Thursday, September 20, 2007

About the Arts + Boston Children's Museum = FableVision :)

The first thing people ask you when you visit FableVision is: "How did you hear about us?" I've been an employee here for about 2 years now, but I still really like telling how I found out about the company, because it illustrates happenstance and serendipity so well. :)

When I graduated from college, I spent most of my time on the Craig's List job hunt page. I was so desperate that I applied for a workshop teaching position for a Boston-based company called About the Arts (Mind you, I had no experience at all teaching children, nor did I know how to put together a curriculum.) I met with two of the nicest people I have ever come across for an interview. James Brown (epic name!) and Yssa Santos are the co-creators/producers of About the Arts.

James and Yssa are not self proclaimed artists, but they have this undying love for all things art that I can't explain. They both have full time jobs, but devote their spare time to helping to celebrate artists of all sorts on their website, hosting gallery receptions, workshops, and, the seed of the entire operation, they produce a television show that airs on WGBH. The show is filmed documentary style and they have interviewed over 150 artists since 1995. And when I say artists, I mean painters, sculptures, actors, graphic artists, dancers, writers, and so on... I highly recommend you spend some time on their site.

They were very supportive, loved my proposal for a "Beginner's Illustration Workshop" for kids. They advertised the class....buuut...nobody signed up. Ho hum.

Months pass and I get a call from a woman working for the Boston Children's Museum. She says she got my name from Yssa Santos and wanted to know if I would headline the museum's annual fundraiser called "The Early Start Art Brunch" at the former Ritz Carlton. (wuuhhhh?) I said yes, and when I got there that morning after weeks of nervous jitters, I discover that my headlining spot had been taken over by a certain Peter H. Reynolds. (haha)

I had mixed feelings, but as soon as Peter came over to my humble little workshop area littered with colored pencils and construction paper (see photo -->), we started chatting. I was a little frazzled, but I remembered hearing - "Animation Studio" - "Watertown..." Afterwards, I watched him wow an entire ROOM full of kids, while I could barely keep 5 interested.

I went home...found FableVision.com....sent my resume to Dawn....yadda yadda yadda... :)

Check out About the Arts!! Maybe they can change your life too :)

8 comments:

Bob Flynn said...

Even weirder how the whole Children's Museum bit comes fill circle. Wow, great post Renee! This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping people would blog about. Getting the word out about something inspiring, while writing something touching at the same time.

Marli said...

that's so funny!

I found the company about 48 hours after graduation simultaneously scrolling through mediapros jobs and sobbing about how unemployable a theatre grad is in the real world. I almost didn't e-mail Karen (then I looked at the website and my wishful thinking rejeuvenated my optimism).

Less than 72 hours after graduation I was feeling slightly more employable.

Brian Grossman said...

This is pretty interesting... I'm curious how others found out about FableVision.

I found FableVision on CraigsList in 2002...

came in for an 'informational interview' with Doug...

freelanced on a project for part of 2003...

parted ways...

interviewed for the Technical Director position in 2005 (did not get the job -- Keith Lindenboom did)...

was hired as the Technical Director in 2006.

Bob Flynn said...

I first heard about FableVision through Bettie Schwartz at my first job out of college. I was hired to develop a website and help with character design for a 3D animated feature called The Good Sports Gang. The website is still up (view here). Long story, but imagine VeggieTales with Kurt Warner and sports balls.

Apparently FableVision was one of the production contenders before they decided to go 3D. The FV Lunchbox was featured prominently in the studio, and when I mentioned I was heading back to Boston, Bettie pointed me in the right direction.

John L said...

Many years ago, I was taking a writing workshop in the evenings. I was talking to one of the other students afterwards about our creative interests, while walking to our cars. Just before we parted ways, she said, "Have you ever heard of Tom Snyder Productions? They might be looking for artists." I had never heard of them -- and promptly called for an interview. Peter Reynolds and his development team there (about five people) had set up a satellite office called "FableVision", and he hired me as a freelancer. And I never left. FableVision became independent, and evolved into the company you see today. If it wasn't for that one conversation, everything might have been different.

Marli said...

Veggies tales with Kurt Warner and sports balls...

umm... :)

Douglas said...

I was hired to work at CF Video right out of college... by my then-professor Paul Reynolds! At first I knew of FableVision as the 'guys upstairs'- it was kind of like the fun annex where the really cool kids hung out. I'd hang around when I could, and soon had the chance to work with them... I think the Butchers site was our first collaboration?

Then I left CF (Cosmic Blender) to see the country, came back, freelanced for Fable (with Shelby as my client!), left again, and, of course, came back again (well, you know, by 'back' I mean in the 'in every way but physically in Boston' sense).

Toby A. said...

I came to FableVision through Karen. She was the EP at Cosmic Blender for two projects I worked on --- a breast cancer Web site for the Mayo Clinic that I wrote and a video about Advanced Directives that I produced (though $150,000 later was never finished.)The first thing I did was write Brain Cogs. I feel very lucky to be here.