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Portland Artist Drew Tyndell

Portland-based Drew Tyndell is the creative director of his own studio, Computer Team, which specializes in 2D hand-drawn and stop-motion animations. But he’s also an accomplished artist in the more traditional sense of the word. Drawing on inspirations like abstract expressionism and his upbringing as a homebuilder’s son, Tyndell got his start in the art world by creating a series of 2D geometric paintings executed on pieces of scrapwood that mimicked architectural structures. Taking this defined, geometric aesthetic and applying it to his background in graphic design, he’s been able to be recognized commercially for his looping animations for clients like Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Nickelodeon. His most recent project is a commissioned mural for Dolby’s new headquarters in San Francisco. Keep reading to learn more about his process and what we can expect from him in the coming months.

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DrewTyndell_DolbyDescribe your most recent project and how it was made.
I designed a mural for Dolby Laboratories’ new headquarters in San Francisco. Kevin Byrd headed up the project and picked different artists to make art for the new office that was inspired by music (mostly classical and some Philip Glass). I drew blindly along with the music and ended up with shapes I wouldn’t normally have drawn. I collaged all the weird shapes I made into the final piece. The outcome was way more organic than my usual work, which was really refreshing and fun.

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REGGIE_6Describe your next project and how you’re currently making it.
I just got finished making an animated short for an interview with Reggie Watts for Google Play and California Sunday Magazine. It was a part of a really great ongoing series about different musicians, actors, comedians and how they’re inspired by California. I tried to capture Reggie’s colorful and playful personality to bring his story to life. It was all hand-drawn, frame by frame in Photoshop. The look was sort of related to the abstract loops I’ve made in the past, but expanded upon to put Reggie in the mix. Each scene I tried to incorporate some sort of looping element.

Right now I’m in the middle of making another looping piece for an episode of “Off the Air” on Adult Swim which should be airing sometime this fall.

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Walter RuttmannTell us one thing that’s been inspiring you lately and why.
I’ve been really into early abstract animation, especially Walter Ruttmann’s work from the 20’s. I like how low-tech it is — hand-painted and not perfect. So much animation you see today is so perfect and computer-y which is great and all, but I get kind of bored with that style. I love seeing evidence that something is handmade.The-Sinking-of-the-LusitaniaName your favorite piece of design from the last 10 years, and tell us why you like it.
Definitely not of the last 10- years, but I recently saw the “Sinking of the Lusitania” by Winsor McCay on TCM. I vaguely remember seeing it in art school, but re-watching it blew me away. I love the animation of the water and the smoke coming off the ship. It seems so modern for something made so long ago. It’s just such a powerful piece.

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