I couldn’t help but ask Mr. Mikitka about his journey into advertising and his story.
Perhaps as every second student I wanted to become very rich, by two years at the latest. At that time I studied at the Secondary technical school of graphics at Hellichova street in Prague. Advertising seemed like the perfect field where I could put my hands on and apply my skills. I was lucky to meet an old master who showed me the ropes and revealed how window dressing used to be done in the 1920’s. So I got my first job.
I was driving around on a motorbike with wooden boxes full of paint cans. Then I would spray beer on a shop window and stick aluminium foil on it. Somewhere I got hold of an old medical scalpel and took one of my mum’s sponges to apply the paint. I was after aluminium foils like crazy. And only a crazy person would have trusted me with a job back then.
Something like a plotter, did not exist, no one had ever worked with plotter foils. It was a real thing when I bought my first roll. I would photocopy letters on it and then cut them out. And when I bought my first 5 metres of foil I was so full of myself. Then a friend of mine told me that everything I needed for a professional advertisement was a laser printer, plotter and computer. The very same friend then offered to pay me in advance for advertising I would do for him and told me that later I would continue to pay for the plotter in installments. I was in a dream, in a dream indeed, because I forgot to ask him about the price. So naive was I, back then.
Three weeks later they called me and wanted to know where I wanted to have the plotter installed. So I hired a space that was 200m2 with one desk and one chair and waited for them to come. This was the very first time I had seen a laser printer, computer or a plotter and as soon as they arrived I knew right away that my estimation of a necessary place was way off. At that time the down payment was 150,000 Korunas, so I had to put my parents´vineyard into foreclosure. And when money from a bank arrived in my account, I had an idea worthy of a young man and bought myself a car. Yet again, I had no money!
Well, in a nutshell, the beginnings were smile-provoking, partisan-like and very naive.
Cooperation with my first plotter was more like a trial and error method. I learnt it could only work with 4 fonts and the rest of the 20 fonts needed to be purchased, I had no idea there was something like a transfer foil, so all the cut-out letters got twisted and glued to one another. It was such hard labor. So I continued painting show windows with beer and paid more and more installments.