Hazards of graphic design

I get my stitches out Monday. Or, on Monday I will take my stitches out. (I was a doctor’s assistant once for 8 months and did that more times that I can count) Yes. Stitches. Last Friday I was getting ready for two different festivals last weekend. I have done a series of new ink and arylic art and thought I’d get all fancy schmancy with my friend’s super duper nice matte cutter. Two days before I cut 25 exquisite mattes with bevel openings. (Those of you in the field are all SO jealous right now, I can feel it) So Friday night I was inserting the little cute wonderful paintings in (which sold quite well at $20 a pop, thank you very much!) and inserting them into nice sealable poly bags. (presentation is everything) Well, this one matte was not quite right. The front was an entire 1/32 TOO BIG. Well, us graphic designers we are an anal, perfectionistic bunch – don’t EVEN try to deny it! You all know you can see when a picture is hanging 1/64 crooked from across a room. I mean we LOVE for finding and fixing this stuff. So I HAVE to fix it. Of course. Of course I do. So I get out a shiny new xacto blade (you do see where this is going, don’t you?) and a ruler. Now yes, there are rules for this stuff. We were taught over and over in art school. But sometimes when you have been doing it for like, oh 9 years you get a bit cocky. Too confident. Overzealous with the blade perhaps. You think that you are all that and talking on the phone which is balancing on your sholder while you cut a very thick 2-ply matte and are watching tv and sitting on the couch leaning over a board on your ottoman is certainly something someone of your experience, nay, CALIBER can handle. Until. Until the knife handle slips and you are suddenly looking at a very bloody thumb. As you throw the phone down to cup your thumb (have to protect the art, ya know) and run to the kitchen hoping against hope that it is just a nick, you run it under water. As the blood clears you see that this is no knick and Barbie bandaids ain’t gonna cut it. (no pun intended, but ha!) And boy am I mad! It is 9pm and this is going to really cut into production time. So off to the hospital I go with handtowel wrapped around what is now a very hurting thumb. I see the doctor pretty quickly. First I tell him that perhaps it does not need stitches. He asks to see. He looks at me, looks at my thumb and looks at me again. “Are you serious??” he asks with raised eyebrow. “Uh, yeah, anything Barbie Bandaids can’t handle?” I hope. He asks if I ever had stiches before. Broken bones galore, but stitches – no. “Well, tonite you will most definitely need stitches.” He asked if I had a tetnus shot in the last 5 years. Um, well 9 years ago I did in art school for cutting off the tip of my index finger doing the same thing. (no stitches there – nothing to put together) “Are you a graphic designer?” he asks. “Yes, how did you know?” “We see this alot, you guys have quite the job hazard.” Ahhh yes, yes we do, right up there with industrial arts teachers and wood carvers. So three hours, seven stitches (count ’em seven! with 2 right through my nail! I sliced my thumb up from the inside pad up half way through the nail), a tetnus shot and probably a good $300 later, I went home and finished matting my art. And I still finished cutting off that pesky 1/32 from my baord. I told you we are an perfectionistic breed. And I did so well at my festivals that I consider my frankenstein-looking thumb my lucky thumb now.

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