As 80’s hair-metal giants (or maybe giant hair, metal band) Cinderella sang, “you don’t know what you got, till it’s gone.” We all take for granted things that we believe will be there, always ready and waiting for you to start something new. This, sadly, is how much of the world, especially the design community, feels about the news of the loss of Microsoft Paint.
I’m a third child and my parents’ friends all had children the same age as my older brother and sister. This left me to entertain myself on the evenings they all got together. The reality of which saw me spending ungodly amounts of time in a family friend’s basement with my eyes glued to their Compaq PC, splitting my time between trying to figure out Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and creating a substantial gallery of “masterpieces” in Microsoft Paint.
As a matter of fact, I’m certain that drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman on other people’s PCs is the reason I became interested in graphic design. Once I learned people could build a career around making images on a computer I was sold. Sure, I’ve since graduated to other applications that let me build more “professional” looking art, but there will ALWAYS be a special place in my heart for the .exe that got me hooked.
So long old friend, today’s creative professionals owe you more than they’ll admit. And thank you Microsoft for getting me started on the career I love.