In 1988 after leaving my part-time post at the Hornsey Library to ‘paint’ I signed on to Maggie’s ‘Enterprise Allowance’ scheme which was basically a ruse by the Tories to get people like me off the dole as ‘self-employed’. I created some ‘sale-able’ (at least I thought so) illustrations and toured around Cosmopolitan, Radio Times and various major publishers having lots of jolly chats and coffee and getting no work whatsoever but everybody was terribly nice.
Standing in the Cosmopolitan offices with all the women in power dressing shoulders in 1989 I realised that things had gone badly wrong….that I was wearing paint-spattered dungarees didn’t help. I think the woman who interviewed me thought I may have learning difficulties…I couldn’t speak that was for sure I felt like a minnow in a tank of sharks.
I gave up soon afterwards and started reading John Fahey’s book on Charley Patton instead which to be frank has been far more use to me:-)
p.s. An old friend from Zwemmers days got me an interview at Jonathan Cape in their swish boardroom which coincided with a birthday party for Ralph Steadman…all terribly nice they went off for lunch in Soho and I got no work but again all very nice 🙂