“Nothing smells when you create art on computers…” Mark Bloom.

Originally, Santa Donato Studios was, well…an art STUDIO, with artists, working in cubicles, at art tables, with pencils and pens and paper, t-squares, triangles and rulers, and big assembly counters, large flat files, an extensive reference library (as in, books and magazines), a conference area, and lots of windows… and it smelled. Despite the use of air purifiers and spray booths, it smelled of cigarette smoke, rubber cement, or worse yet, “Spray Mount” (acetone – super nasty stuff), and it smelled of MARKERS (Xylene – worse yet). Sounds awful, right?

It was great.

Common interest and work ethic created a sense of community. Everyone worked way too many long hours, and shared discoveries that influenced technique and style. We did that all while figuring out how the hell to create the most effective artwork possible. The mission was simple: regardless of deadline, deliver on time, and make sure that what we created – the storyboard art, the animatic art, the print comp art, the finished illustration, in whatever style necessary – gave life to our clients’ concepts. Whatever we delivered had to WORK.

That’s how PICTURES THAT WORK was born.

Of course, everyone works remotely now. It’s safe to say that most of us who worked in the era of the art studio miss it in many ways. However, despite the radical changes in HOW we do what we do, we maintain the same focus on WHAT we are paid to do. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. We have the same sense of community, and the same common purpose we have always had. Artists still work long hours and continue to experiment with style and update techniques. And there is, to this day, no more powerful mission that defines us than saying we deliver PICTURES THAT WORK.

That’s what we’re about.

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