In 1980, after graduating with a BFA from the Cooper Union in New York City, I took a job as a junior art director at an ad agency called Jordan, Case & McGrath. At the time I did not know that Jim Jordan and Gene Case were both bonafide “Mad Men”. Jim had written “Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch” for Tareyton Cigarettes, and “Ring around the collar” for Wisk laundry detergent. Gene had written “Thanks I needed that” for Mennen Skin Bracer and “TUM, Ta-TUM-TUM” for Tums antacid. Then there was Ilon Specht. She burst on the scene already a legend having written, at the age of 23, the line “Because I’m worth it,” for L’Oreal Hair Color.
I worked with the illustrator Paul Davis on posters for the Shakespeare Theatre, and the photographer, Henry Wolf for Reader’s Digest. Gene and I designed an art deco cigarette package. I spent many late nights working with these legends. Eventually, I lost interest in creating ads for Beefeater Gin and Lorrilard cigarettes, so I jumped ship and took a job at Russek Advertising, that specialized in theatrical advertising. There I designed and illustrated posters and all sorts of promotional materials. I was lucky to work with great clients, such as Lincoln Center Theater and the Joyce Theater, and great artists.
Soon I was ready to jump ship once again, to start my own shop. It has been years since then. The path I’ve taken has had a lot of twists and turns, but I’m glad “I took the road less traveled”, working for clients who are trying to do the right thing. If you are that type of client, get in touch. Almost all of my clients are not-for-profits. Some of the work you see on my website has been done pro bono. So if money is an issue, we can make it work.