The first place to stock our prints was Post Shop Porirua. The manager there was a guy named Ted and he paid cash out of the til for them on the spot. I walked out with a couple hundred bucks. Talk about encouraging. I continued knocking on doors and although there were the odd ones who didn’t order, there was amazing feedback. That was all I needed to keep going.
Somewhere amidst the action somebody suggested we go to a publishing house in Wellington as they were looking for Māori designs. Game changer.
Learning Media Ltd was a company that published learning resources, books and magazines for the Ministry of Education. Wiremu put together a portfolio, and off we went to the big smoke. Rimu, Karma and I waited in the car so I could move if a parking warden came along - cos free parking, and no warrant or rego lol. It was a mistake bringing that damn dog. Everybody who walked by the car got a crazy pitbull making sure they kept away from Rimu. The back window was well and truly licked and the rest of the car fogged up by the time Wiremu came out of that hui. Bloody Karma.
Wiremu had arrived at the appointment early and got there at the tail end of another meeting, so all who were in the room decided to sit in on the interview. No pressure.
He scored a contract to provide Māori motifs, kowhawhai etc and was to be paid per design. A question that was asked of him at the interview was if he used freehand. To which he replied yes - I mean all of his designs were done by hand. What a stupid question (eyeroll).
We discovered some time later that Freehand is actually the name of a design programme. LOL
And so the graphic design seed was sown as were the onset of Government Department contracts.