A Mover and a Maker—An Interview with Paul Anders

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.

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.

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.

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