Don C. Corn
design & photography
An art teacher nurtured my interest in design back in junior high; the class was part of a 3-part rotation, along with mechanic drawing and wood shop. Talent was brought to light, nurtured and supported. When I got to high school I knew what I wanted to do so in eleventh grade I took the Commercial and Advertising Art vocation program. For the next two years I studied all aspects of commercial and advertising art.
After graduating, I got a job at The Miami Herald. This was in 1972 just as Linotype was being phased-out. I started as a ad paste-up artist working in what was called cold type, which means type is printed on photo-sensitive paper and waxed on back then placed on art boards by a layout supplied by the art director. As my skill improved, I move up to editorial paste-up that’s where your speed and accuracy is really tested. You have 6 editions to produce and there is no excuse for not making a dead line. You learn about getting a job done, by doing what ever it takes to finish the job and, solve the problems. You finish the job on time – that’s all that mattered. From there I went to a type house, where I learned typography, then worked in printing companies and learned what was needed to do a good print job–how different papers reacted to ink, finishes, emboss, dies. The more you know about how something’s is produced the better you will be as a designer.
I became a studio manager for a local advertising agency. It was my responsibility to make sure that jobs were produced as per the art director’s instructions to give a client the best design.
After that I worked for advertising agencies as a studio artist, art director and production manager. Soon I was a creative director with all the responsibilities of the job. It’s my vision that is seen, succeed or fail all of it falls on my shoulders. As they say “The buck stops here.” All of this leads me to where I am today. As this business evolves you have to evolve along with it. As print becomes less important and the web becomes more crucial, all businesses, large or small, have to learn and grow. By taking what I’ve learned over the past years. I can better ask the questions about what the client wants to accomplish from his web site. I help him with his vision to get the clients he wants without my ego coming into it – it’s about the client not me.
Creativity should not be expensive, but it needs to be good.
This is one of those things you do that changes your life’s course. I took a class in college and discovered it was a medium that touched me and added inspiration for my treks into the backcountry of the Florida Everglades. I immersed my-self in photography every waking hour all through college shooting with 35mm film. My love for the outdoors and discovering larger formats came together with me hauling around an 8 x 10 Deardorff view camera. Studying the masters of photography in particular Edward Weston and Ansel Adams I gained experience and insights that make me the photographer I am to day.
It’s not the grand vistas you seek while moving through the Everglades because you just don’t have them. You seek out those spots that a gator has cleared to allow the water to fill in so he will lay in wait for his prey. Or you experience a trail along a cypress stand in the morning before the fog hasn’t burned off. It’s those quite moments that make the Everglades as grand as any mountain vista. The only difference is one requires you to become a part of the landscape and the other you can view from afar.
I take the same approach with the other landscapes I do, including night and city shots, which is about how light and shadows gives importance to an object that in the daytime you wouldn’t see. You move along late at night in different parts of the city and you find these offerings bathed in light separated by the darkness from everything around it. After dark it takes on an importance that we miss as we move through our daily lives caught up in everything else that we think is so much more important. The Everglades and the cityscapes are a way of saying slow down and really experience life because some day a early morning in a cypress stand or a lighted door in a dark alley may be the only thing that was really important and you didn’t give yourself the chance to stop and experience it.