Series of Postcards, 2002

In 2002, after the unforeseen luck with the t-shirt design and after the failure to sell any of my paintings (which was even more unforeseen), I tried to approach somebody from a postcard company.

I don’t remember how I found them — must have found some RFP somewhere. I decided to make a series of postcards about some recurring characters, a family.

guy in bed, sick A man with his son a boy on top of the roof a man with a picture of himself

The person who saw them actually liked them, but asked me to make them less computery. I had no idea how to do that (in Paint, or whatever I used for these), cause I never had a computer before, not one with a graphic interface. I just came to Canada, you see, and back in Russia I only had computers running BASIC

Properly, I should have drawn them with ink, scanned, and coloured in the computer, but I don’t remember what happened then. Maybe my aunt (in whose house I lived with the family) didn’t have a scanner, but more likely I was too cocky a 22-year old to submit to any art-direction. I came to Canada as an Artist — not some lowly designer :-) Little did I know, little indeed.

Chinese Guy for a T-shirt

In 2002 I got my very first commission to draw an illustration. The people wanted to print a wise old Chinese guy as a small logo and some fortune-cookie-style phrases across the chest.

So I did some research (it was so long ago that I think it was Yahoo at the time):

old chinese guy in a hat

old chinese drawing of a government official of some sort

So I produced a few variations:

jolly guy in a hat hobo-looking guy Jesus-looking guy in a chinese hat skinny chinese guy

Those were drawn by hand, then scanned or photoed, and then I don’t remember what I did to them that the last two look strange.

The people who wanted to make t-shirts said something like: “We like that hat, and that face, the one that looks like Jesus. It’s even better if the guy doesn’t look too Chinese, so we can’t be called racist.” They were really nice people.

So they bought this one:

guy in a chinese hat

They said: “How much do you want?” I replied that I had no idea how much stuff like that was worth, and they offered $100. I said ok.

I also offered them some ideas about other t-shirt series, but those were too radical to their taste.