Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What You Talkin' About?: Portland Studios

We want to be consumed with something beyond ourselves.

Portland Studios isn't concerned with the next big leap, the next wave, the magic bullet. We strive for a collective body of work that displays a habit of excellence.
Hopefully behind our art, people might perceive the shape of truth, the romance of order, the virtue of beauty, and the goodness of goodness.

It's a big job, but that's the plan.

Sometimes, I run across something on the interweb that just inspires me. I found the Portland Studios website through the blog of Justin Gerard, Quick Hide Here. Interested in Justin's work, I wanted to see more of it, so I followed up to the where he works, which was conveniently linked in the sidebar.

From the opening screen, I was hooked. Elegant design, with a warm brown pallette and textured background brings to mind old books, a warm kitchen, and a hot pipe. Add to that the charming "soundtrack", and it just draws you into the experience. I'm not usually a fan of music on websites, but the music for the Portland Studios site is tasteful, not overpowering, and like I said, adds to the experience. Also on the home page right now is a short animation, illustrated by Justin Gerard that was just wonderful.

The Portland Studios site is easy to navigate, with tabs for Home, People, Work and Contact. Also there are links to their blog, as well as a company store where you can purchase apparel, textures, books, and brushes.
The Work (portfolio) section is split up into the companies three main areas of expertise. Illustration, Animation, and Interactive. It displays as a pile of snapshots in a Flash interface. When you click on a picture, it enlarges into a full view. All of the work is impressive, and really puts paid to their claim of striving for a collective body of work that displays a habit of excellence. We could all take a page from that book.

Like I said, this site really invites you to explore, and explore, explore. There's just enough information to leave you wanting MORE. So, in that vein, I did... and for all you lazy people out there I have provided some links to blogs by members of the Portland Studios team. I hope you enjoy checking them out as much as I have. All in all, I was/Am very impressed with Portland Studios as a company, and as a site. I feel inspired to push with renewed resolve in my own work, and also that this is maybe another sign-post towards where I want to go in the next couple of years.

I'll be in again soon. Until then, take care and be good!
Your friend

Portland Studios:
Justin Gerard: Quick Hide Here
Cory Godbey: light night rains
Ben Kammer: Tide Is Level
Mark Johnson: WMD Boom

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