A while back, my friend recommended I check out the work of FableVision. Please visit their website! They are a fantastic example of a for-profit company that is able to live and work by its mission: which apparently is a 200 year goal to change the world using media. Bravo! At the helm of the FableVision boat is Peter Reynolds. It seems as if Reynolds has his hand in all aspects of children's media but is most successful, I think, in his pursuit of quality visual art for children. His books are beautifully illustrated, the company's website designs are fun to play with and look at, and their software Animation-ish is a great tool to teach visual art and, more specifically, animation to children.
I was able to visit their studio this evening at an open house they hosted. It was such a fun environment and seemed to foster fantastic creative energy amongst the staff. Artwork and recording are done in-house, which I LOVE. It made me start to think about my studio; what will it look like? I'd love to develop a company of creative, mission-driven artists just as Reynolds has done.
My favorite part of the open house was experimenting with the company's educational software Animation-ish. I got to design my own characters and bring them to life using a simple, directed format. The company seems to be using it primarily in classrooms, but I have a feeling this will be tops on my Christmas list and will most likely be the gift I purchase for my younger cousins (ages 6 and 9).
When I received the open house invite (which I got simply from being on the listserve), I was unsure about it. Head into Boston to check out someone's office? Meh. I was encouraged by one of my classmates who came with me. I really learned appreciate this opportunity. Particularly as someone who will be looking for employment in 9 months, I now realize how valuable it is to get a feel for a work environment and know more about a company before sending in a resume or completely writing them off.
Please check out the company's site and experiment with Animation-ish! You won't regret it...