Barry Pavel Biography

BIOGRAPHY - BARRY PAVEL

Professional

I began my career in advertising in the early 1990s. You may ask, "What made you enter the field of advertising, Barry?" Well, to be truthful, this was not my first career and years before I had actually told myself I would never become a commercial artist. After serving in the US Army, I studied design in college. I certainly didn't envision myself sitting behind a desk all day desiging newspaper ads though. Little did I know that years later there would be a revolution in the personal computer technology, and then the internet, and I would wind up working as a graphic artist anyway.

During the last five years of the '80s I was working at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. I had graduated FAU in 1985 with a degree in Theatre, studying acting, directing and stage design. After graduation I stayed on at FAU in their student union center. I was sort of a supervisor / stage manager / audio/stage tech. We set up productions for concerts, lectures, dance compaies, theatrical productions and more. I think the last year I was there we did over 250 productions on the auditorium stage. That didn't count the bands in the Rathskeller or other events on campus.

In 1990 I suffered a strained back and found myself unable to do the heavy set-up work in the theater. It was time to find a new career. In short time I accepted a position at First Marketing Company as their art librarian. It was there that I saw graphic artists designing newsletters for the companies corporate clients. In my spare time I began to learn QuarkExpress, PhotoShop. This sparked my interest to learn more and soon after I realized that being an art librarian wasn't enough of a challenge for me.

After I left First Marketing I worked for a consulting firm in Boca Raton for about a year. I designed graphics for a prototype touch screen system. This was long before flash or the use of vector graphics. All of the graphics were done with a pixel based graphics program which took forever to finish. After the project was done I decided it was time to move on and upwards.

The South Floirda Newspaper Network produced over 20 community publications each week. I took a position building ads on the night shift. My skill at learning software programs enabled me to quickly become one of the fastest production artists on the staff . I was soon offered the position as night supervisor overseeing a staff of artists, proofreaders, layout artists and assistants. Although I enjoyed working at SFNN I felt that I could still learn more and improve my skills in a more creative environment. My parting from SFNN was amicable and over the next few years I was a part time employee for the company when they needed the help.

Gallaspy & Lobel Advertising provided the creative outlet I was looking for. G&L was a realtively small agency of about fourteen employees when I joined them. There were only two artists and the art director in the art department and we were working on Mac IIsi models back then. I think the computer only had about a 40MB hard drive. G&L had a diverse group of clients which included Dania Jai Lai, Gulfstream Race Track, Swiss Chalet, Steego Auto Parts. The Exotic Gardens Florist, Party Supermarket. JM Family Enterprises, and Parts Depot. In addition to these accounts, G&L also had an automotive dealership client list. Being the new guy I got stuck doing a lot of the automotive ads because they were time consuming and more production oriented than creative. This was before you could buy automotive digital line art or photographs. Car art was still copied off of a slick. We actually sent the ads out to the newspapers on paste up boards back then.

My days at G&L taught me a lot. I became quite good at layout and my software skills improved steadily. But advertising is not the glitzy romantic career often portrayed on television. The days were long and you never knew when you were going to leave the office. Emotions ran high and tempers often flared when a deadline was looming or a mistake was made. Cutbacks were common when accounts were lost. As the years went by the tension grew and what I thought would be a dream job turned into something else. A clash of personalities eventually ended my days at G&L.

Thinking that the grass would be greener in another pasture, I quickly found employmet at Golnick Advertising. My time there was short, but in hindsight, I am surprised that it was not shorter. The job held very little true creative outlet as most of the work was customizing pre-existing design. Golnick was a pioneer in syndicated advertising and it seemed that we were recycling ads from twenty years before. Even worse, the payroll was always two to three weeks behind. Employees started leaving left and right and I was not far behind.

During the summer of 1996 I went to Atlanta, Georgia and took a part time job as a car salesalesman. My old college roommate, Scott Smith, owned a Nissan dealership there and I thought that it would be a change of pace. Unfortunately I quickly found out that I did not have the personality or temperment to sell cars. On the other hand, I did manage to go to a couple of Olympic events so the summer was not a complete loss. Since no one was buying cars during the Olympics, I got a part time job doing catalog layout until I decided to move back to Florida.

Once I was back in Florida I began looking for another advertising job. I had always heard of Zimmerman Partners and knew that they were one of the largest agencies in the southeast. I had also heard a lot of negatve things about the company as well. Nonetheless I accepted a position and was once again designing car ads. In 1997 Zimmerman was still primarily an automotive agency although I did do a couple non automotive ads. During this time I saw the design ideas behind car ads begin to change. The computer had made it possible to do add more creative elements in less time. A few of the artists were quite talented and I watched and learned. In 1998 the company lost their big account with Mitsubishi and there was a 20% cutback across all departments. Being one of the last hires, I was one of the first to be let go.

A former employee of Zimmerman told me about McGee & Starr Advertising. Small world that this is, McGee was once a Zimmerman employee. Life at M&S was actually pretty good, even if I was doing car ads. It was about this time that the internet really began to take off. I finally bought a new mac for the home. It was a 6500 Power Mac, which had a whopping 250MHz processor, which was pretty fast back then. As I began to' surf the net' I became aware of a new product called Flash. I convinced M&S that this was something that we needed to learn and they bought me a copy of Flash 2.0. I threw myself into learning the program and would often find myself in front of my mac until three or four in the morning. When I wasn't building ads at work would turn on Flash and experiment with animations and design comp websites. Life at M&S seemed pretty good...until they lost their account with the South Florida Toyota Association. Back to Zimmerman.

When I returned to Zimmerman I began working with art director Richard Grey producing ads for the 8 regional Nissan divisions across the United States. I learned a great deal about brand advertising. I was also continuing to learn more about Flash and the programming language actionscript. In short time I was programming small applications in flash. I wanted to learn more. Unfortunately Zimmerman didn't see a need for flash or have a web department.

When an opportunity presented itself I took it and soon I was working at the North Broward Hospital District in their newly formed web department. There I assisted in the planning, design, implementation and mainainence of their new BrowardHealth.org site as well as their intranet. I really enjoyed the work I did here. Not only did I get to use flash but I learned more about programming. As the months went on I learned a great deal but once the website went live there was less and less to do. This was not advertising and project were often delayed. I quickly became uncomfortable with the work environment and the bureaucracy. Oddly enough, a few months after I left, the department was downsized to one employee.

Having stayed in touch with Richard Grey I knew that there was an opening back at Zimmerman. I returned to build more car ads but as the months passed I realized that the company had begun to see the light about the web. I was soon in charge of any web related graphics and then I began to work with their ZBDC division.

In 2005 I left Zimmerman and joined Omni Advertising. By 2006 the company began to feel a greater need to offer their clients internet services. When I decided to move to North Carolina I agreed to continue to work for Omni as a contractor. This has proven to be a remarkable arrangement. While I still occassionally help with print ads, I spend most of my time designing and maintaining web sites for our Dealer Group associations. Being able to devote my energy towards more web related projects has allowed me to advance my skills in HTML, CSS, ActionScript, and JavaScript.