The SEMA Show retains the same schedule from year to year. It’s not as though the dates are randomly selected as a part of some ritual dependent upon just how the chicken bones land on the calendar in some tent at the county fair or what the average diameter of giant spinning wheels is at the DUB Show when divided by the wattage of the stereo in your cousin’s friend’s bitchin’ Eclipse; it’s an annual event, subject to some form or another of tradition.
That understood, explain to me just why in the fuck year after year am I subjected to an almost endless stream of possibly brain-damaged douchebags calling and emailing looking for conceptual art, logos, cards and other work within the FINAL weeks leading to the show? I mean barely enough time to conceptualize anything, much less produce anything. Even worse is the utter disrespect and anger that these pricks show when I explain that “no, I’m currently double-booked as it is, and that means 18-20 hour days already, and no time for your last-minute afterthought.”
Quote of the week: “What’s a few more all-nighters to help a bro?”
First, I don’t have a brother. And if I did just discover long-lost sibling who has waited forty-plus years to contact me, much less just weeks before THE major trade show of the year and needing a logo and shirts and cards for his “shop” as they display a vehicle (side note: If you’re “having a car at SEMA”, and as yet have NO logo for your “shop”, you are either full of shit, buying your way in or just one heck of a loser in the grand scheme, and destined to fail), I’d invite his sorry ass to wait another forty-plus to call again, fuck him very much. His poor planning is most definitely not my problem. I truly couldn’t care less. I’ll probably devote more time to wondering just how the life of that mosquito that flew into my ear last Summer is going than whether or not you found someone else to dupe into creating artwork for you based on promises you can never hope to make good on.
Furthermore, as I state each year around this time (gosh! It’s almost SEMA Show time!), if you’re posting hundreds of photos to Instagram and Facebook about your “SEMA thrash” and how gosh-darned tired you are and how it sucks, you are a fucking idiot. You chose it, you procrastinated, and you have chosen to spend time away from said project to play on social media, delaying any progress. You should re-think your life, asshole. You got time to play on a social site? Then you have time to finish the fucking thing and get some rest.
In summary: Three weeks to design, produce and ship all of your graphics needs utilizing the twenty minutes per day that I may or may not be able to squeeze in while neglecting my family even more than usual is not enough time. Your poor planning is but one symptom of the terminal condition you make others suffer along with you: Self-imposed suffering in the hope of some glory via a tiny photo in some magazine’s annual “SEMA SHOW COVERAGE!!” Good luck with that. Hugs and kisses as always,
P.S. Oh yeah: #semathrash
Oh, SEMA, you bring out the best in me.
Today’s topic: A Half-Dozen Helpful Tips on Fitting in Where You Obviously Don’t Belong — This Means YOU, Guy Who Either Mooched a Pass or Works Somewhere on the Very Fringe of the Industry (ATTN: Guy Who Supplies Thumb Tacks to the Local Auto Parts Store)
1. Don’t grab every pen, Post-It pad, sticker, magnet, ruler, sippy cup, catalog, magazine, DVD, keychain, light-up mascara case, sunglasses clip, lanyard, really tiny pouch to hold, well, really tiny things that you grab at other booths, or extra bags as you stroll by every booth… much less HANDFULLS of them. This tells me that you’re either a complete douchebag, or that you are a hoarder, and yes, probably also a douchebag.
2. Speaking of extra bags, that giant-size tote you’re hauling (with 1/3 of your giant mass listing to starboard to compensate) makes it easier to spot you from afar when I’m looking for outsiders to walk in front of as they take a photo with their flip-phone at mid-stride. There is no fine line between grabbing a few things and EVERY GOD DAMN THING YOU COME UPON. Rather, it’s a giant, conscious leap to make, and your chances of sticking that landing are as good as, well, the next item on our list…
3. No, Skippy, Miss Valve Stem 2014 wasn’t really into you, or super-excited to have another photo shot with you. While you may think that the previous 400 lard-ass, hangers-on waiting an hour to meet her and get that poster were but a warm-up to your brilliant entrance, lugging 3 metric tons of promotional materials and bashing that load into her leg, you can rest assured that all she’s thinking is “only four more hours today, and but three more days until I can cash that check! And why does this guy smell like stress balls and catalog paper, mixed with onions and Axe spray?”
While the people who actually BELONG AT THE SHOW and are WORKING are trying to squeeze past you and the 400 others just like you to get to a meeting, just know that you SHOULD take it personally when I mutter “get the fuck out of my way” to you. That week isn’t play time. It’s feed my family time. Stay home, and look at pictures of booth girls on your favorite forum between taking jabs at cars you’ll never have the skill to build, you pile of shit.
4. Stopping, mid-stride in a busy aisle to text your bros isn’t the wisest idea. I forces me to pretend that I didn’t see you when I plow into you, and then pretend that I’m sorry. That saps energy I was saving for when I have to attempt to control every fiber of my being from punching you in the throat when you finally end your phone call to your bros at home about how hot Miss Fender Washer is, and how she signed your poster “CALL ME, LOL!”, and step out of that stall after 20 minutes of hearing “No, bro, it gets better!”, and look at the line of 35 angry colons waiting to explode.
5. If nothing else, DO NOT use someone else’s pass, or try to slip in with last year’s, or some doctored pass or otherwise. What are you, like five years old? And no, I don’t believe that the Asian guy’s real name was Jesus Angelino Martinez de Venuza. I’m not buying it.
6. For the love of all that is holy, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Nothing makes you look more out of place than the stained t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Honestly. If you can’t respect my industry, at the very least respect yourself. It’s a PROFESSIONAL TRADE EVENT. Not the fucking Piggly Wiggly on Thursday night, you trash.
Some helpful hints and tips for making the most of your “Give Me Free Shit for My Project” SEMA Trip:
1. Be “in” the industry. It helps to have some sort of an established presence. I mean beyond the whole “I have a cool car/truck/bicycle”, or the “I bought so-and-so’s cool car/truck/bicycle”. Have a shop. Perhaps some sort of ACTUAL clout, outside of your five good-time buds.
2. Don’t drop names of people who have no clue that you’re using their name. It’ll make for some good times when the rep you spoke to speaks with me following the show; probably some awkward ones for you moving forward.
3. If you’re going to use your connection with an artist or designer to further your agenda, it helps to utilize a rendering drawn BY that artist for the “project” you’re dreaming up as you go along. See “awkward” above in tip #2.
4. SEMA isn’t your personal fucking gift box. It’s a trade show. The professionals are there to network, and plot and plan the coming year. Your dumb ass just makes it feel a lot longer than the week needs to.
5. Stop bugging the designers for free renderings with promises of “getting some coverage”. Chances are, if the designer is at SEMA, they certainly don’t need you.
6. Yes, we pro’s notice that the name on your badge doesn’t fit with your face… and we can sure as fuck bet that you don’t belong. Your loud-mouthed horseplay on the show floor gave it away early on.
7. I’m not your “boy”. I built this business myself (as did all of the working artists and designers), purely on the reputation of good work, and I’ve been blessed to make the connections I have. I work my ass off for them. If you’d like to think that you’re any part of this, cut a check, and I’ll consider making you a partner.
8. Nobody, and I repeat NOBODY owes you shit based upon promises. In this business, it’s all about what you’ve done before the current project. Nobody cares about what you haven’t done yet. If anyone tells you differently, they’re just as full of shit as you are, and you should hook up, and spend your days hoping and dreaming. We’ll look for it next year in the same “proposal” you’re pushing in peoples’ faces.
I promise that we’ll be less negative next time. Maybe.