Old Callings, New Reality
Cliff Hauptman ’69, M.F.A.’73, is turning a lifelong interest in art into a new avocation — digital drawing. Hauptman, director of communications at the Pike School, an independent school in Andover, Mass., makes his drawings using Adobe Illustrator. Unlike digital photography, which formats images as bitmaps, Illustrator and similar programs create vector graphics.
Viewers of Hauptman’s works (www.cliffhauptman.com) often assume them to be photographs. Yet they contain no photographic elements. Each shape is drawn by hand — in this case, a mouse — and each bit of color and shading is individually applied to each shape. “It often takes a great deal of experimentation with combinations of effects to achieve the qualities I’m after,” says Hauptman. “Serendipity plays a large and enjoyable part of the process.”
Hauptman is also a prolific writer about another of his interests, fly-fishing. After 23 years in print, Hauptman’s “Basic Freshwater Fishing,” one of more than 32,000 fishing titles carried by Amazon.com, still lists among the top 50 bestsellers on the subject.
“Not many Brandeis alumni write about fishing,” says Hauptman, who from 1993 to 2005 was the editor of Brandeis Review, as the university magazine was then called. “But the watchword of successful writing is to write about what you know. Sure enough, after years of trying to sell various pieces to magazines, I finally started writing about my passion for fishing, and the market proved insatiable.”
An English major, Hauptman fondly recalls his favorite professors, Bob Preyer, Karen Klein and his much beloved art professor, Gerry Bernstein, who died in 2006. “I could just as easily have chosen to major in art, as did my brother, Michael ’73, and my daughter, Molly ’07,” says Hauptman. But as his latest work shows, it’s never too late to pursue your passions.