Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Hi! Paula Scher right?...Um, Hey did You Know We Recently Became Friends on Facebook?"

My signed copy of Make it Bigger accompanied by espressolino

Freshman year of "art school" (sorry that always sounds so pretentious) -- I can remember Professor Frisco getting ready to tell us about our next assignment, the very same day we handed the previous one in. "Now for this next assignment, you're going to receive a name of an artist who I feel suits your style best. You will be required to design a book, d.v.d, case and..." As he went on about the topic -- I remembered thinking "Oh brother, none of these people do anything with their own hands anymore! I can't even open this Photoshop nonsense! What the heck am I going to do?!? " Another moment passed and Professor Frisco announces: "Maria - you'll be assigned Paula Scher -- she has a hand quality touch I think you'll appreciate".
Atlas of the World Maps & Paula Scher

Cigarette poster for AIGA Raleigh chapter, 1994

Bang! It was love at first "type". I was so happy to have a female designer. Not that it mattered, but at that time I was curious to know what kind of people the design world consisted of. From what I could observe, the answer seemed governed predominantly by men. Now why do I love Paula so much? Take a look at her maps of the world and cigarette poster. Her attention to detail, ability to marry fine art with design, along with her bold bad ass courage to put her name on a cigarette to tell you HEY WATCH OUT I"M COMIN' TO TOWN -- now that's why. What a tough cookie she is and I love it! Everything about her is admirable -- even her flaws. After watching a video on Paula recounting "the citi bank tale", I came home and told my parents about a designer who drew the logo on a napkin, walked into a meeting, and basically said "this is it".  My father's response was "Just eat your dinner". I knew early on, that I should aspire to be something like her -- whatever that means. Any who, I researched all I could, visited every Barnes and Nobles/Borders in he city in order to purchase her book Make it Bigger (which at that time, was only sold at the Borders in Columbus Circle), read it cover to cover,  spent most of my time trying to recreate whatever was in that book, and continued along with my days being forever influenced by Paula...

Copy of Make it Bigger on my bookshelf

Three years later -- On November 1st, 2010 I attended an AIGA event at FIT where Marian Bantjes presented her new book "I Wonder". The event began with an introduction by Paula Scher. Now don't get me wrong, Marian Banjtes is fantastic -- her work speaks for itself -- but to be honest, I was too overwhelmed from the idea of Paula being there. Ooops? I brought out my copy of Make It Bigger, left the doors at FIT and soon heard her voice directly in front of me (okay maybe this wasn't so coincidental, and your point?). I dragged my friends along until I built the courage to leap on over, tap her shoulder and say "Hi! Paula Scher right? Well I know this event was about Marian and all, but, well, I was hoping you would be here to sign my book. (While agreeing and signing)...Um, hey did you know we recently became friends on Facebook?" She laughed, we chatted, it was lovely....

Same deal -- Autographed copy of Make it Bigger with espressolino
I can now die happily.

Till next time,

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