I Got Called Out , But Came Out On Top!
I fell in love with punk in junior high. Beyond the sound, there was just something about the music’s do-it-yourself attitude that spoke to me, and by grade nine I was involved in the local scene booking shows, playing in (bad) bands and photocopying zines of personal writing (embarrassing but whateves).
Fast forward a few years and I was finally allowed to take some ‘elective classes’ in high school.I randomly chose a ‘design & technology’ course because it sounded cool, and I remember walking into the classroom for the first time and my head exploding! It was technology heaven! Like, I heard that holy ‘aaaaaa’ they use in TV shows and saw beams of heavenly light shining down on the endless rows of computers, scanners, t-shirt printing setups and printing presses. There was everything you needed to make anything! A young punk’s dream!
It wasn’t long before I was cleaning the classroom in exchange for using all the technology after school. The one problem was that my art skills were the worst (I’m talking baby doodles). However, I poked around online and learnt that old art eventually becomes ‘public domain’ so I reinvented myself as like this art jamming graphic designer! So genius, right? I then cobbled together some designs based on medieval woodcuts that I found in library books, and cranked out tons of band posters and band shirts. Massive! Ha ha, not so much! It turns out that my woodcut-heavy designs were found to be so weird by the ‘department head’ that he passed a note on to my teacher (who had to rescind my privileges). My young heart was crushed!
However, I kept the note from the department head. It actually lives near the silkscreen setup I built in my place–the very setup that let me continue making weird things, and have an awesomely creative career because of it. Moral of the story? Stay weird and never stop creating–you never know where it’ll lead you!
- Ben Pobjoy
Ben Pobjoy lives in Montreal, Quebec where he continues to compulsively make things. He currently runs a record label, writes for magazines, shoots photos, publishes books and does the creative director thing, which is to say he stares into a glowing screen 27 hours a day.