Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Determination to Succeed

Think success is just about talent? Think again.
By the late 30's and early 40's, Albert Dorne, who as a child had quit school to work quite literally around the clock seven days a week to support his mother and siblings - then a teenage wife and baby as well - and who had never found the time to pursue his dream of going to art school, had so many high profile illustration assignments that there were not enough hours in the day to fulfill all the requests.
How did Dorne get his foot in the door? By the time-honoured method of volunteering.

Dorne offered to work for free as a general studio assistant, sweeping floors and delivering packages - or whatever else was needed - to a working commercial artist. Writing about those early days in his life, Dorne says, "[Meanwhile I] worked as a shipping clerk at night so we could eat - besides my family, at 16 I had a wife and daughter."After a year of this, Dorne writes, "I got a paying job at another studio and from then on I was on my way - and its been wonderful ever since."
In 1930, Albert Dorne landed an advertising comic strip assignment for Life Bouy soap. He created Mr. Coffee Nerves for Postum and did more strips for Post Cereals and Camels cigarettes and others. By the time he did the piece at left, in the mid-1940's, it wasn't unusual to find two or three pieces by Dorne in an issue of the Saturday Evening Post. But around this same period, an idea was forming in Dorne's mind, one that would catapult him into the most ambitious move of his career - and force him to all but give up his chosen profession.

These images can be found at full size in my Albert Dorne Flickr set.


  1. Brilliant depth-coverage of Dorne -- thank you for this treat.

    And for the pix of him and Those Eyebrows...

    All too dang fine.

  2. wow - thanks, lori, that's very kind of you! :-)

  3. i had read previously two of your pieces on Dorne, just today, following a link on flikr i have read this one, with this beautiful illustration on the relaxing man i had missed...
    what a cool life was the illustration back then, a great learning curve on the job you love and the chance to draw great imaginery: they made visually a system of taste (not maybe a lifestyle but a impressiong of it?) that has traveled around the world.

    thanks for the link Leif!

  4. Thanks marco! What a life, indeed! :-)