding glass door, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t survive walking the rest of the way to the front door.

So I moved with my wife Dianne and our two sons, to the Golden West: San Fran­cisco.

Artworks was a wonderful shop. Don McKee had a great cast of talent there, and I learned from folks like the great Stan Fleming, another Chicago trans­plant, who gave me an appre­ci­a­tion for the myriad aspects of prelim­i­nary art as well as tips for dealing with clients, art direc­tors and designers. I met my future studio mate of 35 years, Robert Evans there who showed up one day in a work-study capacity from The Academy of Art. Dennis Ziemienski was another major talent at the shop. I was about ready to launch out on my own after 3 terrific years at Artworks when I was approached by Dennis about sharing rent on a studio he had located just up Sansome Street and right around the corner on Broadway. It was a 2nd floor walkup above a little Chinese restau­rant, over­looking the hustle and bustle of North Beach. It was a little tight for the two of us, but Dennis wanted to use it as a satel­lite site, while he worked out of his Palo Alto studio.

Marc Early 80s

I found the place to be perfect for the work I was doing, a mix of finished illus­tra­tions for smaller tech clients and startup gaming compa­nies, as well as a fair amount of prelim­i­nary art for all the local agen­cies: Story­boards and compre­hen­sive sketches. I was very comfort­able with the mix, given that I had paid half my way through Art center doing similar work for agen­cies in LA while a student. I had my drafting table, lights and a chair. The traffic outside helped me to feel a part of the local art scene, and the redo­lent aroma of Chinese cooking right beneath me. What could be more San Fran­cisco? I would even duck below into the eatery a couple of times a week for a quick lunch. It was always busy.
One of the groups I had not worked with was D’Arcy-MacManus, so, as was the custom, I called and asked whether I could show my port­folio. I had only been on my own at this point for a week or so, so this would mark my emer­gence as a true free lancer, my dream come true! My first on-my-own appear­ance before a creative!
I took my port­folio case containing samples of my profes­sional work, and walked down Sansome to the neigh­bor­hood for D’Arcy and entered the lobby. The recep­tionist made a call to find out who might be avail­able to review my work. An Art Director named Chris Short agreed and an intern led me through the pris­tine walls and hip archi­tec­ture of the agency to Chris’s office. I entered into the stylish bright white high rise office, Chris was nattily dressed, in a white shirt, stylish tie, and pressed slacks, and stood to reach across his long white desk to welcome me with a hand­shake and a smile. I thanked him for his will­ing­ness to review my work, and he was a perfect gentleman, as he replied “no problem at all, welcome to my office, and please, let’s take a look at your work“.

I lifted my port­folio, and with a quick glance for his permis­sion placed the 20”x30” folio on the end of his spot­less long white desk which was nearest him as he sat in his beau­tiful artic­u­lated leather exec­u­tive office chair.

As I drew open the zipper of the folio, I began telling him a bit about my back­ground and the nature of the illus­tra­tion samples I was preparing to show, and he assumed a more comfort­able posi­tion, and leaned forward for a better look as I lifted the unzipped cover. Upon the final opening, and as I was in mid sentence, a very large and gorgeously shining mahogany insect with swept back antennae and I suspect, smelling of Chinese cuisine, leapt from the center of my port­folio with the fervor of a stal­lion at the drop­ping of the gates at Churchill Downs. Racing the length of my open port­folio, he leaped off the zippered edge onto Chris’s pris­tine bright white tabletop, and ran in a perfectly straight line the entire length of the table and sailed off, disap­pearing from sight.

I was aghast, …and petri­fied.

Like an idiot I continued to stare at the point of last view of the roach. I’m actu­ally laughing to myself now, 40 years later, at how I must have looked to Chris.

For his own part, the man was a saint. When I regained my senses, and looked back to his face, he sat looking at me with a twinkle in his eye, with a very slight smile. Raising his eyebrows, and much to my eternal grat­i­tude, he then said, “So, Marc, tell me about this first piece.”

We spoke together that day for about 20 minutes of his valu­able schedule. He was kind in his appraisal of my work, and I thanked him for his time.

A week later Chris called with a job, and we commenced fifteen years or more of working together, and he never mentioned our day at the races.

A talented Art Director. And, a more perfect gentleman.

Marc Ericksen


(Note: Marc sent us this story above, but I must add a short bio.:
Marc Ericksen
1966 – 1972: Age 18, Para­trooper, U.S. Army. 1966 – 1972: Age 18, 2 tours in Vietnam, Left active duty age 24 with the rank of Captain in May 1972.
1972 – 1975: Age 25. Attended Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Grad­u­ated with a schol­ar­ship, and Bach­elor of Fine Art with honors.
1975 – 1978: Illus­trator, O’Grady Graphics, Artworks,S.F.
1982 to 1987: Chair­person, Chairman, and Pres­i­dent, San Fran­cisco Society of Illus­tra­tors, (2 years.)
1986 to 1995: Chairman of the SFSI Air Force Art Program, (9 years.)
1978 – 2015: Marc Ericksen Illus­tra­tion.

Crystal Cruise Lines Water­colors:
2015 – Water­color illus­tra­tions for Crystal Cruise Lines, Agency: DDB West — Creative Director: Joe Kayser.
Shown are 15 of 19 pieces (20” x 30” each) required to be created within 14 days without fail.

Publi­ca­tion Illus­tra­tion:
Publi­ca­tion Illus­tra­tions above: Ancient Football-PC Maga­zine, Ballan­tine Publishing-Case of Curiosi­ties, Balti­more Sun-Catch 22, Commu­ni­ca­tion World-Russian Bear, Sharks-Bernie Nichols-Goal 1000, USAF Collec­tion P‑51D – – Drop Tanks and Engage, Varian Silicon Chip Disc Auto­clave

Product illus­tra­tions:
Product Illus­tra­tions above:
Anheuser-Busch Shock Top — Belgian-style wheat ale,
Intel Manu­fac­turing
Video Games: Chex Quest- Galaga-Atari, MegaMan-Cannon Arm PRGE 2018
See also, this 2012 video: Game Box Art:

and, at the right – – Artist’s Sites:
Marc Ericksen’s link shows his many styles of finished art and prelim­i­nary art – – from 1978 to the present day.

Ann Thompson

Jack Allen — Ad Man + Photographer + Painter

Y&R New York As my old boss in New York used to say, “Where else can you have so much fun and get paid for it too”. Every morning I'd get on that Long Island train and head into New York. I usually got a place to sit from Levittown and I could get my sketches done and then I had a leisurely walk from Penn Station up to 39th and Madison. I could stay underground if it was raining. On a nice day it was beautiful. People watching and I got to see the latest Doyle Dane Bernbach's latest poster in the subway.

On a hot day it would be sweltering. There was no air conditioning in old 285. We would put towels under our arms to keep the sweat from ruining our drawing. Guerney Miller would pop in about 9:30. Guerney and I shared an office. He was our sketch artist and if our client demanded a more finished sketch Guerney was the man. At noon Guerney would bring out his guitar and have a jam session. That drew the music lovers.

When I went to New York, my uncle gave me three of his suits. He was a banker. Well, that’s how I looked, like a banker. Guerney made fun of me and took me down to J Press and got me a proper hat and of course a Brooks Brothers Suit and shoes to match. My wife would never let me hear the end of this. I must have worn that suit to bed.
One day I was sitting in the office I shared with Guerney, and Bob Hope walked in. I swear to god. Bob Hope.

He was doing some promo for the agency so the account executive thought he'd give the troops a thrill. What a thrill. We had a real conversation with him.
Later in life I met Bing Crosby and that kind of completed the two road boys.
It was strange being one on one with the stars of the galaxy like Irving Penn and Norman Rockwell. I never did get used to it.

A picture of yours truly in the headman's office in Y&R NY after we won the art director's award.
Of course the troops had to gather and it was all-new to the kid on the left.
Fred Sergenian 'Sarge' imagine telling him you were leaving Y&R and going back to California.
I still shudder. The guy on the right is Fred Papert, of Papert Koenig &Lewis fame to be.

There were 75 art directors at Y&R when I was there and a lettering man and a type-setter and a raft of production people and a little grey haired lady to usher the work through and three art buyers.
It was strange, but it worked just fine.
Telling my boss I was leaving was the most difficult thing I've ever done. I felt like a traitor. I still do.

San Francisco was warm and exciting. Foote, Cone & Belding was on the top floor of the Russ Building and when the wind blew the building swayed. I know because I worked there many nights.
The people in this story are Ford Sibly; head of office, George Richardson: head of S&W account team, Pete Peterson: Assistant Account Executive. George kept a bottle of booze in his desk for celebration and we managed to find a few times to celebrate. S&W let us run the show and we pushed it as far as we dared.

We got them to go with a full-page color ad in newspaper and got Herrero to design it. It won an award in the New York art directors annual. That made Joe Blumeline, our client, very happy. He felt he was getting his moneys worth. Meanwhile, Ford Sibly was sinking into alcoholism and head office was sending a new man out. Clients were scattering and heading for the door.
Honig-Cooper, sensing an opportunity, pounced on it.
I didn't like the idea of working for Honig-Cooper so I looked to Holst, Cumming & Myers, as they needed an Art Director. And they had a ton of Matson Lines work with two ships due to come on the South Pacific Route, and one more on the Hawaiian Route.

The map painted on the model’s forehead at the studio of Butte, Herrero and Hyde and then we rushed him to our studio and shot him.
We also did a photo shoot with two models to Hawaii and one of the models got measles and was confined to her cabin the whole trip so the other model had to carry double load. She was not happy
I worked day and night. When they turned the heat off in the building, I would take the drapes off the windows and catch a little sleep. It was fun work, designing menus and all sort of non-ad stuff.

Y&R San Francisco George Richardson invited me to his place in Novato. He was moving to Y&R (SF) and wanted me to come back to run the art department. I agreed since I was now, thru with Matson Lines. It's funny how the names kept changing on these agencies. Y&R was a great agency. Don Sternloff was head AD when I joined them and he was much loved by the troops. Which made me dog shit since the writing was on the wall.
I was teaching at the Academy of Art at night and I followed the old Art Center motto, drive them, hard. If they survived, they were keepers. I found two keepers: Mik Kitagawa and Dave Sanchez. I hired them.

Sternloff was let go and I was anointed. The agency had the number one show on the air, Maverick with James Garner as Maverick and that was pure gold in the advertising world. Plus we got Langendorf Bread and we turned Kaiser Industries loose on Mik and Dave. Our plates were full and we were completely busy DAY and NIGHT. Mik and Dave wondered what they had signed up for.
After a few years of this, it wears on you, and it wore on me. I developed an ulcer. I had told myself I would quit this business if I got sick, so I marched in and turned in my badge. They sent out an AD from NY, Mason Clark, and I went home to recoup. Now what do I do?

San Mateo Garage

Why don't I try photography? OK, I bought a Hasselblad and I was off. I got some models to pose for prints and rented a garage with a skylight in San Mateo. I cobbled a portfolio together and let it be known I was starving and got a call from Portland, Oregon. It was from my old friend, Pete Jenkins and it was work. Meyer and Frank wanted a series of NP ads hi-lighting M&F, full page too. I got a designer, Dick Snyder, and an Account Executive, Perry Leftwich –and I put a darkroom together in the garage. I hired models and when clothes arrived from Portland, we shot up a storm.

We designed ads and they wanted MORE. We were a hit. I had visions of forming an agency and we pitched Harrah's club. It went well and Bill Harrah wanted us but his ad manager got him to change his mind (the ad manager was afraid of losing his job) so we didn't get the account.
Dick Snyder had trouble with the free-lance world so we disbanded.
And Perry went back to salary.

M. Halberstadt Meanwhile, the photographer Milton Halberstadt invited me to lunch and suggested we might pool our talents. He had a beautiful studio in North Beach and I said yes, quicker than dirt.

At first we had fun—as Hal liked the sets he was so good at putting together—and I liked the people. So we fit well (Bank of America). And we enjoyed lunch at New Joes. And Hal was a Master Photographer so I was learning every day.

Chicago Rep, Jack Kapes Another thing fell out of the blue. Jack Kapes, an agent from Chicago. Jack was looking for photographers to represent. It seems Art Directors in Chicago would dearly love a trip to San Francisco to work with a San Francisco Photographer and get away from that Chicago cold.

And so it started. Leslie Salt Co, Cilux Paint, Champion Papers. They came out with their wives for a little vacation and of course we showed them the town. We were beat by the time they hauled anchor but richer by far and just like the Tea Trade, we had established a trade route. One of the fun ones I recall was when Pillsbury sent me to Jamaica and then I shot the cake at Hal's studio.

Vanderwater Studio As in many things, they don't always work as planned. Hal and I parted as friends and I moved to Vanderwater Street in my own studio, next to Veneto's Restaurant. Years of work came out this Studio.

More work in the very busy mid-1960s.

Eichler was a great one that got you a sure medal in the art show. Working with Sidjakov was such a pleasure. Pacific Telephone was another winner and putting Wally Summers in a phone booth as Superman, had to be my biggest thrill. Honig-Cooper surprised me when they hired me to shoot a Levi's series and the kids we hired turned out to be wonderful. One of the greatest AD's to work for was Hal Riney. You had to burn rubber as he was never satisfied but the work was superb and you could be very proud of it. The free ones were often the most exciting as the Christmas Card ad for BBD&O showing all their kids. It was like herding cats. But I loved it.

One Super Star that was champing at the bit was George Coutts. The Joseph Magnin AD had tons of talent. I had a few drinks with him on a late shoot one night and when I finally said good night and locked up, I went out to my car and dropped the keys in the street. I didn't see them so I got on my hands and knees and just then a police car came around the corner. He flashed the light on me. "Can I help you sir?" he said, ”I'm looking for my keys to my car”, I said. "You better not find them”, he said. One of the hazards of flying at night.

Sutter Street The Portland People at Dawson, Turner & Jenkins were putting pressure on me to start a branch of DT&J in San Francisco and sent a young fellow down to help in that endeavor. First we had to move to Downtown, Sutter Street. Then we had to get agency type furniture and all while photography was going on. Nude photography for Avon. I scoured the model files in SF but they were light on the right kind of nudes so I flew to Los Angeles, found a young lady that fit the bill and booked her. She arrived on a Monday and the clients arrived from Chicago and Sidjakov, the package designer arrived, and my assistants got to work and the young lady stripped. She had no modesty and said her parents were nudists and they had been that way as long as she could remember. We photographed uninterrupted.

Dawson Turner & Jenkins brought a political type pollster down to shake the tree on the Pete McCloskey race against Shirley Temple Black for Congress. He won. Again, I got a call from Dawson, Turner & Jenkins. They wanted a campaign of newspaper ads, full-page size.

Covering Meier and Frank’s “Jerry Frank” who was making a run for Governor. The success of this campaign led to an offer to move to Oregon and an “offer I couldn’t refuse”. The agency, Dawson, Turner & Jenkins, got swallowed up by Lennen & Newell, then somebody else, then Richardson, Seigle, Rolfs & McCoy became somebody else and Macy's bought out Meier & Frank–––and I started designing work for the Port of Vancouver:

and I figured it was time to retire.
By this time they had done a pretty good job of brainwashing on me as how beautiful Oregon was and I was resigned and my wife and I weren't getting along. (Old story) So we went.

Solo-ing It-In Oregon Tons of work. Had my own way, pretty much. Nice people.
Jk Gill’s, Oil Heat, Port of Vancouver, Blue Lake Green Beans.
Oregon. Oregon, what have I done? Left everything for the unknown. Politics, know the Governor, know the Senator, work on his campaign. Packwood's in trouble.
Work. Work. Jk Gill’s. A stationary store.  A big stationary store. Many stores. Why not give it a cluttered look. I found a young artist that had a great "busy" look and had him do an ad. Perfect. And Newspaper ads for Kasch's Nurseries. White Satin Sugar: A perfect place for Herrero to strut his stuff. As well as sweet photos.

Oil Heat Dealers. A collection of dealers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that service and sell heating oil to homes in the Northwest. Reminder ads that are visible, aught to do it.

A rumble this summer by hippies threatened to spill into riots. I suggested we put up a series of billboards that say, "WAVE TO A COP TODAY" –and sponsor a music festival in McIver Park (a mile away from downtown). It worked. I was also involved with "lighting the bridges in Portland" which taught me "stay away from Architects". The things I did with Frank Farah at this time: we designed and Frank illustrated the walls of the Bend, Oregon Bus Station. Quite something, in Bend.

The sale of agencies was humongous. I never knew who was going to be my boss on Monday morning. It got to be a joke. My friend that started this whole thing, Dick Turner, had jumped off Suicide Bridge. And Pete Jenkins, his partner, had taken his ill-gotten gains and fled to Europe.
I became an account executive and married one of the Oil Dealers that I was fortune enough to stay married to for 46 years until she died last year.

William Cain Advertising I met Bill Cain on one of our Oil Heat trips to Hawaii and looked him up when I got back to Oregon. Bill was the owner of William Cain Advertising and had just had a revolt from his crew and they had walked away with his star account. Nike. He did have another account, Louisiana Pacific so he wasn't totally wiped out and he needed an art director. What the hell. We had a good time I still had Port of Vancouver, Bill had Louisiana Pacific, and everything swam along. Until Bill decided to sell the agency– including "my Port"–– to Gerber Advertising.

Gerber Advertising After the dust had cleared, I agreed to work for Gerber for 10 years (I actually worked for twelve) In that time I produced ads for Louisiana Pacific Windows and many other products.

Painting
I retired at 65 to paint
I said to myself, "what am I going to do with myself when I retire?"
"Paint"
"But I don't paint"
"Try"
So I tried. And my wife said, 'What are we going to do with all these paintings?"
I did 25 paintings a day.
"Paint slower"
I found a slow style. Wysoki
It was peaceful, fun and it was slow.
It took me a month to do a painting.
My wife said "good boy".
"Now let's get rid of this painting.
So I called a Jigsaw puzzle company and soon I was painting another one.
And another.
I've now done 96.
They rejected most for being too salty.
But happy wife, happy life

–that tuned in jigsaw puzzles.
Jigsaw Puzzles

Politics. That is what I would say most typifies Oregon. Small-town Politics.
I learned to love the people and the quirks and the laid back life.

Looking back I suppose what we did isn't so important but it sure was exciting and alive. We were making beautiful statements and bringing art and commerce together in a new, bold way.
We can be proud of the work we did and now that I'm out to pasture, I can see the work we did is so much superior to much that is done now because it mattered to us. Our 1/8 of an inch made all the difference in the world and was worth fighting for.

Thank you, Ann and Piet, for shining the light on the 50's and 60's.

Jack Allen

Editor’s Inclusions:

We welcome your comments on this story or to say hello to Jack. All comments will be reviewed before forwarding to Jack.


I don't know if Jack remembers, but he called me at KPIX and offered me the job as AD at Y&R.( I was in his ad class at the Academy) I got Mik (Kitagawa) the Job at KPIX and told him about the offer, and if I don't get the job maybe you will. So I helped him pull his portfolio together and we both applied for the one job, on the same day, with Jack. We were so inexpensive he could hire us both for the same money.

Dave Sanchez


Writing That Gets Read.

What I miss most about the world of today’s adver­tising is the eye-catching, thought provoking Head­lines of the Golden Age.
I guess, Volk­swagen started a lot of it with one word, Lemon.
I am enclosing some ads here that I feel are exam­ples of what seems to be missing. My ego won’t allow me to tell you who wrote these ads but I will acknowl­edge the Art Direc­tors and Photog­ra­phers who played a big part in helping me create them.

Agency: McCann Erickson (San Fran­cisco)
1 Del Monte — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Photog­ra­pher: Ed Zak
2 YOSEMITE — Art director: Jon Hyde, Photog­ra­pher: John Muir
3 AIRPORT HILTON — Art Director: Jerry Leon­hart; Illus­trator: Chris Corey
4 SKIING AT YOSEMITE — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Illus­trator: Larry Duke
5 McNevin Cadillac — Art Director: Bruce Camp­bell
6 THINK. DON’T DRINK. — Art Director: Jon Hyde

Another quick tale:
I once did a B.A.R.T. poster for Master­Card and the head­line said;
Bay Area Rapid Trans­ac­tion.

Bart Poster

Adver­tiser: Master­Charge – San Fran­cisco
Adver­tising Mgr.: Rick Wynne
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding / Honig – San Fran­cisco
Art Director: Kris English

It took up a wall in the BART stations. It won an Award so I asked photog­ra­pher Ed Zak for a copy of the poster. In typical Ed Zak style he said he would have to charge me $25. to make a copy. Zak was one of a kind.

Oh yeah…sure…put that photo in.
It’s the first one I’ve liked in about 20 years.

Todd Miller

Steve Rustad Has Tales To Tell

Steve Rustad Has Tales To Tell & Also Great Advice For A Young Illustrator (And For The June Graduate)!

Steve writes:
I'm "still in the game." And will continue to be until the pry my Cintiq tablet from my cold, dead hands.

Regarding my ad days. Because I preceded by stint in advertising working educational films, most of what I did in the agencies were TV spots. At J. Walter Thompson and I worked under Mac Churchill who (I thought) was a certifiable genius. And a true Mad Man, though his roots were in the Chicago ad scene. Mac's legendary lunch regimen was a flock of double vodka martinis. The effects of which were never apparent in the afternoon - unlike most of the other JWT management at the time. (My opinion, don't quote me.) I'm not sure that my agency story is all that unique, or interesting. It was a crappy time for agencies in general, perhaps because it was the run-up to the agency merger frenzy of the 1980's fueled by the Brits, which I believe drove a stake into the heart of creative advertising. Unlike most creative managers of my acquaintance I worked very hard to support and promote my creative teams which earned me (for the most part) their undying contempt. As for the advertising luminaries that I encountered back then (Riney, Jay Chiat, Bob Hulme. Mike Koelker, Rich Silverstein, etc.) I'm sure I left no lasting impression.

I did these while at Ketchum in the late 70's working under Bruce Campbell:

Channing Kitty Litter

Tony Randall Hunts

Earl Brown Mattel

Duraflame 1979

I didn't do this spot, but I was responsible for animated Safeway tag the chain used for a period in the late 70's.

Safeway 1979

At JWT I worked on Hewlett Packard, Chevron, Dole and a bunch of other brands, but this is only spot (other than the one below) I could find on YouTube.

HP Touch screen

HP Touch screen

For Sea Galley seafood restaurants the legendary (in my mind, anyway) Mac Churchill came up with this concept when we were on a break from presenting failed ideas to the so-far unhappy client.

We've got crab legs

We've got crab legs

I also did some print at JWT. I've attached some ads for Chevron and Dole and Hewlett Packard.

About a decade before I worked in advertising, I was a Federal Sky Marshal guarding flights out of SFO to points west, e.g., the Far East.

This photo shows me in the uniform of a US Customs Security Officer - my official job when I wasn't flying undercover.

Fast forward to 2007 I decided to recount some of my "adventures" in a blog, which I continued to post content to, on and off, for the next 5 years.

If you like, please check it out, click here Sky Marshal Story - Night Flight to SFO - #31
As a Sky Marshal (aka Air Marshal) assigned to PanAm from early 1971 to the fall of 1972, I conducted most of my in-flight security duties aboard the Boeing 747. At the time, I didn’t realize how revolutionary the 747 was.??The 60’s boom in air travel had created a major traffic jam at the country’s airports as the 707’s and Douglas DC8’s jostled for space at the jet ways. As a remedy, Juan Trippe, Panama’s legendary Founder and President, pushed Boeing to create a plane at least twice the size of the 707. In response Boeing produced the 747-100 or Jumbo Jet. It’s said that PanAm's influence as a “launch customer,” and the company’s hand in the design even before they placed their formal order, allowed Trippe to influence the development of the 747 in ways never seen before or since in the history of commercial aircraft. PanAm inaugurated 747 Jumbo Jet service in 1970. At 2.5 times the size of a 707, the wide body featured eight-across seating. The cockpit was on an upper deck, behind which was a “lounge,” for lack of a better word. The upped deck was accessed by a circular staircase – really a curved ladder – that looked like it had been yanked out of in artist’s studio in Soho. The powers-that-were decided to increase the teams of Sky Marshals assigned to 747 to three members, whereas 707’s and other “narrow-body” craft warranted teams of two. Usually two Marshals sat in First Class. The poor sap who drew the short straw sat way in the back of the cabin. Of the two Marshals who got to mingle with the carriage trade in First Class, one was required to sit at the foot of the spiral staircase. Since there were no assigned seats in the upper deck lounge we couldn’t position ourselves up there without blowing “our cover.” Yet, protocol required that no passenger was to visit the lounge without a Sky Marshal to keep him or her company. Any passenger who was hip to that knew exactly who was following them up the stairs. Most of flights I guarded over my tour of duty were a half to three-quarters full and – at least in first class – that left ample room to stretch your legs. However, I remember one flight where the increased capacity of the 747 was put to the test. The flight to SFO lifted off from Haneda Airport in Tokyo sometime after 10PM packed to the gills with men, women, children and babies. The cabin of the plane felt like a subway at rush hour. As a Sky Marshal, I’d never worked a flight where every seat was full. For the first half dozen hours everything was pretty normal. It was late, the cabin lights were dim and most of the passengers were snoozing. But as the evening dissolved into morning and folks began to stir, they did what most folks to when the first wake up…they went to the bathroom. Had they chosen to space the visits out, the plumbing might have handled the onslaught, but it seemed like everyone went, or wanted to go, all at the same time. In short order, the bathrooms began to fail, one after the other, until two long lines of fidgety passengers packed the two aisles leading to the last functioning bathroom in the back of Coach. It was so congested that the Marshal who had been positioned in the back had to work his way forward to the central galley just so that he could have some freedom of movement. Though the First Class bathrooms remained functional, airline rules forbade passengers from migrating past the bulkhead that separated the two sections. Then a woman with a sick baby burst through the curtains and headed for one of the First Class bathrooms with such fierce intention that she was virtually dragging in her wake the near-hysterical stewardess who had been trying in vain to explain the rules to her. Well, the sight of this determined woman breaching the sacred curtain of First Class broke the dam, as it were. Soon the aisles in First Class were also jammed with folks hopping from one to foot to the other. In the beginning, none of the Coach passengers who had stormed the bastion of privilege were aware of the bathroom on the upper deck but I knew it would be only a matter of time. Since the door to the upper deck bathroom was directly adjacent to the cockpit door, a scrum of passengers clustered in the upper deck lounge presented a security nightmare so I decamped from my seat at the base of the staircase to the lounge where I sacrificed my cover to spend the remainder of the flight standing sentry-like in front of the cockpit door. Interestingly, not one person that night asked me if I was a Sky Marshal.

© Stephen Rustad, 2008

These days, I’m working mostly in social media for a national food company. We have a sub-brand of sorts, Spoiled To Perfection (a video series) that discusses Fermented Foods, a hot topic among both foodies and Millennials This episode (from 2016) features some local (Sonoma County) talent in brewing:

When I have time I blog on my Rustad Marketing website (www.rustadmarketing.com) about topics I think might be relevant to folks interested in contemporary advertising issues and trends. Here’s one I wrote after a dinner with my daughter, who was soon to graduate from college and was fretting about her future.

Advice for A Young Illustrator
Some years ago, I had dinner with my daughter who, in my expert* opinion, is an exceptionally talented illustrator. After dessert, she confessed to me her concern that there wasn’t a place for her in the world of professional illustrators. I remember feeling exactly the same way when I graduated from college, nearly 50 years ago, and faced a bleak job market. Looking back over a professional career that has spanned more than 45 years (and counting), I want to offer my daughter, and others like her, some wisdom about seeking a career in what seems to be an overcrowded field with no obvious points of entry.

When I was first making the rounds as a young man entering the work world I received a profound tip about job hunting that proved to be true for me and many others: There is always a place for someone with talent, intelligence, a desire to work hard and – most important of all – a fresh approach to his or her craft.

Other qualities define my daughter: she has an unquenchable passion to create art of all kinds, and her work sparkles with intelligence, wit and a unique style. Coupled with her talent, these qualities complete the trifecta necessary to succeed as an illustrator.
So, how does my daughter and others like her find a place in a world crowded with talented, hardworking young men and women?

To begin, everyone who wants to sell their services, whether as a freelancer or a prospective employee, needs to view themselves from the point of view of the consumer. This is exactly the same advice I give to any marketer of a product or service.  Don’t make the mistake of viewing the world from inside the bubble of self-awareness. In politics, this is called the echo chamber where all you hear is what you say. Businesses who behave this way are, “legends within their own walls.”

Any honest marketing effort starts by facing the hard truth that the great majority of potential customers don’t know who you are, and aren’t looking for you. Few people walk around thinking to themselves, “Who don’t I know that I should know”. The purpose of marketing is to change this. For the sake of simplicity I’ve boiled marketing communications down to three essential, sequential, components: awareness, relevance and action.

Awareness, means that as many people as possible, not just potential customers, have to encounter a memorable message about you. For a young person just starting out, awareness begins with friends and family – sharing projects and samples through broad reach social media such Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. A website is essential, and platforms such as Squarespace are virtually free.

Relevance, that is establishing a connection with a potential customer or employer, is achieved by populating your website and social media with projects and concepts that reflect current culture, trends, activities and passions – yours as well as others.  Popular topics such as food, fashion, travel, movies and technology provide ample opportunity to demonstrate your intelligence, humor and creativity.

Action, which can range from a prospect or customer returning a message to offering a job, is the result of effective marketing. Common factors that lead to action – assuming that awareness and relevance have been established – are passion, preparation and persistence. Of course, you can’t discount luck. Still, as the saying goes, “Fortune favors the prepared.” One reason this maxim rings true is because two crucial elements of preparation are passion and persistence. (A voice from the back of room heckles, “What about quality, expertise, experience and skill?” In the service of brevity, let’s agree that these are all part of preparation, as well.)

Finally – and here’s the clincher – our aspiring artist must clearly demonstrate a unique style. I see many artists who have talent, skill and appear to be hardworking but the portfolios appear interchangeable. Some of this is perhaps the product of working (or aspiring to work) in a “creative factory” (think Disney or Pixar) where a corporate style or “look” influences the art.

To wrap up, perhaps the most direct answer to the question, “Is there a place for me in the world?” is “Yes, once you give people a chance to discover your unique, original, voice.” Before Apple introduced the iPhone no one knew they needed a hand-held, flat-screen monitor that connected to the Internet. Afterwards, they couldn’t live without one.

Daughter Valerie’s book Illustration

If you're interested in knowing more about my daughter, here's the link to her website click here:
Steve Rustad

Painter to Graphics to Painter

Ward Schumaker’s Bio: Painter to Graphics to Painter

By the time I was six I knew I would become a painter. But in 1965, at the age of 22, I entered a compe­ti­tion put on by the governor of Nebraska (my home state) and after judges awarded me first place, the governor went crazy, called my entry “filthy and disgusting” and threat­ened me with pros­e­cu­tion for creating pornog­raphy. I quit painting, moved to Cali­fornia, and became a paper salesman.

And I might have remained a paper salesman my whole long life except that I also became a father. How could I tell my son I was a paper salesman? Not that there’s anything wrong with that — unless you real­ized you’d been created to paint. So, without knowing anything about design, I started doing paste-ups for designers (Fetzer-Conover) and ended up working for Snoopy at Deter­mined Produc­tions.

In 1978, 35 years old, I quit. I rented a desk from Corpo­rate Graphics and began illus­trating.

Rapi­do­graph dots was my specialty and on my first day out, I got my first edito­rial work: Rich Silver­stein at San Fran­cisco Maga­zine: 40 hours, $40; as well as the cover of Coppo­la’s City maga­zine: same price. The next week Mik Kiti­gawa gave me my first commer­cial job (a jug of milk): 40 hours, $1000. This seemed pretty good! It was not quite what I wanted to do, not my taste, but it sure beat paper sales.

Seven years later Linda Hinrichs asked me to do draw­ings for Dole Mush­rooms; she wanted them done in pencil and done loosely, like a sketch book: right up my alley! From then on I kept getting work closer and closer to my desires. FedEx­press arrived, enabling me to work on the East Coast; then emails opened up Europe and Japan. I began creating illus­tra­tions for the NYTimes, Gourmet, the Boston Globe; as well as Le Figaro, Hermès and Playboy Japan.

Note: Above is *my personal collec­tion of Ward Schumaker’s early art styles (which I gath­ered and saved as I followed Ward’s successful entry into San Francisco’s graphic commu­nity. Some of these show their age and I have noted the years that they appeared in publi­ca­tions here in the San Fran­cisco Bay region. The years show at the bottom of each image when they were published. (Self-promotions of the1970s and assign­ments from 1982 to 2008.)

Ward has said that he is surprised that I have this small collec­tion (of his exten­sive early work). I met Ward as he called on our art studio, repre­senting Carpenter-Offutt Paper and as he started creating commer­cial art, I became a fan of his unlim­ited orig­inal styles.

Ann Thompson


Ward Schu­maker:
Illus­tra­tions

1‑adam.eve.snake: illus­tra­tion for book, God’s Femur. Client: S F Center for the Book
2‑asleep: illus­tra­tion for book, The Art of Being a Woman. Client: Potter
3‑au.chat.agile: illus­tra­tion for book Two Kitchens in Provence. Client: Yolla Bolly Press
4‑Bark.Magazine: illus­tra­tion for article on dogs. Client: Bark Maga­zine
5‑black.dance: cover illus­tra­tion for Date­book. Client: San Fran­cisco Chron­icle
6‑charitybiz: cover of book, Charity Biz. Client: Payot
7‑circus: cover of book, Sing a Song of Circus. Client: Chron­icle Books
8‑columbus.bakery: logo for bakery café. Client: Columbus Bakery
9‑Dix.Jours: cover for book, Dix Jours dans Les Collines. Client: Rivages
10-esquire.japan: cover for maga­zine featuring Northern Cali­fornia. Client: Esquire Japan
11-hemispheres.cover: cover for inflight maga­zine. Client: United Airlines
12-hermes: catalog for the press. Client: Hermès
13​-in​.my​.garden: cover of Japanese chil­dren’s book, In My Garden. Client: Chron­icle Books
14-Japanese.Cultural: illus­tra­tion for brochure. Client: S F Japanese Cultural Center
15-lagom: card­board callig­raphy. Client: Afar Maga­zine
16-mooses_cups: logo for San Fran­cisco restau­rant. Client: Moose’s restau­rant
17-paris.bouge: callig­raphy for maga­zine cover. Client: Le Figaro
18-reading_cat: illus­tra­tion for book­mark. Client: S F Center for the Book
19-sfchronicle_anniv: calli­graphic illus­tra­tion for cover of the Date­book. Client: S F Chron­icle
20-shrek: calli­graphic illus­tra­tion for Broadway play. Client: Spotco
21-wash.post.nixon: illus­tra­tion for maga­zine. Client: Wash­ington Post

Around year 2000 my then new wife suggested I return to painting and now that’s all I do.

You’re invited to visit my current show at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Fran­cisco at 16th and Potrero (until 11 May): Spyder Gears + Iden­tity Maps. Link to: Jack Fischer Gallery Exhi­bi­tion

Much of my fine art consists of large hand-painted books with hand-cut sten­ciled typog­raphy and recently a trade version of one – – an anti-Trump book called Hate Is What We Need – – was published by Chron­icle Books. Buy it on Amazon or Chron­i­cle’s website.

My wife, Vivi­enne Flesher, will be showing at Jack Fischer Gallery’s Minnesota Street Project venue, with an opening 01 June. I’d love to see you there! And my son is now a Martin Luther King, Jr., Visiting Scholar at M.I.T. He creates extra­or­di­nary, amazing computer music. I’m so proud of both of them. And at 76 years old, they make me realize what a fortu­nate guy I’ve been.

Ward Schu­maker

Come Visit my website and see what’s new.