Nicolas Sidjakov, (12 – 16-1924 – 6 – 20-1993).
Born in Riga, Latvia.
Nic Sidjakov studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, worked in advertising, and free-lanced for the French movie industry before moving to the USA in 1954.
In San Francisco, his locations were — 1967: 120 Green Street — 1971: 433 Turk Street — 1976: 1779 Union Street — and then with partners — Sidjakov, Berman & Gomez from 1981 – 1987: 1779 Union Street. Nic lived in Sausalito, CA.
When Tom Kamifugi & Associates (at 433 Turk Street) and Nic shared neighboring art studios — they created this poster, an invitation to their party. It appeared in the Art Directors and Artists Club of San Francisco’s eighteenth annual in 1967, under the classification of “Magazine Ad”. (Hal Riney was ADASF’s show chairman, that year.)
The credit information shown in the annual, shows M. Halberstadt as the photographer — but the photo was by Jack Allen.
Jack had been forming an ad agency with Harrah’s club as his first client. When internal politics ended that plan, Jack became a professional photographer.
This, I reported previously. (See: Geezers’ Gallery Jack Allen — Ad Man + Photographer + Painter)
Jack Allen wrote:
“Meanwhile, the photographer Milton (Hal) 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. And we enjoyed lunch at New Joes. And Hal was a Master Photographer so I was learning every day.
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.”
So on 11−10−20, I emailed and phoned Jack and asked what it was like taking this photo of Sidjakov and Kamifugi. “Can you tell what the day was like, working with those two – – taking that shot? How long could Nic, hold still in that Cossack position?”
Jack said that all he said at that time was: “Hold still”!
There is a lot to be found on-line about the extremely talented, Nic Sidjakov. In my collection of ADASF publications, I found 107 of Nic’s accepted entries in the years of 1963-to-1967 and 1974 and 1978. Some, show that he was listed as Art Director – (19) and others, credited his artistic / design skills – (88). I had planned to scan and show these pieces but he was too prolific with his many styles — for me to be able to display them here.
His volume of work was explained. This from Chris Blum:
–“ad folks would drink their afternoon and want to nap and Nic would take over and save their jobs for them”. C.B.
I never had the chance to meet Nic Sidjakov, but i was told that he was as kind as he was talented and was always there to assist.
The sixth publication (1964) of the Champion Paper’s – Imagination – “The Wild West” paper sample was in the ADASF’s sixteenth annual show in 1965 listed under Booklet or Folders”. Nic Sidjakov and Ewald Breuer provided the artwork and Tom Gorey directed the art. (And, Jack Allen shot the photo of the “Gunslinger”.)
I show the complicated planning necessary in producing this booklet.
There are fold-out pages, partial pages, die-cut pages, embossed pages, even a sleeve, holding a single detached page. All of the artwork explained how chosen colors worked well on the various samples of stock. The booklet was designed to show the the graphic art community the many possibilities for their graphic projects when choosing Champion Papers.
I have repeated the pages to show the planned sequence as one looks through the booklet – – opening folds that reveal more images – – all that was created offered an “experience”.
Also, here are samples of Nic Sidjakov’s design that I have kept though the years. These two newspaper spreads and a Focus Magazine ad from 1975 promote the new Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.
Maybe, when I have more time, I can go back to scan and show even just a part of the 107 Nic Sidjakov’s ADASF accepted entries mentioned above.
Comments, Corrections and more about Y&R.
Follow-up To Previous Post:
Here are a few of the many comments to our previous “Herb & Hal” posting:
Wasn’t Herb married to Barbra Bradley of the Academy of Art at some point?? Bruce Hettema
My reply to Bruce:
Barbara was born in Los Angeles, but spent most of her childhood in San Francisco. She graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco and then attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her first husband Herbert Briggs (a fellow artist) while drawing for the rally committee. Herb and Barbara studied at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles before setting off for New York to begin their careers.
Lee Riney’s story about Herb in the elevator wasn’t at FCB, it was at Y&R. And I was one of the guys that was with the crew that taped Herb and put him in the elevator.
(A reply me to forward to Dave from Lee Riney)
Yes, it was definitely Young & Rubicam. I worked there for five years when I left Foote Cone. I should have made that clear in my story. Please send my email on to Dave Sanchez.
Thanks Ann. Herb was pretty drunk, so he didn’t fight. I think he was in the elevator into the evening.
I have fun memories of Herb, most are the insane memories. He sure was a character, I wish there were more.
Bringing this up to date, I asked Dave Sanchez who guessed that “The Elevator Caper” was in 1961 or 1962. He said Herb left Y & R after 1962.
I called Jack Allen:
Jack explained that the client of Y&R was Petri Wines – – so I’m guessing that there were a lot of samples there to inspire the agency folks (after hours?). Jack said that his two hires were there: Dave Sanchez and Mik Kitagawa. Alan Lefkort was also there, also. He was their “father figure”.
I called Alan who accepted that title.
I remember the brand, Petri.
I saw that it was established with barrel wines in 1886 by Raffaello Petri in San Francisco — with vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley. As “prohibition” became the law, the stock for 250,000 gallons of barrel wines were sold to pay for Petri’s new products — including Italian leather goods and cigars. At the end of “prohibition” it was back to selling wines, this time bottled as well — contracting In 1935 with E & J Gallo. When Petri bought Italian Swiss Colony Wines in 1953 — Petri became the largest wine producer in the USA.
The company also established United Vintners.
This ad was shown in the10th Annual Art Directors Exhibition of 1958.
Herb Briggs Story – Hal Riney’s Storyboard
By Lee Riney
When I came to San Francisco from the Midwest in the ‘60s, I didn’t know what an advertising agency was. Somehow, I’ve forgotten how, I ended up as a secretary at Foote Cone & Belding. It was my first job.
I soon discovered that my favorite office on the 18th floor of the Russ Building was Herb Briggs’ office. His walls were covered with sheets of illustrations tacked up willy nilly. The air smelled of fixative and chalk. It was a jumble of pencils, paint and paper. Herb could always be found there – crouched over his drawing board, pencil in hand. He could sketch anything in seconds, and the many storyboards tacked to his office walls were impressive, even to an untrained eye.
Herb was about 5’10”. He was unkempt – he needed to comb his hair and shave. Faded jeans, plaid flannel shirts and sneakers were his daily garb. Always friendly, he would growl at you in his rumbling low voice. I could understand only a few words, but didn’t bother to ask him to repeat himself. No one else could understand him either. He kept a small fridge filled with beer in his office, which was promptly opened and shared at 5PM every day.
When a client rejected a proposal, everyone was expected to stay at the office to rework all the art, all the copy. Herb didn’t go home at midnight along with the others. He took down the drapes in his office, found a couch, pulled the drapes over him and spent the night. In the morning, he looked just like he had the day before.
Everyone loved Herb. Not only because of his immense talent, but because he was so genuine – the agency staff, copywriters, account executives, media people, were indeed smart, witty, will – dressed and charming, but they never stopped trying to impress. Herb was just Herb.
His modest home in Mill Valley was a Sunday afternoon destination. His wife, Pat, would greet us at the door. His son, Dan, would be sprawled in front of the TV watching Star Trek. Agency people and their friends, lovers and wives came knowing there would be large jugs of cheap wine passed around, with maybe some popcorn or chips, and excellent company. People sat on the floor with Herb, or sprawled on the couch. There was spirited conversation on every possible subject except work. All arrived and left with little fuss, perhaps a “See you tomorrow”.
The creative section of the agency – the copywriters and artists – spent a great deal of time thinking up pranks. Any secretary who went down the hall to the creative department, always watched carefully before passing doorway. Fixative that could be lighted with a match and projected into the hall like a flamethrower was a favorite weapon to be use on passing secretaries. We hardly looked up from our typewriters when we heard screams. Herb never failed to call his good friend, Mik Kitagawa, on Pearl Harbor Day, rail at him about the Japanese attack, and hang up without identifying himself. One memorable day, several of the creative staff got together, duct taped Herb to a desk chair, rolled him to the elevator, left him inside to be seen by everyone, and pressed the “down” button. This lasted tor at least 10 minutes. We gathered around the elevator door, laughing and shouting encouragement to Herb when the elevator opened at our floor; waving when the doors closed.
Herb was a Scot, and once in a while, to everyone’s delight, he would put on his kilts and march thorough the office playing his bagpipe. If a client was visiting, so be it.
Later in his career, Herb worked for my husband, Hal Riney.
Hal Riney was renowned for never giving anyone a compliment of any kind. If Hal found work acceptable, the best anyone could hope for was a grunt and a nod. Herb had a framed storyboard hung in his den. At the bottom of the page Hal had written “Not Bad” and signed it. Anyone who knew them both, understood.
(Notes: Read more about Herb? Go to: The Prince Of Pranksters By Todd Miller
I could find no photos of Herb Briggs.
I received this, below, from Tim Price – that shows a Hal Riney Storyboard.
It’s a Xerox copy of one of the Riney Rulers. Hal didn’t do shooting boards, instead he drew out these exacting – to the second– graphs in which every scene, all dialogue is precisely laid out. I think that’s why Hal once told me, “We use Mr. Pytka (director) mainly as a cameraman.”
Yep, Herb worked for Hal at the same time I did, Botsford Ketchum days.
I knew Herb, got no photos.
“Pink Pearl” and More Art Supplies
In the previous post, Bill Stewart’s “Pink Pearl” eraser was there among his art supplies. That brand of eraser was not just an art tool it was used by all. I got curious about its origin and found — the science!
On June 17, 2019, Ray Hahn wrote this: (Search: Bottle Caps and Pink Pearl Erasers)
The Eberhard Faber Company opened America’s first pencil factory in New York City in 1861 on a plot of land now occupied by the United Nations. It is uncertain when the eraser was invented, but in general terms, Joseph Priestly (the same man who discovered Oxygen) is frequently given credit for the eraser.
The history of the Pink Pearl eraser is much better documented. It was invented in 1848 in Germany when Eberhard Faber’s grandfather, Casper, decided that a new method of erasing wayward graphite marks (not, lead) might be achieved by using rubber. Erasers have been an important piece of writing history, but the pencil and the eraser were at first, two different tools. It was Faber who first added erasers to his pencils and he did so sometime after a new factory was built in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn in 1872.
The magic ingredient in the Pink Pearl is volcanic ash from Italy. When mixed with rubber, it is the pumice in the ash that gives the eraser its unique smell. Unlike poorly formulated erasers that loosen and remove paper fibers, the Pink Pearl erases by cleaning the surface. It is elementary science, which demonstrates that erasers don’t just work manually; they also work chemically. ?Pencils work because, when they are put to paper, their graphite mingles with the fiber particles in the paper. Erasers work because the polymers that are used in manufacturing them are stickier than the particles of paper. It’s that simple, graphite particles end up getting stuck to the eraser instead of the paper. Erasers are literally sticky graphite magnets. (This article appeared in an earlier form in the South Jersey Postcard Club’s McClintock Letter of October 2014, page 6.)
And More Art Tools
I have contributed photos of a lot of my old art tools to the “Museum of Lost Art Supplies” as we show in the column on the left under “Places We Like”. This is still a great collection to look over.
Recently with the extra time and a few items still to send in – I found that the site was not responsive in accepting additional items. After several attempts, I reached Lou Brooks.
Hey, Hi Ann! Sorry it took a while to get back to you. Lots of changes. Clare and I moved to McMinnville Oregon almost a year ago, and we’re still chasing our own tails to catch up. Now, the CO-VID! But on we all go. My original provider has made it difficult to get the Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies site to do us much good these days. I value your contribs and friendship, Ann, and strongly request you sign up on FB for my Forgotten Art Supplies Forum Pushing 4,000 enthusiastic members and climbing. With stellar results… tons of postings, and plenty of back and forth helpful dialog. All seem to enjoy it immensely. I enjoy you posts, and would love to see your stuff up there.
Just sign up and I’ll put you right in.
I don’t do Facebook but I slipped my collectible into Richard’s FB account —to place these two examples with my written description. It went up quickly on the “Forgotten Art Supplies Forum”. I was surprised as I received twelve comments about my submission. Lou Brook’s new Facebook collection shows items that are in addition than those on his previous site.
(We are keeping the original “Museum” on this site. It is still interactive for viewing the extensive collections but it doesn’t accept new additions.) Or use this link.
I’ve thought of another subject – the Flo-master felt tip pen and its ink.
This attractive felt-tip pen could be filled and re-filled. It was available before Magic Markers and other markers appeared in art stores.
The beauty of this pen was that I could control the wet or dryness of the strokes to the paper. As you pressed the felt tip a few times to a surface, ink would flow into it. When the felt tip became partially dry, subtle shading was possible. I used it often in life drawing classes and I carried it when sketching outdoors.
This sketch, above, I made on a landscape sketching field trip in the summer of 1961 – a summer class at the Academy of Art (founded in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens) Mr. Stephens was leading us there on SF’s Telegraph Hill. At the end of class, all were invited to a coffee shop (where Scoma’s Restaurant is now) —where “Pappy Stephens” held court.
I mentioned the pen to Bill Stewart and I was surprised that he, too, remembered it as a favorite tool.
Bill Stewart wrote:
I was going to send a Pix of a Flo-Master Pen. A pre Magic Marker refillable felt pen. When I was a student, Robert Fawcett gave a lecture. Of course, everyone wanted to know what he used for his beautiful, powerful illustrations. He said a Flo-master pen. After that, all the art supply stores sold out of Flo-masters. Actually Flo-masters were originally intended for use as sign markers in the retail stores. Later, a tool for NYC subway taggers.
This was my SF office/studio room —with lovely “North light”! (1 Lombard Street, where Battery Street met the Embarcadero.) On November 6, 1997, I dragged my chairs, drawing board, lamps, two file cabinets and all of my art supplies —home.
Art supplies that I was sure I was going to need.
Now, I need to send photos of the last of my collection of art tools— to the “Forgotten Art Supplies Forum”.
Oddments from the files of an AD’s log book.
I was working for Botsford, Constantine and McCarty, soon to become Botsford, Ketchum. We just moved into a building near Market Street. I think it was called The Jones bldg. but not sure. The time was around 1968ish. I think we were at this new location for about three or four months and we were getting comfortable with new spaces. We were located on the 8th or 9th floor as I remember it. On a Friday afternoon about 4:30 everyone was winding down for the weekend. The art directors we’re putting away their Magic Markers scattered all over in their office along with ellipse guides, numerous triangles, French curves, T‑squares and all the other “stuff” that proclaimed them as art directors. Without the stuff, you ain’t no art director. If you didn’t have the stuff, they would call you a creative director or an account guy something. (One time a writer came into the art department and said, “The only reason you guys have a job as art directors is because you have all the STUFF”)… and looking back, I think he might have been right.
The illustrator that did the sketch was Dick Brown In Seattle. I really liked his work, nice and loose. He caught the character of each person really well. I noticed everyone ended up with huge hands, however. I guess that was kind of his style.
Anyway, as I was finishing the organization process, Brian Barnes walks into my office and points to a salmon fishing pole I had been using for a prop for an Olympia Beer photo. He asks, how do you cast with those level-wind reels? I said, you just need to keep your thumb over the line as the reel is spinning while the line is playing out. When the bait is near the water, you stop the spin with your thumb so you don’t get a backlash of line if the reel is still spinning. Well, it was late Friday so I said, here, I’ll give you a demonstration. Open the window. (We had really big windows that you could still open). I put a Pink Pearl eraser on the end of the line for a little weight and cast it out the window. The line sailed out over the street below in a beautiful arc and I stopped the reel with my thumb. The Pink Pearl stopped mid air and gracefully swung back and bounced off the building wall for another show of ballet like motion. That was impressive but it needed just a little more weight to show Brian how a proper cast really looks. We asked the guys who were loitering near my office if they had anything for a weight and they came up with a plastic chicken from a BBQ display sample for Olympia Beer. A little large but the right weight. We fixed the line to the plastic chicken and cast again. The chicken flew straight and true and was soaring high above the busy street below. A beautiful sight to see. A chicken flying high over Wells Fargo for a few seconds and then slowly arcing down to take on the speed of something that resembled a raptor. The chicken/raptor swung back to hit the building wall and again bounce back for a final show of aerobatics. Now, the last cast was so good, much more line was released and the chicken was now very low above the busy sidewalk. I would estimate it to be maybe about 4 to 8 feet above the people below. The clear fishing line was almost invisible and now it appears like this BBQ’d plastic chicken is levitating just a few feet above all the pedestrians… but no one notices. Quite a sight. As we were reeling up the chicken, someone in one of offices below had an umbrella out the window, trying to snag the chicken but we successfully avoided the kidnap attempt and retrieved the chicken. At that point it became more than just a lesson in casting so we wrote a note on a post-it that stated “PLEASE IGNORE THE CHICKEN.” We carefully lowered the chicken back to the kidnapers window, the umbrella came out again and the chicken was rudely was pulled inside. Well, we just lost our chicken. They didn’t ignore it as instructed. After a few minutes the line was released with a new note attached. We reeled it back up and the note read: “WHAT CHICKEN ?” The next day Herb Caen wrote in his column about a levitating chicken of unknown origin was spotted across from Wells Fargo. I kept the article but lost it years ago. Maybe I can find it in the Chron.‘s archive sometime.