Tom Davis: GRILLED.


Real Art Grill: Hi there, Tom Davis!
Tom Davis: real art grill???
Tom Davis: hello!
Real Art Grill: nice to meet you!
Tom Davis: very nice to meet you as well!
Real Art Grill: Do you smell something cooking?
Tom Davis: hmmm…
Real Art Grill: smells like…. YOU
Real Art Grill: do you have a few minutes to get grilled?
Tom Davis: sure.
Real Art Grill: glad to hear it.
Real Art Grill: your work isn’t nearly as important as talking to me.
Tom Davis: agreed
Tom Davis: haha
Tom Davis: one question tho…
Tom Davis: (who are you????)
Real Art Grill: oh, I’m the friendly Real Art Hibachi….

Real Art Grill: my job is to grill ’em up and serve ’em hot.
Real Art Grill: and you, my friend, are cookin’.
Tom Davis: haha
Tom Davis: ok.
Tom Davis: let’s have it!
Real Art Grill: so, Tom…
Real Art Grill: I’ve heard quite a bit about you.
Real Art Grill: Answer this, are you a Real Art Oldschooler, or are you a newbie?
Real Art Grill: …because according to my tongs, you have two start-dates.
Tom Davis: nice!
Tom Davis: ok – well… I was a realarter back in the late 90’s/early 00’s and came back for more
Real Art Grill: I thought you tasted a little funny.
Tom Davis: haha
Real Art Grill: so how long have you been at Real Art in total?
Tom Davis: hmm…
Tom Davis: total maybe 6 or 7 years-ish?
Real Art Grill: wow, a slow-cooker.
Real Art Grill: and all that time, you’ve been doing what, building websites?
Tom Davis: a little of this and that
Real Art Grill: I heard you have a knack for hand-drawn animation as well.
Tom Davis: illustration, animation, webstuff, etc!
Real Art Grill: Variety is the spice of life.
Tom Davis: wow! you’re good at the “grill talk”!
Real Art Grill: of course I am! I’m full of charcoal.
Real Art Grill: when I hear “illustration”, I don’t think “interweb”.
Real Art Grill: did you fall into the web side on purpose?
Tom Davis: well… i’m not sure anything i’ve fallen into has truly been “on purpose”. I was hired on (my first time around) as a web guy and my first real project here was illustration-heavy. So i think that kinda pushed me that direction. I think i was the first web-guy hired to help mark in his “new media” department and there weren’t many rules.
Tom Davis: (actually maybe there was another guy on mark’s new media team before me but I never met him… not sure if he was truly a “web guy” either…)
Real Art Grill: what were your first projects like?
Real Art Grill: probably huge, robust database-driven jsp-fusion sites, I bet.
Tom Davis: my first project was “The Nancy R. Files” for Vantedge/NCR. It was a series of online training modules for NCR. Basically a combo of still photos combined with animation/illustration that told a story of how Nancy R. solved all these mysteries, etc, about common practices, etc and NCR. It was a loooong project. I think i spent the better part of a year on that. (peppered with other little projects here and there as well) But that’s the project I mentioned that really kicked me into high gear with illustration.
Real Art Grill: DID YOU SAY PEPPER? mmmm….
Tom Davis: haha – see… I can do it too!
Real Art Grill: I think I like you, Tom
Tom Davis: haha
Tom Davis: awe shucks.
Real Art Grill: so your first web project involved illustration AND web skills.
Tom Davis: indeed
Tom Davis: now… that was my first web project at Real Art.
Tom Davis: I spent a couple years prior to being a Real Arter at the Berry Co. building websites in almost an assembly-line setting.
Tom Davis: (not as creative as the Real Art environment.)
Real Art Grill: sounds like it would have burned you out.
Tom Davis: prob – had i not come to Real Art.
Real Art Grill: good. we don’t want you to get burnt.
Real Art Grill: but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn up the heat…
Tom Davis: just slightly toasted?
Tom Davis: nice.
Real Art Grill: what’re you working on right now?
Tom Davis: Toby Keith/Ford F-150 Sweepstakes website designs. And GDAHA web animations.
Real Art Grill: Toby Keith? What a nice piece of meat.
Tom Davis: haha
Real Art Grill: hey, I’m getting a strange flavor outta you….
Real Art Grill: is that…..
Real Art Grill: ink?
Tom Davis: lol
Real Art Grill: I thought so!
Tom Davis: a strange flavor indeed!
Real Art Grill: looks like you’ve been marinating yourself for years. Are some of those tatoos even self-inked?
Tom Davis: yep
Tom Davis: tried tattooing waaaaaay back when i was like 19 or 20 with a mail-order kit. (bad idea). Gave it up for many years… and somehow got the itch again a couple years ago.
Tom Davis: took up an apprenticeship a little more than a year ago in trade for a website… and here i sit – pretty much covered in ink!
Tom Davis: it’s fun
Tom Davis: gives me a creative outlet outside of the office that I kinda need every now and then.
Real Art Grill: well, i would have gone with teriaki, but that’s just me.
Tom Davis: haha
Real Art Grill: So listen. between you and me….
Real Art Grill: what brought you back to Real Art?
Real Art Grill: certainly couldn’t be the company.
Tom Davis: hmm…
Real Art Grill: You’ve been working with Mark for years. I call him “the godfather”.
Tom Davis: haha
Tom Davis: yeah – me too!
Tom Davis: Let’s see… the people here are great – you don’t get that anywhere else. and they’re genuine. and creative. that’s a plus!
Tom Davis: also…
Tom Davis: there’s just something about real art that feels like I’m supposed to be here.
Tom Davis: I had to go out and see what other places were like i guess… and once i knew i needed to come back. but i think those experiences have made me more well-rounded, etc.
Tom Davis: plus we have a talking grill apparently.
Tom Davis: and that’s pretty cool.
Real Art Grill: hell yes.
Tom Davis: i also think the way we work as a team and the way we approach projects is more comfortable to me than other places i’ve worked.
Real Art Grill: I’ve noticed that about you folks.
Tom Davis: other firms, etc, seem to get really hung up on titles and roles/responsibilities.
Tom Davis: here – when we sit at the kitchen table and brainstorm for a project… we’re all on the same level it seems… nobody has the self-appointed role of being the “lead creative” b/c of their years in the industry, etc… a good idea is a good idea.
Tom Davis: and we all benefit from it.
Tom Davis: (does that answer your question?)
Real Art Grill: absolutely.
Real Art Grill: the whole “too many cooks in the kitchen” never seems to be a problem.
Tom Davis: haha – you’re really on top of the grill-puns!
Tom Davis: nicely done!
Real Art Grill: why thanks! I’m on fire!
Real Art Grill: Well Tom, you’re juuuuust about done.
Real Art Grill: slow-roasted to perfection, my new friend.
Real Art Grill: With the exception of the inky aftertaste, of course.
Tom Davis: haha
Tom Davis: sorry bout that
Real Art Grill: Thanks for burning some time with me…
Tom Davis: right on!

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