Monday, February 05, 2007

Walk Two Hundred and Eighty-Six – School milk

Alison probably remembers free school milk coming in miniature milk bottles. Now it comes in cartons like this and I think is only free at nursery school and for the first year of school. I also order a little carton every day from the milkman so that Xavier has a convenient carton to drink with his lunch. Since Jamie Oliver campaigned for better nutrition in UK schools, the children also get given a piece of fruit or a vegetable once or twice a week to take home, but I must admit the take-up is fairly poor so I often come home with my pockets bulging with unwanted apples or carrots.

The weather was cold and grey and I have quite a lot of work from my lovely clients so I quickly drew this while Xavier ate his lunch, and then walked briskly back over the Woodland Park.

I had a phone call today from a company that made me really appreciate my clients. They wanted a report typeset and laid out together with all the Powerpoint and Excel graphs and diagrams redrawn in Illustrator for £10 per page. All by yesterday. It is possible that it could have been done fairly quickly but I know what a nightmare the re-drawing of graphs and diagrams can be. However, what really set off the alarm bells was when they tried to sell the job to me by impressing on me that I would get my name credited in the book. I think they must have thought I was a very green start-up business, so I just said that the credit didn’t really interest me as in 25 years of being in business I’d never had repeat business from having a credit printed on a piece of work. Then they weren’t prepared to post or e-mail the source files, (so that I could ascertain the complexity of the job) but expected me to drive to the next town to pick them up. Just to give an idea of how that rate relates in other parts of the world, children usually get paid at least £4.50 an hour for babysitting over here and Flo tells me that a McDonalds cheeseburger costs about £2.00. So if it was possible to knock out a page including illustrations in a couple of hours and if the kids helped out with babysitting it sounds as though I’d be able to buy a couple of cheeseburgers a day on the before tax profits. I decided it probably wasn’t worth it!

110mm x 110mm ink on cartridge with colour digitally added later


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Julie,

My name is Luis and I'm writing from Southern California (USA)
I came across your site on Friday and found it most interesting. I really enjoy your art and I'm amazed that you can find the time. Thanks for the images and for posting everyday. Keep it up.

11:48 pm  
Blogger Hashi said...

I remember the milk bottles too! One-third of a pint, they were. At our school the big flat metal crates of bottles were placed in the shade at the back of the boys' toilets. Sometimes I'd see boys tampering with them ...ack! Now, I don't think even the littlies get free milk in Australia anymore. Thanks for the reminisce!

12:22 am  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Jamie Oliver - yes I watched the program where he tried to change the food culture in a school but the parents really wanted to give their kids junk food.
My son - in his 30s take to work for his 'play lunch' etc. (he prepares himself at 6 a.m.)sandwiches, Indian curry and rice etc., fruit, drinks, muesli bars, sultanas, etc. etc. and then comes home at 4 p.m. wanting a full meal!

Oh, what a client! IT people usually get paid heaps as consultants but the art IT mob are somehow second-class? I reckon $20A an hour is okay when someone asks me to help with editing/ music/ etc. though often it's just voluntary.

12:52 am  
Blogger Katherine said...

Good for you Julie!

I remember my third of a pint of milk - which always seemed to get left next to the radiator to thaw out on cold days - back in the time when we used to have really really cold days..........

12:57 pm  
Blogger Penny said...

I remember school milk, in bottles, left in the sun in summer, any wonder i can never drink straight milk, and I am a dairy farmers wife! they cut it out years ago here.
I dont know why people even send stuff like that out, or is there some poor mug out there willing to do it, Obviously a bis shonky as far as i am concerned.

9:29 pm  
Blogger Alison said...

Yes, i remember those little bottles of freezing milk and on my first day at school in Oz, I saw a crate in the playground and I was so hot and thirsty I rushed and glugged one down - realizing, too, too late that it had been sitting there all weekend. I have only just started drinking milk again.

11:23 am  
Anonymous Tim said...


I don't suppose this was for a company in Boxmoor was it? I'd be most interested to know!

Tim (fellow dog-walking graphic designer)

5:40 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Ewww all that warm milk enough to put anyone off!

Tim, I didn't get to the point of finding out the exact address, but they did say Hemel, so could have been. Tell me more. The email address is in the side bar.

7:22 pm  

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