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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

"I liked his artwork because it looked like mine."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Naiad says her Pratt education in Illustration did not prepare her for the working world of a commercial artist. "They didn't help us decide what to put in our portfolios, how to approach art directors, how to conduct an interview. Perhaps more of that was taught in the Advertising Department. I had to learn everything about layout & typography on the job."

I asked her how art directors found out about her. "I ...made cold calls in the early days of my career. I was very shy & nervous & insecure but I was a good actress & I don't think anyone noticed." She took assistant art direction jobs for the security but found plenty of freelance illustration work to do as well. "The freelance work paid better but not much by today's standards. For example, the spots I was doing for the [New York] Times paid $15 each although I slaved over them for days. My job at the Weintraub Advertising Agency paid $75 a week which at the time I thought was great. It paid my monthly rent. When I left CBS I think I was making about $150. I did like the security of a staff job. I was getting good samples for my portfolio too. I also liked the prestige for my resumé."

It was during her tenure at CBS that Walter Einsel came into her life. "We met when he came over to CBS to apply for an opening at a better salary. He didn't get the job. He got me instead."

Walter Einsel was born in New York City in 1926 and graduated from Parsons in 1949. His first assignment was from the New York Times Magazine but, like Naiad, he ended up taking a staff job - in his case, at rival network NBC. "Whenever Walter picked me up at the office," says Naiad, "everyone hastily covered up his work out of fear that the spy from NBC would take back ideas with him."

Naiad and Walter had already been aware of - and were fond of - each other's work . Now they discovered they were also fond of each other. "We discovered we had similar tastes in almost everything - the furnishings and colours of our apartments were interchangeable - we liked the same foods, antiques, people, animals, cars, and politics. So we decided to combine all of this under one roof, and since we liked one another also, we decided on a practical and romantic working arrangement: marriage."

*All these images can be seen at full size in my Naiad & Walter Einsel Flickr set.

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