Report by a new illustrator
At 9:05 I step inside Today Branding Design Agency.
On the first morning, I listen to Robbert speaking enthusiastically about the ambitious goals for the coming year. About Today’s rebranding and repositioning. About B Corp, the Project Managers and the MT. But also about a job for the Grafisch Lyceum Utrecht.
Between the lines and the acronyms, I get the feeling that it’s a fun and modern company where job satisfaction is important, colleagues are valued for their diversity, and where everyone does their utmost to create beautiful designs and catchy stories.
I spend the first two days shaking lots of hands and seeing new faces. I must have opened the ‘About Us’ page a dozen times to learn the names of all my new colleagues. The first three mornings begin with presentations, onboarding, chats and meetings. All that information buzzes around in my head as I sit behind the computer in the afternoon.
An unread email from Bob. Adjustments to Infrastructure and Water Management. I open the folder on the server, make a to-do list, formulate a few questions and open Illustrator. It all feels a little awkward. But fortunately, the program works almost like it does at home. Something familiar when everything else is new.
The second week flies by. Making a storyboard, table football, listening to presentations, eating hummus, setting up a laptop, a detour via Arnhem station, becoming digitally connected. And on Thursday afternoon we down a few bottles of beer.
I realise this is something I could get used to!
By my third week, I start to get used to things. When I enter the studio, I recognise the hard-working faces and can put names to them. My work week begin with an intensive course on being an illustrator from Colin. We look for inspiration. He teaches me a number of handy keyboard shortcuts. And he walks me through my new role as Illustrator.
I don’t take the train on Wednesday. I send Sophie a message the night before, and we drive to Utrecht together by car. She tells me how she’d started out at Today as an intern two years earlier and had stuck like a limpet. The car ride flies by!
The U-ov project is off our hands for now. Astrid’s been sent the PDF. Melissa, Today’s veteran project manager, is sitting at my desk. She gives me the new job of making isometric illustrations of hospital equipment. Later in the day I get an email from Astrid. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is in urgent need of an infographic. Up till now, all my jobs have been really varied. Different styles, different formats and totally different goals. I love all this diversity!
On Friday afternoon, we wrap up the week in spectacular style. I hold the table football figures upright as Bob shoots from the rear putting the heat on the opposition. Boom! Crash! Whoosh! The ball shoots through the air and lands spectacularly in Ben’s shirt pocket.