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Pepe and the Yakuza

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Here’s a couple of adorable photos of Pepe the Cat from Shisso. He wishes you love and kitty kisses.

Well, today is Valentine’s Day. This is the first Valentine’s Day I’ve been single for three years, but to tell you the truth, it really doesn’t matter, ‘coz I have big plans to get some freelance work done tonight. I’m doing some trial illustrations for a music production company I jokingly/affectionately refer to as the Yakuza (but I don’t think they really are). Anyway, first met with them a few weeks ago in a tiny production studio in a little part of Boston called Allston (Allston Rock City to those who know and love/despise it well).

The guys who run the studio and I met on Craigslist after I had posted a message advertising my graphic design/poster/rock art stuff with a link to my website, pocheco.us. They responded right away and seemed really interested in meeting up with me to discuss my work. Excited at the prospect of working for a production company, I quickly emailed them back and we set up a time to meet.

The night of the meeting (two Wednesdays ago), I hopped out on the B Line T to Harvard Ave and started walking down the street to where I thought their offices would be located. I had a map and their address, but upon reaching the place where their offices were supposed to be, it seemed as though the building didn’t exist. The number before it was on the corner of the street, and after I crossed the street, there was a church, and then the office buildings disappeared and turned into residential. Scratching my head, I decided get out of the cold for a moment to consider my map and eat some pizza.

The considering didn’t help, and I was running up and down the streets in desperate search of their building as my meeting time with them, 8pm, rapidly approached, but to no avail. Just as I was about to give up, I glanced over at the church mentioned earlier and noticed that some kids were outside drinking beer and smoking. Curious as to what kind of church party allowed getting wasted, I walked toward the side of the church where they were gathered. I heard music coming from inside. It was conspicuously NOT church-type music. I entered the building to a full blown concert on a stage with about 200 people in the room and the lights dimmed.

It seemed as though I had not just stepped into a church, but some sort of rock club! I walked around until I found someone I thought worked there, and asked them about the company I was supposed to meet with. She paused to consider a moment, and then beckoned me to follow her up some stairs. We wove around and around this tiny wooden staircase, up flights and through corridors, and I was beginning to wish I had started a trail of string back to the entrance in case I need to get out of their quickly.

The music became muffled and then faded completely, and we finally turned into a doorway, squeezed pass some sullen-faced musicians crowding around a drumset, and then she stopped and introduced me to a short man with a kind face, before leaving me there with him alone. I was just a bit concerned and skeptic about the whole situation. But he was nice and invited me into a tiny tiny studio, upon where I was asked to remove my shoes, but was given a pair of warm fuzzy slippers. I put them on, and turned to face the two other men in the room.

Both Japanese Berklee graduates, the two guys seemed kind and bright. They asked me to sit down, and then began to tell me a little bit about their studio and the work they did.

With no little bit of dread did I fear that, being located in a church, that they were some sort of religious production company. Thank god they were not, but were just renting out the studio (and the stage) for their business.

After basic introductions, I brought out my portfolio and showed them some pieces not featured on my website. I noticed that they had printed out screenshots of my website as well. The three men then spent the next two hours giving me their full attention as I started talking about my work and my style with art, what I knew about computers, etc. They also showed me quite extensive amounts of their work, and repeated about a thousand times that they were intent on being professional.

Of course that sounded a bit fishy, but upon inspecting a whole line of their products, including highly-saturated girlie photography, glamorous, expensive hip hop videos and glizty, over-produced pop music, not to mention the impressive list of clients they had, I was convinced that Professional may indeed be what they were.

The three guys flashed me a bunch of high numbers and juicy contract proposals, but none of that really got me excited because even though I’m new to this business, I know that like anything, you probably have to work your way to the top. It was quite different than I had expected, I’ll admit: I thought they were going to be a little crappy studio promoting no-name local acts with a small budget. Turns out they have millions of dollars and have worked with Snoop Dog.

And all of this brought to me through the twisted six-degrees-of-separation type action from the Societal Blender that is Craigslist.

Anyway, they seemed to like my work, and asked me to do a few trial drawings for them. Admittedly, the stuff they asked me to do isn’t all that original or interesting (iPod style drawings of a girl with a microphone) but I intend to jazz it up a little in hopes of impressing them. Anyway, I told them I would get back to them in two weeks, and here we are, 12 days later, and I’m just starting the project.

Ty.pi.cal.

Actually, I’m getting better about not procrastinating these days, but seriously, the past few weeks have been sooo busy. Ariana and I have had parties the last four weeks and we’ve been having book club and many other events in between. Plus I keep getting distracted by the Olympics when I’m at home.

So I’ve decided that I’m staying at the office tonight, in hopes of keeping myself focused on getting these sketches ready to present to them Thursday.

Wish me luck!

I’ll post them when I have them done. In the mean time, have a great Valentine’s Day!

Currently listening to Weather Systems by Andrew Bird

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Written by pocheco

February 14, 2006 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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