In high school, I had one of the cooler jobs. I did darkroom and printing work at Silkworm Screenprinting in Murphysboro, IL. I worked with some rabid entrepreneurs including artist/entrepreneur Bob Cambers and photographer/entrepreneur Craig Williams. Bob now runs Silkworm, and Craig runs CommunityLink Publications creating various branding materials that promote local communities.
These were some of the coolest guys you could have worked for. We had a trampoline in the back yard over on Hortense Street and basically worked in closets – the darkroom was barely big enough to turn around in. It was my first “design-related” job and somewhere in there the entrepreneurial bug bit me. I remember once when Craig stayed totally calm when I cracked the bumper of his new Celica and dented another car while taking it “for a spin.”
So while my friends were flipping burgers, I was making lithographs, screening, printing and folding thousands of shirts from the 750-square-foot-basement. When I was with Silkworm it was just 5-6 of us, now, it’s a whole crowd – and Craig’s firm has over 50. I’m fairly certain there’s not a darkroom in sight.
So when your kid asks to work at a wierd place, keep in mind it might provide a lot more stimulation than the “more fries with that” or “welcome to Wal-Mart” gig will. Letting them be outside the box early could be just what is needed for a lifetime of deeply satisfying and unconventional endeavors.