Jinho zoomed in on the photo and read the ad’s details that he didn’t read back at the Parsons.
“A small three years old magazine company in Soho street (t/n: search referenced Oxford, which honestly doesn’t sound same at all to me)… a magazine that focuses on advertising small businesses, searching for an illust to draw seasonal covers.”
At the time, Jinho had thought it was strange to see a regular advertisement in college and took a shot, but now that he was reading the details, he was interested.
Most of all, the fact that he was attracted to the prize money on the last line was undeniable.
Jinho used his phone data to open the internet and googled the magazine office’s name.
‘If I focus, I should be able to finish one page tonight…’
Looking around the website, Jinho leaned his head on his hands as he thought.
A middle aged man hung his hat on a coat hanger as he walked into an office door and looked around.
Inside, there were four men and women busily worked on laptops.
Although one could say that they were passionate, it could also be said that they haven’t found what they’re looking for.
The middle aged man asked as he took off his overcoat and leather gloves.
“Not yet? We need to have it ready by next month.”
“Even if we pick something, we can’t possibly pick something like this.”
At the middle age man’s question, a young man held up a printed out picture. A single glance was enough to show how shoddy it was.
The middle aged man Jayden Sandre, the owner of the magazine ‘New York Navigation’, took the picture from the young man, and threw it down on a table after eyeballing it.
“Gaudy. Did this guy even knew what our magazine does before sending this? We’re not some sort of public park advertisers, so why did he send a picture with the Central Park as a background? It looks like he took time to draw everything from Spring to Winter because of seasons, but… if it’s something like this, send it to the park rangers. Put that part in the announcement.”
“Wanna see something more hilarious? There’s someone who actually drew a navigator and sent it because our name’s New York Navigation. Here.”
“What in the world? Unbelievable. To think people still don’t know us despite slaving away for three whole years.”
“What can we do about it? Honestly, we’re pretty new.”
The young man shrugged before turning to his laptop again.
Although the New York Navigation was a small company focusing on advertising small businesses, its idea and passion was recognized and was supported by the city hall.
Although the number of issues they could print for free has doubled, since the actual increase in number wasn’t significant, perhaps this was an obvious response.
Jayden walked toward a coffee table and picked up his mug.
Picking up a chamomile tea bag said to reduce stress with rather a reluctant face, Jayden was about to pour hot water into his mug when the young man held up his hand.
“Ajussi, wait. Doesn’t this one look pretty good?”
“Didn’t I told you not to call me ‘ajussi’? I told you multiple times, you we need to uphold the rules even if we’re small…”
“I get it, I get it. So come here already, ajussi.”
Grumbling ‘young ones these days…’, Jayden gave up and walked up to the young man while holding his mug.
The young man moved the screen around, and finally opened a file attached to the latest email.
After loading, a picture opened up inside the file.
Jayden’s face turned stern.
“What do you think?”
“It’s definitely not bad. And it’s pretty interesting too. Though this is…”
Jayden scratched his beard as he frowned.
Like he said, the picture up on the screen wasn’t bad. It had sense, and the idea of drawing New York City in a map format to fit the image of New York Navigation wasn’t a bad idea.
But if there was one problem…
“Rather than for a business, wouldn’t this fit more as a pure art piece?”
That was the first thing that came to his mind when he saw the picture.
To Jayden’s eyes, rather than a sense of being a business cover, the picture gave a sense of a vivid artwork. But the young man clicked his tongue and shook his head at Jayden’s words.
“Ajussi, that’s why it fits our concept this time. Our contents for the Spring next year are mostly about arts, especially about that art museum and the galleries that are newly opening.”
“Hoh, come to think of it…”
“That’s why I told you to look through our planner more carefully.”
“Do you think I didn’t see them because I was on an outing or something? I didn’t have time because I had to meet the mayor and other advertising companies.”
“Anyhow, it looks like the person who sent this properly studied about our magazine. Rather than some amateurish pros, this kind of guy is better.”
Said the young man as he glance at the pictures scattered on the table.
Some of them were mediocre pictures stuck in a folder somewhere that people sent relying only on their names. The young man’s eyes, who graduated from an art college in New York, was enough to see through them.
Jayden nodded in agreement, but,
“But there’s only one picture here? We want a picture for each season. There has to be at least four.”
Pointing out the crucial problem, Jayden stretched his back.
At his words, the young man playfully smiled.
“Sixty dollars for a single page? Why is it so expensive?”
“Even this is cheap. Ask other photo studios, they’ll take several times the price!”
Jinho frowned at the man’s words.
Although it felt too excessive, it wasn’t totally wrong. After all, other studios he visited before called eighty dollars per page. The extreme ones called for a hundred dollars.”
As Jinho scratched his chin still thinking, the man took out a calculator and tapped it.
“Here, see. It’s not like we’re not simply taking a picture. We need to set the lights according to the artwork, and do a table setting as an extra when needed to take the shot. You who drew the picture should know it the best, right? Do you want to just put the picture on an empty floor and take a picture? Then you should be taking it with your phone, why come to a photo studio?”
Because the man’s words were all correct, Jinho quietly listened.
Even while he talked, the man kept typing on the calculator.
“Alright, even if I do it as cheap as possible, fifty five dollars is the minimum. I need to earn the day’s worth too, right? It takes an entire day to take twenty pictures for a portfolio. That mean I have to close the studio and focus only on you. You understand what I mean?”
“I understand but… please lower it a bit more.”
“Ha! And just how would I lower it any further?”
“How about cutting it clean at a grand?”
“What? A grand? Lower it more from before? Forget it, go back.”
The man waved his hands as he shook his head.
But Jinho had no plans to give up. If he could lower it just a bit more, he could save at least three days… at most five days worth of food so he furiously hanged on. He really was that poor these days.
“Ajussi. Isn’t it better for ajussi to shoot my artworks then simply loafing around, no? Especially during recession these days. No? Please.”
Jinho’s eyes lightly glanced at the studio, and a glance was enough to show equipments gathering dust.
Noticing Jinho’s line of sight, the man became ticked off.
“What? Loafing around? Who do you think I am…. That’s it! Get out!”
“What? Sigh, just how did I get like this. If you don’t get out quickly, I’m gonna call the cops.”
Ultimately, Jinho had to leave the art studio just like that.
‘Even if the artworks are good, there’s still a problem.’
Munching on a bread on a park bench, Jinho pressed his eyes as he sighed. Thinking of his state, it felt as if tears will come out.
As his sight grew dim from his financial problems, all kinds of thoughts came up.
‘Should I just go and become a street artist? I heard it’s pretty good if you set up at a right spot…”
But soon gave up.
Without knowing how long it’ll be before he got a customer, how could he simply sit still on a road and wait?
Although the work on the portfolio was almost finished, he couldn’t pointlessly pass the time away since there were artworks left that still needed to be finished. And if a ball were to come his way…
It couldn’t be helped that a sigh would naturally escape between his lips.
Finishing the bread and dumping all the milk down his throat, Jinho was about to look for the nearest trash bin.
The phone in his pocket rang and alerted him of an incoming call.
Checking the screen, Jinho saw it was an unknown number and hesitated, but carefully pressed the call button and put it on his ears.
[Hello? Is this Mr. Lee Jinho’s phone number?]
“I’m Lee Jinho.”
[Ah, so it’s you. Nice to meet you. My name’s Alex, the head designer at New York Navigation.]
“The, the head designer?”
Even though the caller’s voice was young, Jinho was shocked at hearing he was the head designer.
As if unfazed by Jinho’s reaction, the young man calmly continued his words.
[Yes, hello. It’s nothing serious, but we contacted you because wanted to talk to you about the cover page you sent to our contest.]
“Contest… isn’t the announcement for the contest scheduled several weeks from today?”
[That’s for the official announcement. Contacting the painter of the winning picture first is the obvious thing to do.]
“Winning picture… did you say winning picture?”
Jinho’s eyes opened as large as possible.
As if hearing a word he had never heard before, even his eyes faintly shook.
To such Jinho, the man in the speaker answered him with a slow and clear voice.
[Yes. After a review from all our company sectors, we have decided to select Mr. Lee Jinho’s work as the winner. Because of that, could you please come meet with us today?]
The middle aged man glared at Alex, the young man hanging up the phone.
“Did you just commit a fraud?”
“What head designer? And what company sectors? There’s only five people in the entire company, including you.”
“The only designer within the company is me, so I’m the head designer. And since we all do different work, we’re each a sector. Ajussi, how are yougoing to run a business like that?”
The middle aged man couldn’t even retort to Alex’s sly reaction.
Not caring for a reply, Alex put on a coat and prepared to go out.
“Ajussi, I’ll say it again. If your pride is small just because your business is small, you’ll never succeed.”
“That part of you is just like your father.”
“My skills are better.”
“Then why didn’t you draw the cover?”
At the middle age man’s question, Alex clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“I’m gonna live differently than my dad. We decided to do a business together. Don’t forget about the reason why we’re working together.”
“I didn’t forget. I’m just a bit worried, since the company is growing too slowly…”
Alex smiled at the middle age man’s words.
“Just wait a bit. By then, I’ll make sure you won’t even get a sleeping worrying about who to hire as intern.”
< Miracle Drawing! 13. > End
Translator : CSV
Proofreader : Saquacon (PR)