What is Polyester Studio?
We’re always trying to figure that out ourselves.
Bob and I started the studio for the same reason a lot of creatives start their own shop. We felt we could do a better job than some of the places we worked previously and wanted to have more say in the type of work we did. As a result I would say Polyester Studio is an animation/design/illustration studio that bounces between mediums trying out different approaches to find the best solution.
Do you and Bob share skillsets or do you each have your own areas of expertise? If so what are they?
We have both different personalities and skillsets. My background is in design and illustration and Bob has a production animation background. We deal with clients differently and approach projects differently but we have enough respect for each other that we both appreciate the other person’s view point and rely on each other’s backgrounds.
How do you approach a project. Do you guys have a process?
As our projects are so varied and each project requires a different solution we don’t have a uniform process that can be applied across the board. We do however try to establish a process after taking on a project that works within the limits set forth by the client.
Generally though we follow a traditional process of research, concept, explore, execute, deliver, and then analyze the results.
How is Polyester different from other studios.
We seem unable to sit still and are always trying to explore new ways of solving our client’s problems. I think it amazes people how small our studio is when they see our output. We’re not really an animation studio or strictly a design studio or an illustration shop but we explore each medium as often as we can. I think it helps to have a design background when working in animation, or an illustration background while working on a corporate identity and as a result it shapes the work differently.
Your motion work has quite a nice analogue hand crafted feel to it. Are you conscious of developing a studio style or has it been a more organic process?
Any unified style we have comes very organically and continues to evolve, we’re always trying to find ways of combining the different skills in the office to produce something different and new. Not knowing what comes next or what the work will look like in the future is what gets us excited.
Illustration is also one of your studios main outputs. Do you feel it compliments the motion work or offers you guys an escape from the sometimes tediousness nature of creating a motion piece.
You can’t really take the field of illustration out of animation, the two disciplines go hand-in-hand. In fact what we’re excited about at the moment is working with some outside illustrators who have a different perspective and view point and letting that drive the animation.
How do you guys hire or find talent, and how big is the team now?
Right now we have 4 full-time employees and a number of freelancers we call on and while we’re always looking for talent we find that our studio background makes finding new talent difficult. Finding talented designers who can also animate and illustrate or talented animators who can design and illustrate is not an easy task. We’ve avoided bringing people on who only want to design or just animate as it makes for predicable artists.
You guys were down in Liberty Village, Toronto, way before it really became a trendy spot. What brought you there and how has the area changed over the years?
Affordability was the key issue for us when we opened up in Liberty Village 5 years ago. We’re lucky that so many of our clients have also opened up in the area, but with half our work coming from the U.S. the location of a design or animation office is becoming less important each year.
Right now I think there’s a few other places we may explore in Toronto if we moved but a close proximity to a nice selection of lunch places would be first on our priority list. I know Bob has been looking for an excuse to open a satellite location in a small town in the south of France for a while.
What’s next for Polyester?
There are some things we’d like to be doing and exploring including working on packaging and going back to our design and illustration roots. And as we’ve continued to grow each year we are looking forward to the unpredictability of what comes next to the studio letting the problems and challenges we face shape the studio we are.