Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Portfolio Visit 10 - Jon Hill

Times Tour

Friday 23rd March, 2:00pm

With Jon Hill

On Friday me, Philippa and Becca went to the Times offices close to Tower Hill tube station for the guided tour of News International owned by Rupert Murdoch. The same guy, Jon Hill, who came into college and gave the Time talk last week kindly, gave up an hour of his precious time to guide us round. The offices surprisingly were less busy and chaotic than I expected. With the weather being so nice everyone had taken an early lunch before the real rush started from 4pm till the deadline around 10pm. As the tour was only at 2:00pm that will probably explain the lack of persons actually in the office, they would still be waiting for the news reports and latest information to come in.

It was interesting to see that the designers don’t have as much space to work in as I originally expected. They have a pc or a mac granted, but in terms of desk space they only have a normal desk not the huge table I have to work on at home and in the studio. I suppose thinking it through properly, a designer will work for the most part on the computer anyway and will not keep doing things manually and scanning them in like I do. There was an in-house artist practising who had his own desk and office space, he did the political cartoons for the newspaper and had won the best prize for best political cartoons for something like the last consecutive five years. The in-house illustrator however was away from her desk – just typical of my luck that on the one day I am in London and in the Times newspapers building she’s not there. There seemed to be much peace and tranquillity for the in-house cartoonist sat in his own office without the constant buzz from the television, he worked manually by painting his work and then scanning it in. I liked to see this as I often have the perception that not many artists work manually anymore, especially in an institution such as the Times who have such an expanse of technical know-how and software. Though relating to my earlier point about lack of desk space, the in-house artist had a much bigger area to work on probably due to his manual practising.

I was also surprised to see how many different desks there were; one for finance, one for property, one for foreign affairs etc etc. Not only were there an expanse of different desks but there were also three editors offices and on-site lawyers, health and money experts to offer specific assistance and guidelines for particular issues which could lead to court proceedings if not articulated correctly.

Last week Jon said to wave our portfolios at him towards the end of the tour and he or one of his colleagues would find some time to have a look through them and offer some feedback. Unfortunately, Jon and his team were extremely busy the day we went and so I felt rude asking for yet more of his time to look at my portfolio, it just didn’t seem right at the time. I know that it is best to strike whilst the iron is still hot but I think a quick email sometime with my PDF portfolio attached would be much better and more convenient for him. Overall, it was a bit disappointing to think that we didn’t manage to get our work in front of the professionals at the Times, but the tour of the building was insightful alone so not all was lost except a bit of time which wouldn’t have been spent better anywhere else anyway.

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