Friday, March 5, 2010

An Introduction


My "nom de plume" is PTOR, and I have been a professional artist and writer for over 25 years.
For much of that time, I have worked out of a "studio" of my own that I named;

That's my OLD logo up top of the page.
I'm redesigning a newer logo, but that one still has a place in my heart.

The "Midnight Images" name came about because back then, my "nom-de-plume" was Peter Knight.
I took the "Knight" part and combined it with the fact that much of the images that I was producing (keeping up with tight deadlines and such while going to school or working a day job) were being worked on at... yup, you guessed it... Midnight.

I was going to call it MidKnight Images, but that would just confuse people more than was necessary.

Still, I was working professionally under that name, producing, among many projects; storyboards, interactive children's projects, book covers, shirt graphics and much more - including, for a couple of years working as a writer / artist for professional comic book companies.

I used to tour the US going to Comic Conventions (ComiCons - as they are more referred to) and had a table in the "artist's alley" of each selling my own original works and working on custom-drawn commissions that fans would request.

After years of this style of working, I walked away from the freelance biz and was, for the past (almost) 7 years, an in-house artist for a major New York housewares company.
Not the most "creative" outlet for my abilities, but I would always try to add a little something to each project, even if it was just a creative new way to produce the work.

Still, there's something to be said for a steady paycheck and a benefits package.
That, and I was fortunate to have worked with some truly wonderful people - some are counted as being my closest friends today.

My job was originally to be a Product Renderer, basically drawing items which hadn't been created yet, to show to sales agents and other vendors to boost their interest in ordering the new products.

I was hired, initially because I actually knew HOW TO DRAW, unlike many artists these days who rely on computer programs and "tracing" photographs to produce work.
I started off working on realistic 3D-looking hand-drawn illos, colored with markers with a technique that really made them seem more like photographs than "marker comps", and slowly, eventually transitioned into coloring them in Photoshop.

For insanely tight deadlines, I also would work up what I called "Frankensteins", which were that I would take photos of many separate items, from disparate sources (hopefully some from similar products) and using photoshop, make a composite of those elements into a photo-realistic representation of the new, not-as-of-yet-manufactured item.

Other items I would work up exclusively in Photoshop to create photorealistic images that looked as if they were real 3-dimensional items.However, nothing about those illustrations existed in the real world.

More times than I can count, sales reps and others would wonder why they just couldn't be shown the actual item in question. Because, as they would say; "Well, you have a PHOTO of it right here!", not knowing that the "photo" in question was really one of my phony composites or Photoshop images.

Still later, my job description grew to include producing detailed line-art which was used as how-to instructions for care and use of items. To this end, I added Adobe Illustrator to my toolkit and used that quite a bit.
I love that program. Very clean. Very precise.

Among my other duties there, I would produce graphics which were to be used either on the products themselves and/or their packaging or for use as giant signage at trade shows or in showrooms. By that time, I would frequently interchange between hand-drawn, Illustrator and Photoshop and/or a combination of those (and other) techniques and programs) to achieve my goals.

Always up for a challenge, I would meet each and every deadline head-on, working directly with Category Managers, sales force leads and Division heads to give them exactly what they wanted.
Striving to give each art request my best and full attention, I would do all that I could to treat each category manager or their assistant as if theirs was the only project on my plate. Sure, I was juggling multiple tasks and assignments, but I knew that I could give each person exactly what they wanted and help to alleviate their worries over if their stuff would be completed on time or not.

My track record of meeting deadlines (no matter how tight) was just about 100%.
(Sure, I may have been a day or two off on a couple of projects, but only if I knew for a fact - and was told so by the manager - that there was a buffer of a few days. Usually, they were the ones telling me not to go too crazy.)
More often than not, I was turning around completed Art Requests overnight.
(This was made possible by the situation that happened gradually, where I was granted the ability to work from my home office and submit my work via telecommute and uploading my work to their servers. Suddenly, I was able to work as early or as late as was needed, and frankly, I didn't mind it because I was working from the comfort of my home. "You want that tomorrow morning? No problem!")

Still, nothing good lasts forever, and sadly, on April 30th of 2009 I was downsized from my position because of the economic downturn of the USA (as well as the world, really).
I wasn't being reprimanded or replaced. More to the point that they were going to try to eliminate the need for my position entirely by a combination of photography and the other "general" graphic artists and/or the design team artists.

I'm still on very friendly terms with most of the people who work there (if someone has a problem with me I've never been made aware of it), but it's been nearly a year now and the slim chance of my being asked back doesn't look all that likely.

As for this blog, I've been meaning to start up an art-blog for ages, and have only now realized that if I want to do it, I just need to DO IT.

So, while I intend to eventually work up a new template and overall layout for this blog, this will do for now.
(I should note that someone took the blogspot url of "midnightimages" already, but they're not using it. It's been blank since 2007. I'll look into getting that one as well, if I can. But for now, remember that mine has the "-" (hyphen) between the two words, which you see in my blogspot url.)

Look for me to post old and new art, stuff from my old job, new pieces and I'll even toss my resume up here as well.

Come back for a visit any time.
I hope to be seeing you soon.

Now, back to the old drawing board!

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