Today I was having a conversation with a friend elsewhere in the University. Being similar in nature and females in a male-dominant arena, we continue to stay in touch. I was lamenting my inability to use my skill sets in my current position that I worked long and hard to develop, and she totally opened my eyes to a painful truth: someone else in the same job I have, when asked what she did, said “I cut and paste all day.”
OMG. I knew it, but did we really have to say it out loud?
I’d like to be able to refute this, to say that I handle the production of the course after the designer has designed it, but some days, it’s hard to defend oneself against the Cold Hard Truth. It’s like the scene at the beginning of Chasing Amy, where the fan accuses Banky of being a tracer (as opposed to the one who actually draws the comic). I have to admit, the truth hurts. This is my life in a parallel universe:
Fan: So do you like draw this or something?
Banky: I ink it and I’m also the colorist. The guy next to me draws it, but we both came up with the characters. Next…
Fan: [snidely] What does that mean, you ink it?
Banky: Well, it means that Holden draws the pictures in pencil, and he gives it to me to go over in ink. Next…
Fan: So basically you just trace.
Banky: It’s eh…it’s not tracing, alright? I add depth and shading to give the image more definition. Only then does the drawing truly take shape.
Fan: No-no-no-no, you go over what he draws with a pen. That’s tracing.
Banky: Not really. Next…
Fan: [To next guy in the line] Hey man, let me ask you something. If somebody draws something, and you draw the exact same thing like, right on top of it, without going outside the original designated art, what do you call it?
Other Fan: I dunno man, tracing?
Fan: [Laughing, to Banky] See?!
Banky: [Losing patience, to Other Fan] You want your book signed or what?
Fan: Hey-hey-hey-hey-hey, don’t get all testy with him just because you got a problem with your station in life!
Banky: Oh, I’m secure with what I do.
Fan: Then just say it…you’re a tracer!
Banky: [To Other Fan] How should I sign this?
Other Fan: I don’t want you to sign it man, I want the guy who draws Bluntman & Chronic to sign it. You’re just a tracer.
Some days, life imitates art and mocks me cruelly.