1. A Mover and a Maker: An Interview with Paul Anders

    Written by megangex | July 22, 2014


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    When: Friday, August 1, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Our August sketchXchange features Paul Anders—a ball of animated energy, impressive drive, and persistent curiosity. As an illustrator turned graphic designer turned interactive designer turned motion graphics artist, there is nothing he can’t do in the digital space. (And his diverse portfolio can prove it.) Last week we interrupted his month-long hiatus from the freelance whirlwind for a chat about this artistic process, paintings, and career progression. 

    Like most of us, Anders had always been an illustrator. He was that kid in class who was caught doodling super heroes and characters. It wasn’t until he picked up a copy of Communications Arts that he realized he could turn his talents into a career.

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    Anders landed in Portland during an exciting time for design. It was the early 1990s, just before the boom of the Internet. His first industry job was creating advertisements for the Yellow Pages using programs such as Photoshop II and Illustrator 98. This was his introduction to print design, creating anything from ten original logo designs or spot illustrations each day.

    Together with a group of design friends, he went knocking on the doors of CyberSight, a creative agency that would later be known as Nine Dots. Here, Anders was introduced to interactive design at a time when the Internet was teaming with immersive experiences. Anders quickly became an expert at designing elaborate online spaces for Adidas and Nike as well as web games for Captain Crunch.

    With the introduction of broadband Internet, Anders saw the opportunity to reinvent himself once again. The industry was moving away from interactive experiences and into video and he seized the moment by moving into animation. Working as a senior art director at Razorfish, he decided to build their motion graphics department. The robustness of Adobe After Effects allowed Anders to combine his unique interactive design style with linear storytelling. He developed a quirky, collage-like style that was gobbled up by clients.

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    BeerWest Magazine from Panders.tv on Vimeo.

    This transition also allowed him to collaborate with other artists and revisit his own illustration skills. He has worked with the likes of Ty Mattson and Dan Stiles on professional and personal projects, helping bring their artwork to life through animation.

    Today, as a full-time freelancer Anders can see an entire video project from start to finish. He plays the role of illustrator, filling out the storyboards with his own sketches. Then he can transition into the animator role—setting his original graphics into motion.

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    Dexter - Alternate Title Sequence Featuring Ty Mattson and Fashionbuddha from Panders.tv on Vimeo.

    While his career path follows a logical progression with the advances in technology, Anders still finds time leave the screen for his sketchbook or easel. In fact, he is currently taking a break from freelance and hitting his home studio for a month of personal projects.

    WeMake: Where do you find influence? 

    PA: Everyone can name their specific influences—an artist they admire. Sure I have those, but I love looking through my Instagram or Vimeo feed. I follow a lot of great people and that’s where I get really excited about the work. I get to see what people are doing right now.

    WeMake: Your sketch blog and paintings are in stark contrast with your client work. What does this artistic outlet offer?

    PA: It’s important to get away from client work. I like to push myself to do art for me. I don’t do it for anyone else, or for outside motivation. It’s like meditation. And it’s where I can experiment and try out different ideas.

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    WeMake: You create a lot of portraits. Who are your subjects?

    PA: I would say they are more like imaginary self-portraits. I want them to come across as a narrative, but you never quite know what the story is. I want people to have questions in their minds.

    WeMake: Why do you make?

    PA: I guess it’s an itchy drive—almost like a sickness that is constantly there. I just have to do something.  

    Come meet Paul Anders and hear about his excitingly diverse career! He’ll be showcasing his animation process as well as his sketchbooks and inspiration. You’ll be in for an energetic night! 

    When: Friday, August 1, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    #sketchxchange #wemakepdx #wemake #pdxart #pdxevent #paulanders

    4 notes


  2. Recap: sXc with Illustrator and Poster Designer Dan Stiles

    Written by chloeameliam | July 6, 2014


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    On a rainy spring evening, it was a packed house at Tillamook Station to hear the talented Dan Stiles talking about his illustrative process, designing for print, and the poster design culture. Dan brought posters, fabric, and book designs showcasing the variety of clientele he works with and how he applies his distinct style to an array of concepts.

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    It truly was a treat interviewing Dan and learning about his career!

    Take a look at the recap video and check out more photos on our Flickr page.

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    WeMake | Dan Stiles from WeMakePDX on Vimeo.

    Many thanks to Ethan Allen Smith for photographing the event, and to Robert Woodward and Spencer Groshong for the recap video!

    #wemakepdx #sketchxchange #posterdesign #gigposters #tillamookstation #danstiles #portland #portlandart

    5 notes


  3. Pizza Friday, An Interview with Tom O’Toole & Thomas Bradley

    Written by cre8tivegirl | June 30, 2014


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    Our July sketchXchange features two local young guns, Tom O’Toole & Thomas Bradley.  Both are illustrators, designers, and all around creatives who moonlight in their spare time as Pizza Friday. Their collaborative work is candid, humorous, and often type driven—with a little mischief thrown in on the side for kicks.

    We hope you will join us for this special sXc with Tom & Thomas as they share with us their sketchboks and inspirations, and if your attending ICON8 come have a drink and draw with us!

    When: Friday, July 11, 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    Registration is now open!

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

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    I love visiting studios of the artists we feature. The studio of Pizza Friday is not your average place, well maybe it is in a Portland way. Their studio is tucked away in the the 100+ year-old John Deere Plow Company building now know as the Portland Storage Company. Yep, a you-store-it building that also masquerades as art studios on various floors. Pizza Friday is located on the 7th floor and the freight elevator heading up is an experience all on it’s own. Once there, unit 7K stands out in a bold statement true of those behind the door.

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    I’ve known Tom for many year’s, but this was my first time to visit with Thomas and learn about the work they do together. Sitting side by side I could see how one compliments the other and although they are different there are many similarities—their names, their profession, and their history and influence in graffiti art.  

    YPE How did you come up with the name Pizza Friday?

    TB I think it was a combination of words that worked really nicely together, it evoked a sense of fun. We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously to begin with.

    TT We have always had a similar sense of humor and have always talked about stuff typographically— we like good words, not because of their meaning but because they look good together or have certain connotations that we like. There was some conversations floating around on other words, but then it was oh fuck, Pizza Friday! That’s great. 

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    TB We made sure that we didn’t want this to have anything to do with pizza physically…but actually the first few meetings we did took place on Friday and pizza was involved.  

    TO Everybody seams to have personal antidotes that are positive when it comes to Fridays and pizza. It’s just kind of a win win.

    TB I would much more gravitate towards the vibe of Friday than pizza personally because Friday is wonderful but it also brings to mind a celebration. In the graphic design industry a lot of us work that 9-5 or more, Friday is something to look forward to.

    TO Also pizza. Everyone has memories of being served pizza in elementary school on Fridays. Shit, you get pizza on Friday and you get the weekend.

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    YPE How long have you been Pizza Friday?

    TB/ TO We’ve been doing projects together for six years. The first project we did together was a wedding invitation and then the collateral for Dig A Pony. We call ourselves an art gang because it’s a way of being less formal than being a studio or a company. It’s more organic and not that official. We just like to work together.

    YPE How do you work full-time at your day job, then go to the studio to work afterwards?

    TB Sometimes it’s great and other times we can’t be bothered to do it. There are only few occasions when we have to come in to get shit done. 

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    YPE Do you use the studio for other things beside design projects you’re working on together?

    TO Yes, we both do personal projects and freelance work on top of all of our other “rent money” jobs. We also collaborate on projects with our other studio mates. We’ve done projects that involve apparel, products, and random shit. We work on the space together and also use it as an afterparty to hang out with friends sometimes.

    TB Sometimes we just come up here at night, get weird, drink beers, and carry on.

    TO That’s what the fog machine is for.

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    YPE How do you guys get projects together? Do you create projects to do?

    TB A lot of times we will be asked to contribute to an art show or one of us will be asked to do something and it will end up being a collaborative piece because we’ll just talk about it together, then end up making it together.

    TO There’s not really any hard and fast ways that it happens. It’s either somebody will come to us and want Pizza Friday to do something or someone will come to us individually and we will want it to be a Pizza Friday project. Or it will be one of our own projects and we just talk about it together so much that it will end up being a collaborative piece. We tend to do that often. Bouncing work and ideas off each other. It always ends up being a collaborative process even if it doesn’t end up being a PF production.

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    YPE Is that across the board for commercial work and fine art work? Are you mostly doing fine art or both?

    TB We try to blur the lines between both when we get the chance. For instance, this weekend we just painted a massive mural for a client and that was a combination of both.

    TO That was flexing fine art muscles for a commercial project which is obviously the most fun way you can combine the two.

    TB We love finding excuses to get paid to make art and dick around. 

    TO If it can come down to making letters and illustrating things and doing non-linear layout and graphic design we will absolutely do it. 

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    YPE What do you have to do to become a member? Is there an initiation into the art gang?

    TO You just have to be our friend and want to do work with us, and we want to do work with you. All of our studio mates are honorary Pizza Friday members even if they are not on our website. 

    YPE Have you ever thought about quitting your day job and doing this full-time?

    TO We came to the conclusion that this is supposed to be the fun stuff—maybe it’s what our business model is.

    YPE Yes, only work on fun stuff. 

    Tom O’Toole’s full-time day gig is at Cinco Design where he works as a senior designer. His clientele includes working with VANS, Nike, and Cover Oregon to name a few. Thomas Bradley is currently working as an independent designer. His clients include NEMO, W+K, Roundhouse, Nike, Plazm and more.

    Together they are Pizza Friday! They work on fun stuff that is type and illustration driven. Be sure to check out their shop for your Pizza Friday swag.

    Some photos courtesy of Pizza Friday.

    We hope you will join us for this special sXc with Tom & Thomas as they share with us their sketchbooks and inspirations!

    When: Friday, July 11, 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    Registration is now open! 

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    #pizza friday #pizzafriday #thomas bradley #tom otoole #wemake #wemakepdx #sketchxchange #Portland Designer #pdxevents #pdxevent

    12 notes


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