I moved to Boston in 2000 to go to art school. After 5 weeks I quit school. I was 26 years old and I had no idea what the hell I was going to do with the $10.000 of debt that will haunt me until maybe someday I can pay for those 5 shitty weeks. I had been living in Providence and working making 9 dollars an hour as a graphic artist redesigning logos and making cheesy graphics for a glassware company.
When I moved to Boston to go to school I got a job through a temp agency that placed me at the Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams Lager. My job was to design menu cards for the infinite number of bars that got free menus from Sam Adams in exchange for pushing their beer.
It was in a huge city building, I think on the 8th floor. Although I was 26 years old, I was still completely mesmerized with anything "big city". I was excited also to be making $13 and hour.
I was the turd in the punchbowl in that place. As presentable and straight-laced that I tried to appear, there was nothing I could to do to fit in with a staff of frat boys. Oddly enough, while on the job, you were allowed to drink as much Boston Beer Company brand beers and other drinks from a massive fridge that never went empty. This was good in some ways because I could more easily sustain things such as the ridicule I received from the diphsits I worked with for the simple act of getting a sunburn over the weekend or for wearing the same shirt two days in a row.
So when I left school I was in desperate need for money and in the course of a few weeks, combined my drawings, comics, and some half-ass graphic design layouts into some semblance of a portfolio.
Looking back at my blissful ignorance I find it pretty funny that it made perfect sense to me to cold call every graphic design company in the Yellow Pages until one of them told me they were hiring. I had no shred of professionalism whatsoever. It wasn't until I reached the "F's" that I got my foot in the door at a company called, Fiction, when a confused recently hired receptionist named Jason Sanford told me to email my portfolio to the head designer.
Somehow I talked myself into a job there, but they didn't pay me much. My days at Fiction ended up lasting a little over 2.5 years until the 911 attacks where we all sat around a tv set wondering if our business guy Joel may have been in one of the planes because he flew out of Logan at the same exact time. I rode my bike on a nearly empty Commonwealth Ave after waking up late with no idea what was going on. I got up the stairs on the top floor of our building to see the beginning of the towers falling and I watched fighter jets fly by our big rooftop windows.
It was about a year until the American office folded, but Thomas, the head design went to carry on the company in Germany where they make all sorts of commercials. I went without being paid for months in an attempt to keep the place alive. I gave up after awhile and decided that a career in any sort of agency wasn't for me, so I got back into screen-printing and began making rock posters for the friends I had made through Jason Sanford.
Anyway, long story short, Jason Sanford is the original main man behind the (literally) art rock band called Neptune. Jason has been creating instruments out of scrap metal for years. Neptune has relentlessly toured and put out numerous recordings.
When I moved to Boston and failed at school and then watched my job disappear along side Jason, it was a pretty uncertain time. I feel like Jason and I became great friends after the collapse of our jobs there and I can say that he was a major inspiration for doing my own thing.