In 2001, I graduated art school and grabbed a job right away to pay the bills. I was a graphic artist for a small newspaper here in the Bay Area, California. It didn’t pay much, but I had some great co-workers and I lived only 2 blocks from the office.
In 2003, just as things looked murky for the organization (outsourcing was a big concern), I was asked by my editor-in-chief to attend a press junket sponsored by a Big Asian Airline. Big companies do this often to drum up ad space and editorial ink to target their niche audiences, hoping the investment will pay off with return ticket sales.
My daily responsibilities included designing print ads, editorial layouts, photo editing, web editing etc. Why ask the graphic artist to attend a press junket in Asia? No one in the editorial department wanted to waste their time listening to sales pitches and possibly compromising ethical standards of journalism… mixing “business gifts” and trips with “real stories.”
Cool thing about me going, I was there strictly to take pictures. And for a brief stint half way around the world, I could be away from the office, far from worrying about my soon to be outsourced job.
I had a blast. The Big Asian Airline treated us well. They flew us to Taiwan and the Philippines, business class, and had us stay in 5 star hotels. It was such a wonderful break from the stress and worry, I look back and figure it was probably part of a pre-severence gift they could afford to give me. I came back to the Bay Area refreshed and a tad bit more aligned.
I am no longer at the newspaper. I am still working as graphic artist in the Bay Area for a pretty darn stable County organization (with great people too!). When I think things are going tough at my job, I think back and remember that trip to Asia in 2003.
(Above image: Taiwanese school boys on a field trip to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall)
(above images: Both in Taiwan – girl in toyshop, dim sum in downtown Taipei.)
(above images: Taiwan – Fine Arts Museum grounds; Philippines – Corregidor Island lighthouse.)
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