Be The Change You Want To See

Posted in Insights

At FINE we bring friends. Recently we had the pleasure of hosting Ben Chapin. Ben is a freelance animator from the Boston area and while visiting Portland, he spent a day with us.

As part of a studio visit we often ask those who are inclined to create a piece of work, whether that be drawing, design or writing. Ben went above and beyond and has shared a eight scene animation piece, too. Enjoy!

Hey everyone! My name’s Ben Chapin. I’m an animator, illustrator, and graphic designer from Boston, Massachusetts. I recently visited the Pacific Northwest for the first time, and really had my eyes opened to the wide world of the West Coast.

My travels brought me up North to Seattle, where I glimpsed double rainbows on Lake Washington, prepared for downpours but reveled in sunshine, and witnessed strange ambient music shows with trombonists.

I took the train from Seattle down to Portland, where I rendezvoused with FINE to spend a day there and see what it’s like. From my arrival to roaming the streets in search of beer, food and other magical wonders, I fell in love with Portland. This wasn’t the Portlandia that Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein showed me, this was something different. It was more intimate, more accepting, and rife with culture.

The team at FINE reflected these qualities and amplified the feeling of being in a wonderfully interesting and warm place. A nexus of awesome, with nodes of welcoming scattered everywhere. From the moment I walked in the door and got a tour of the place, to the minute I sat down at my guest desk, and had my schedule for the day in front of me, I knew that every moment was going to yield something amazing. I spent my day immersing myself in the digital design agency world; stepping into a variety of critiques, meetings, and conferences. I spoke with designers, creative and art directors, developers and producers. I “interviewed” with these folks, and had my portfolio reviewed. I made connections. I ate some of the best Korean tacos I have ever had. I topped it all off with some delicious local beer.

As I left FINE, and eventually the Pacific Northwest, I bathed in the afterglow of meeting so many wonderful people who taught me a lot about a world I have long wondered about. The Pacific Northwest is home to beautiful landscape, radical cities, and a diverse and welcoming culture different in many ways than the one I know so well on the East coast. As I sit in my studio and plan for the future, I know that this is one place I know I will be returning to, sooner or later, with a smile on my face.

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