Based in New York Richard A Goldberg is a professional graphic designer working in the field for thirty years. His vibrant innovative designs have made his work recognizable and well appreciated for its unique and humorous style. We met him on his trip to Greece and had the opportunity to talk to him about his work.
1. Did you study on a common field or are you self-taught?
As a child, I always drew pictures. I was the kid in the class who drew the pictures of naked woman to entertain my friends in the 6th grade. I was attracted to the visual humor of sophisticated publications such as Mad Magazine and The New Yorker. My academic interests where towards the sciences. I never took an art class until I was at the university level. At the University of Connecticut, a room mate was an art major who would come back from class with the most interesting assignments, such as composing a drawing with eggs or drawings of other interesting things and I thought I would give it a try. I switched to a Bachelor of Fine Arts major and never looked back.
2. Tell us about your work? What s the main idea?
My work is about communicating concepts. I love to translate an abstract idea into a visual interpretation of that idea. I find that a humorous outlook makes the translation more fun to work on and for the audience to view.
3. How long have you been working on that field?
Since 1980. Yikes, 30 years!
4. What inspires you?
Other artists who draw better, think better and have more fun than I do!
5. What are the difficulties in being successful?
Longevity. How to keep consistent but still grow throughout the years.
6. How can you make your work available to people?
The web offers many different markets and places where I can get my work in front of people. Another thing I do is lease my images to manufacturers of greeting cards, home goods, and other products and then they appear in different retail markets.
7. Do the new technologies help globalize availability of your work?
8. Do you get response globally or is it mostly a local thing?
9. Did you imagine of following this career as a child?
As a child I thought I wanted to be an architect. It wasn’t till I was in college that I saw my path.
10. What was your best project?
A corporate client called Arthur D Little. They were management consultants and I illustrated a quarterly publication for them called Prism. I had this relationship for 10 years. I always worked very closely with the editor and it was a real collaboration. High paying too!
11. Is it a lonely work?
Not any more. With the internet, we have our friends right there at our fingertips.
12. Tell us about the advantages and disadvantages
One advantage of freelancing is freedom. Freedom to do what I want, when I want. Another advantage, is working where ever I want.
The disadvantage is unpredictable cash flow and not knowing where the next dollar is coming in.
13. What are the tools you use are they different from the past?
Photoshop and vector programs like Flash. Digital programs allow artists to experiment more on deadline as we can always ‘undo’. I love undo!
14. Is it similar to being a painter or not?
Illustration is not similar to painting as we are always working on someone’s needs. The client needs a drawing to explain a point or sell a product. I come in with my visual vocabulary and try to tell my client’s story my way. Painting to me means my story only.
"illustration takes many forms. RAG is pushing his illustration to animation. Animation is more of a 21st century medium that is getting more popular as the web grows daily into traditional print media."
RAG's main client for greeting cards. Great Arrow producesare screened cards that are available at better retail outlets primarily in the North American market
You can buy some gifts here
Interview by Vasiliki Kappa
See the next page (CV)
Richard A Goldberg
RAG is artist Richard A Goldberg. RAG grew up under the influence of Mad Magazine, Warner Brothers cartoons, and the New Yorker Magazine. RAG creates artwork for publishers, advertisers, and corporations. His style translates concepts into humorous, thought provoking art which enables his client’s messages to be memorable and effective. RAG also supplies the licensing industry with images that will amuse, enlighten, and hopefully make the world a better place for manufactured goods. RAG also has a deep appreciation of single malt whiskey.
• Thirty years experience as a successful professional freelance illustrator specializing in translating complex concepts into images that communicate and entertain.
• Offers full range of visual communication services: design; illustration; licensing; characters; and web-based animation and design.
• Particular skill in creative communication of abstract concepts to sell BtoB and BtoC products and services.
• Specializes in the collaborative process, adding value to clients through design and development of images and output that generate results in the marketplace.
• Provides sophisticated conceptual illustrations to many industries, including software, telecommunications, financial services, management consulting, legal services, corporate communications, packaging, consumer publications, editorial commentary, tourism and advertising, and other applications.
• Experienced project manager, team collaborator, and team leader and motivator.
• Excellent client/stakeholder relationship management skills.
SKILLS AND PROFICIENCIES
Artistic Media Electronic Media
• Pen and Ink • Photoshop
• Hand lettering and specialized type • InDesign
• Watercolor • Flash
• Gouache • Dreamweaver
• Design and layout • Illustrator
December 2007 to present
Launched RAGanimation. A full service animation studio with writing, music, sound, design and animation professionals capable of creating FLASH animation for the advertising, publishing, corporate and educational markets.
Launched RAGmedia. Under the 100% RAG banner, RAGmedia licenses images to the Stationery, Tabletop, and Publishing markets and creates commissioned illustration for the publishing, corporate, and advertising markets.
January 1999 to Present
Established the company CommuniCharacters with partner writer Robin Brecker. CommuniCharacters produces and licenses comic characters and comic strips and provides comical communication services for the corporate and advertising marketplace. Website: http://www.communicharacters.com/ – note: also designed and developed entire website.
September 1999 to Present
Created Hatman, a comic strip syndicated by I-Syndicate.
February 1999 to Present
Developed Mental Image, a single panel cartoon strip syndicated by I-Syndicate.
1980 to the Present
Professional freelance illustrator for a diverse range of national and international clients from a wide variety of industries, most notably, publishing, and advertising. Color and B&W style illustrates concepts in a humorous, sophisticated way. Particular strength is the ability to transform complex concepts into drawings that succinctly communicate with appropriate audiences. Work appears in a multitude of formats, including newspapers, magazines, print advertising, marketing and informational brochures, trade show displays, video sales tools, books, posters, displays, software and product packaging, internal corporate communications and electronic media.
Chief Graphic Designer, Wallace Floyd Associates, Boston MA
Head of the Graphic Design department at Wallace Floyd Associates, architects/planners. Instituted department responsible for marketing and internal publications support, producing client presentations, portfolio project collateral, and various other design needs.
REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
• 2009 2008 2007 2006 Accepted into the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition
• 2009: Completed book: ABCs of AL, children's book.
• 2007: Made mass market penetrations through High Cotton, a manufacturer of novelty home goods and Peggy Karr Glass Company, a plate manufacturer.
• 2005: Illustrator for Great Arrow Greeting Card Company, a high quality silk screen manufacturer of greeting cards.
• 2004: Illustrated several books for Peter Pauper Press.
• 2000: Illustrator for on line greeting card company, Print Quick.
• 1999-2000: Illustrator for The Girl Scouts of America leadership and member manuals and magazine.
• 1999-2003: Illustrator for The New York Times Special Advertising Sections for Online Shopping.
• 1989 to 1999: Sole Illustrator for Prism, an Arthur D Little quarterly journal of cutting edge management techniques. Illustrations explored themes such as Leadership and the Accelerating Organization; Building Global Capability; Creating The High Performance Company.
• 1999: Illustrator for Help! My Apartment Has a Dining Room, published by Houghton Mifflin. A sequel to 1996 project to illustrate Chapters Publishing title Help! My Apartment has a Kitchen!
• 1996 to 1998: Advertising campaign for Foamex International that promoted their foam products to numerous industries. Included in the campaign were drawings for trade ads, point of purchase displays, annual report, and various brochures and posters.
• 1996: Illustrated video for Regis Retirement on the subject of investing.
• 1996: Illustrated Drawings and Hand-lettered Titles for an Electronic Interactive Game exhibit for Macmillan Publishers.
• 1995: Illustrated major campaign for the 3M Corporation to advertise their electronic storage cartridges. Project included large (5ft.X 10ft.) trade show displays and extensive print ads and collateral.
• 1994: Illustrated ½ page comic for MAD Magazine.
3M Inc. Magazine
Arthur D Little Inc Lockheed Martin
Atlas Zeutschriften Verlag (Vienna) Marian Heath Greeting Card Co.
Burston Marsteller Marsteller Advertising
Cahners Publishing Motorola
Chapters Publishing Notre Dame Magazine
Chicago Mercantile Exchange OppenheimerFunds
CIO Magazine Peggy Karr Glass Company
Computer World Peter Pauper Publishers
Delaware Investments Random House
GalaxyOnline.com Regis Retirement
Girl Scouts of America St. Gobain
Golf Digest Tennis Magazine
Great Arrow Greeting Card Co The New York Times
Hale and Dorr, LLP TIAA-CREF
High Cotton Wall Street Journal
Hill Holliday Washington Post
Houghton Mifflin Publishers Worth Magazine
Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of Connecticut, 1978
Member, Illustrators Partnership of America
Member, Society of Illustrators
President, Graphic Artists Guild, Boston Chapter, 2000-2002
Member, Massachusetts Media Interactive Council
Instructor, Design and Illustration, the Art Institute of Boston, 1992/1993