In 1965, my first year as a freelance advertising artist, I was willing to take on any artistic assignment. A few times I said yes to a field of art that I was not taught. Architecture was never my interest but one day I was driven east of Sacramento to do some on-location sketches of plans for a new housing complex called Eldorado Hills.
Had they shown me examples of what they expected, I am sure I would have declined this assignment. I was able to accomplish something but I, and they, knew they had the wrong person. I wasn’t charging much in those days, so they paid me for what I did.
Above is my job sheet as I first began free-lancing (four years at 728 Montgomery Street, SF)…and this photo taken at my visit to the Dean Stone & Hugo Steccatti Photo Studio.
In 1973, there again was an assignment of a structure. This time I was at my drawing board and I liked the subject. That was when I illustrated a play area for one of the first arcade video games, Pong. The client was Atari.
There were a few more assignments when I touched on structures – – simple ones (like point of purchase store displays).
But it was many years later, when the medical advertising agencies needed exhibit areas designed for trade-shows, that I began to enjoy this corner of my work.
Often I was asked to just rough-out ideas so that the product team could meet and plan basic ideas.
For the Activase® exhibit shown below, there was a virtual reality game offered. I was given no visual reference. That game was also available at the Embarcadero Center, just down the street from my One Lombard location. So one evening, Richard and I walked there, signed up, donned the VR headgear and began a competition. (I won.) I also made a drawing of the game room. The next day the drawing was my guide for my sketch of the interior of the Activase structure.
Knowing that my renderings of these trade-show exhibits were actually built, gave me a sense of being a part of a show! It would have been great to visit the final results.
Corporate conventions were a very lucrative business. “Were”, because Covid-19 has closed them down. The products exhibited created consumer interest and also investments.
The large convention centers collected attendance revenue. The attendees brought money to hotels, restaurants, shops, and the hospitality industry. Corporate conventions timed to coincide with the trade-shows, extended the visits to the location for more than a one-day stay.
Now, more and more, events with large venues are beginning to open for public gathering.