“Here, Take All the Time You Want”

September 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments

So, somewhere during a particularly busy summer workwise, I fell in love with a French tumblr hilariously lamenting the pitfalls of the freelance life. It’s called “My Mason Was an Illustrator (And He Kept Some Good Habits),” the idea being that the absurdity and abusiveness of certain contractual terms, which clients regularly ask of freelancers without batting an eye, would be plain as day if displaced into a context of more material labor. The titular mason, his submissive “good habits” intact from years of soul-crushing illustration work, knows his place. Having fully flagellated this horse of a joke past death by overexplanation, I’ll stop here, and just give an example I translated in tribute, which lends its title to this post:

Ma macon ENG - double delai

The series of simple, single-panel cartoons that with their laddered, rapid-fire dialogue and faceless figures recall a clip art Ruppert & Mulot. I won’t claim I’ve personally suffered all the indignities the Mason has at clients’ hands, but the problems depicted are very real in creative and other less “tangible” industries–which only makes the comics bitterer and funnier. The creator, who self-identifies as a “freemason-illuminatustrator,” said in an interview at the lit/design/typography review Tind, “As a doodler, I owe it to myself to be a whiner, and I love complaining. In reality, there’s nothing wrong; everything’s great.” His punchlines are similarly straightfaced.

As a creator, he anticipated my unlicensed tribute in this cartoon, a paean to web ethics: “Use this image, I love it, I found it online…”

Ma macon ENG - visuel net

As a designer, I hope he’ll forgive me the hash I’ve made of his art with my limited means (read: Microsoft Paint) by lettering with Arial rather than Helvetica.

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