Life in Commercial Art

Drawing Pictures is more fun than Pulling Teeth

by David Broad

During 1945 in Germany my time at war was spent in a failed Artillery Unit comprised of 240 mm howitzers towed by 2 12 ton trucks. I say “failed” because after disem­barking at Le Havre when we hit the first hill all the trucks’ engines burned out and our only recourse was to ditch them on the side of the road. This was in March and our mission turned bringing German pris­oners from the front down to camps in lower Germany, as well as guarding ammu­ni­tion dumps and runnning messenger routes around the country. Skip­ping to wars’ end we became the Army of occu­pa­tion and our unit was dissolved. Then I became the head of a PX unit, and became very popular.

I was always inter­ested in art with hopes of becoming an artist, and I had done posters in my previous unit. One day in the PX I was called out to report to my commanding officer, for what reason I could only assume was to be repri­manded for what??? Well to make a long story short, in my previous unit, where I did posters, a buddy, unbe­knownst to me, had answered an ad, in my behalf, in Stars and Stripes looking for artists. I had not answered the ad since I had hardly any expe­ri­ence and did not believe that I was qual­i­fied. Back to my commanding officer and my offense. It turned out I was to be trans­ferred to PARIS into an art depart­ment. That was an astounding moment !!! That art unit, The Infor­ma­tion and Educa­tion Divi­sion, had the “giants” of the New York advr­tising art industry creating posters, displays, etc. etc. The unit was even­tu­ally relo­cated to Hoechst, Germany where I did my first profes­sional work, after getting an early discharge and signing on as a civilian employed by the US Govern­ment. Some pictures below-Doing posters, art depart­ment Hoechst, !st prize for a cartoon and first piece of art.

Upon returning to USA, I enrolled at Pratt Insti­tute in Brooklyn. Indus­trial Design was my pref­er­ence, but commuting from Manhattan on the over­crowded subway carrying deli­cate 3‑D plaster models would be incon­ceiv­able, so I switched my course to Illus­tra­tion. During my summer vaca­tions I spent time in Paris painting and trav­eling. After grad­u­ating Pratt I ended up in Milwaukee working for an art studio. It was a nice town and jobs were plentiful.

Below: Student work from Pratt and Illus­tra­tions from a Milwaukee art studio:

However, after visiting Cali­fornia with the spec­tac­ular weather it was easy to relo­cate, partic­u­larly after I found my heart and wife in San Fran­cisco. I ulti­mately joined Land­phere Asso­ciates. Terrific people, a great studio, there even was a ping-pong table for recre­ation. Max was a super boss and a wonderful person. It was a diffi­cult deci­sion to leave to begin free­lancing, partic­u­larly when we were expecting our third child. Max was very caring and it was great to have him as a friend.

Below: Art while repre­sented by Land­phere Associates:

Below: Free­lance, Self-Promo and jobs from San Fran­cisco Bay Area clients:

It was an easy tran­si­tion to free­lancing as Land­phere Studios still passed on many assign­ments to augment my accounts. Retiring in 1998 from the commer­cial world I am spending time painting and enjoying the golden years with my family and friends.

Art Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: Pratt and Milwaukee Studio: 1, 2: Abstract, Figure Painting 3, 4, 5: ”Torch” Milwaukee Adver­tising ClubLand­phere Asso­ciates: 1: Land­phere Mailer 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: “Hodge­Podge” Dave Broad Self-Promos 7, 8: Dave Broad Line Art, Self-Promos Self-Employed Assign­ments: 1, 2: Self-Promo-Direct Mail 3: Dave Broad Self-Promo 4: Japan Air Lines-Botsford, Constan­tine & Gardner-San Fran­cisco, Jerry Huff (AD5: Sunset Magazine-“Chefs of the West”, Bill Cheney (AD6: Kaiser/Refraction 7, 8: Crown Zeller­bach Bill­boards, ZEE 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14: Bank of America Folders and Posters 15: Painting