By Mary Kerr
I’ve recently discovered a new vocation. I’ve found a new energy and passion coursing through my veins that I didn’t know I had. A passion that if I harness I could use to become a one woman fighting machine, sent out to take down terrorists, criminals and petty thieves. Just put me in a room with Adobe Illustrator for a few hours and the immense rage that gathers inside of me is one of such force that if directed well – I will take out anyone. Set me up with a YouTube tutorial explaining the pen tool and within minutes you can send me out and I will obliterate moped crime. A day spent hanging out with illustrator and I become a 1980s Ninja Manga cartoon, screaming in silence as the background flashes behind me.
To explain it in a less violent light I would say that illustrator and I are not playing nice – not yet anyway. I had approached this new relationship with huge enthusiasm and personally feel that despite my daily efforts it seems that we just don’t get one another. So I found a girl, with a dragon tattoo and some adobe skills, to come help focus me instead of my usual sitting, fantasising about what YouTube tutorialists do for fun. This proved a good move and I definitely know Adobe better. Premiere feels like an old family relative reminding you how to ride a bike after you’ve had amnesia (I used to use Final Cut.) Photoshop, also with its kind step by step tutorials, is like hanging out with a fun magician. But Illustrator… what happened? It’s like the stoned older brother who just won’t make any effort. He’s even greyed out his option to help out. So equipped with a tutorial blasting out of my iPhone and illustrator on my laptop I’ve been making small circular steps and creating what would definitely have looked good on a t shirt in the 80s. I feel that even if we have the same goal in mind, illustrator and I have very different ideas about how we want to achieve it.
When working with all these programs I’m coming to respect the importance of labels. When I was at film school and used Final Cut, I always likened my editing to making a cake. A pretty cake that everyone enjoyed but that if anyone went into the kitchen (my computer files and labelling systems)…the horror they would face would be unbearable. The girl with the dragon tattoo said that my filing system made her want to cry. I said that Adobe made me want to cry. She then got a proper job offer and left. So now here I am. Sitting on what feels like my 26th play date. Not sure what we’re going to do today and a bit worried that we will go down the usual route where I suggest something and half an hour later lose my cool and wonder if I would survive if I jumped over the balcony. That is where this force of energy comes from. This powerhouse of frustration and I will use it. For the good of the people. I will either learn to tame Illustrator or you will find me on the streets – ‘crime fighter of fury.’ That will be my label.