(Eugene) Howard Johnson (III)
At a nearby university I teach undergrads the art and craft of typography, digital drawing and digital image manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign as well as Fontlab’s Typetool3. I design my own courses using Blackboard and Camtasia Studio. I have been doing this since 2001. The courses are mostly face-to-face, but I sometimes run an online section. I earned an M.Ed. in applied technology in 2012. I freelance some. I always have and will continue to draw for myself.
Keeping up, learning new skill-sets, became a skill-set in itself, sometimes seeming to be the most important one. Perhaps it is, but it is not the only one. So as much as I investigate the “new” by keeping the newest versions on my machine and trying things I’ve never done before, I research the “old” by trying out others’ ideas via tutorials, and by wandering around, taking noting of and “borrowing” what I see in museums, online, books, wherever. I try to keep practiced in the basics, the really old stuff, art history, philosophy, even life-drawing, to better judge what to keep and keep up with.
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1981-2012: Illustrator /designer at a Mid-Atlantic “metro” newspaper: Computers invaded the newsroom in the late 80s, then Photoshop etc. took over the art department in the mid 90s. I continued to design pages and make illustrations but with mouse and monitor not pen and paper. Most of my work was for the print product, but by the 00s, it often found its way to the website as well. Mostly, I used Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand and QuarkXpress there until my job was soon to be outsourced and I took the company up on an early-retirement offer.
1975-1981: Artist at a mid-sized New England newspaper: I designed pages and made illustrations that were both satisfying artistically and put food on the table. Even then the skill sets required to do this were changing all the time, but keeping up was half the fun.
1970-1975: Artist/designer at a couple of Midwestern job shops and ad agencies: I designed pages and made illustrations there. I freelanced too and began, in earnest, to draw for/about myself experimenting with all sorts of techniques.
1966-1970: College education-the beginning: I began as an industrial design major a large Midwestern university slowly moving towards the artier side, therefore my B.A. is in fine arts. I learned the traditional arts of printmaking in class and the state-of-the-art techniques of it at the student newspaper.
1962-1966: High school: In my Midwestern suburb I was an average college-prep student who did surprisingly well on standardized tests. The only art I made, I made for and by myself because the art courses at school were of the potato-print sort. I was on the swim team and a drummer in a rock band. But weren’t we all?
Before 1962: My ancestry: If you go back far enough, all my progenitors were puritan farmers. My parents were among the first of them to get college degrees. My father was an engineer; my mother’s degree was in nutrition. Their avocations were photography and painting respectively. They accepted and encouraged, again respectively, my leanings toward a career in art.
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My portfolio is always a work in progress. Most of which is here, more work-for-others stuff is available. As are the names of institutions and corporations alluded to herein. I’m a skeptic, cynical and prone to irony, but you’ve probably figured that out already. But other than that, I don’t think I have any (really) bad habits, unless you count this blog or reading above my pay grade.