Saturday, April 12
As luck would have it…
How serendipitous—Hilary emailed me asking if I knew where to get a picture of a kid hugging a dog. She’s in the middle of designing another label for her client, Blind Dog Coffee Roasters in Reno. She had already had me take a picture of what we call Solar Hill for the label. It’s one of those idealized country scenes with the perfect oak tree on the perfect rounded hill.
I suggested the infinite Internet for her picture of a kid hugging a dog. I knew she could fake the dog, being the owner of Blind Dog’s actual mascot, her dog Sioux. The label will be for a new blend called Tanner’s Roast. It features a kid who has had to have major surgery on his eyes due to a cancer that would make him blind. The Blind Dog people contribute part of their profits from the sale of coffee to help fight childhood cancers, and are dedicating this edition of their coffee to a youngster named Tanner.
Turns out the Internet was slim pickings. So since we had visitors with two kids here, I grabbed Karla’s wombat toy I had brought back from Australia in 2000 and told the kids to act like it’s a dog, sit on a rock, and look off into their futures. I emailed the photos to Hilary and she decided on the one to use and got back to work, thankful that serendipity still works, even in the remote reaches of the foothills. The immediacy of the Internet is just magic. In the “old days” of fifteen or twenty years ago, this would have been a major undertaking. I can still smell the pungency of rubber cement in the pasteup room, later replaced by hot wax. Pasteup actually had meaning then, what with the cutting and sticking down of pieces of photos and drawings and expensive typography. And the smell of photographic fixer in the darkroom. To get the effects so easily accomplished in Photoshop, I used some pretty vile chemistry, like ferrocyanide! I’m surprised I’m still alive. To clean film, we used carbon tetrachloride like it was water. Well, you can drown in water, but carbon tet was slower in getting the same result. I’m surprised I’m still alive. Oh, I already said that. Luckily, nothing of that stuff has had any effect on me, but still, I’m surprised I’m still alive. Oh, I already said that.
But still, I’m surprised I’m still sane and normal. Really surprised, actually. To be perfectly normal, that is. Surprised.