Upcoming projects and goals for 2014

2014 has started off great- STORY has made it to the jurying portion of the Northwest Animation Festival (wish it luck!) and the foundation is being laid for 2 upcoming Artful Raven Shorts- “Bear’s Bear” and “Haunter”.

“Bear’s Bear” is a 3D animated comedy short that shares the risk of waking a Bear before he’s good an ready. Right now it’s in basic pre-production, but expect monthly updates as this is the piece that is being workshoped monthly here in PDX for review.

“Haunter” is our long standing Stop-motion short based on an HP Lovecraft story- and is the first larger scale production for this team. We are gearing up into the start of production and updates will be about once a month, with a little behind the scenes and some photos too. There is a future kickstarter in development as well, so keep an eye out for that!

I’m working to become more regular on posting, it’s definitely a habit I’ll be cultivating more as Artful Raven grows. I can’t wait to share the progress.

Onto 2014!


Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: Time to Share

Last night’s ASIFA event was a wonderful experience- I saw this project on the big screen and everyone there enjoyed it. I spoke about how it came about and things I learned along the way. It was great to look back on the last few months and see how this project came to be. The biggest thing I learned was that I loved seeing what others were inspired to create with little direction from me. I feel this style of animation lets you just let loose and play- which is huge. I already have people interested in the next one, and I’ve got possible themes written out. It’s gonna be great to keep doing this year after year.

So without further ado, here is Artful Raven Studio’s First Collaborative project- STORY:

Click here for the full project page on our site.

Thank you, Enjoy, and on to the next!


Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: COMPLETE

We have finished. The last bit of editing is done, the music sounds lovely, and we’ve even entered into the Northwest Animation Festival for 2014. I am blown away. The last thing left is to share!

Since this was done through the collaboration of so many local portland animators, and the timing was right- there will be one screening before it goes live on the web. STORY will be premiered this coming Saturday at an ASIFA event here in Portland OR. It is free to come! If you want to see this on the big screen, here is the full information on the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1425251021038549

In addition to showing it, I’ll be talking about the process of getting it done, the ups and downs and the wonderful things I learned through-out.

The next day, it will be live on Artful Raven’s Finished Works section here.

Don’t worry- I’ll make sure there is a blog post to announce it! In the meantime, here is the narration for you to enjoy:


by Sophya Vidal

What good is a story? I was asked.

Well- Once upon a time there was a little girl…

Wait, I’m sorry- that’s not quite it.

Once upon a time there was a valiant knight…

Or… was it a witch? a Prince? a Maid!

No, no… what was it? That subject of narrative,

that first time you heard that phrase at bedtime,

at dinner time, at church, in the library, at school-

on the grass simply cradled in the moment?


It doesn’t matter.

Because Once upon a time- there was You.

You, huddled under the covers, flashlight in hand,

towering over Lilliputians, Adventuring leagues under the sea,

or perhaps, like me, learning about love through tesseracts and

a bi-spectacled lady named Mrs. Who.


We learn our shapes and our numbers,

Our colors and our phrases,

Our Left from our right- Our Right from our wrong,

and everything in-between starts picking up speed,

Racing Memory-Molding and Defining because before you know it,

Once upon a time there was You becomes Once upon a time there I was,

Leading to the inevitable shout that dispenses with all formalities declaring simply:


And when asked, how did you do it?

We give names and facts, anecdotes perpetuating inspiration and animation of the soul.

We share our thoughts and elevate our performance, our perseverance,

Glowing brighter than one thousand suns.

It is in that sudden moment your “Here I am” becomes someone else’s “Once upon a time”

That is the power of Story.


Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: Update

It has been a CRAZY  2 months! There were one or two changes in the lineup of participants, including one last minute loss- but it is finally all together. I thought I would take a moment to share the 3 biggest things I’ve learned in this adventure:

1) Being a producer is no easy feat. It didn’t occur to me that I had landed in that role until the first animation deadline came up. Only 6 people met it. Which meant I still had 9 participants to rally! and lost some, so I had to find new participants with a shorter deadline. At the same time, I had to try to edit what I had and roll with it.

2) Deadlines are goals (only few are absolutes). This was a REALLY hard lesson for me. I had planned for a six week turnaround- this was a quick and dirty experimental collaboration after all. With scheduling participants, editing time, and my own life events, I had set myself up for failure- if all I was thinking about was the deadline. Yes, this was experimental- but I wanted the best quality, from everyone- including myself. A six week deadline, while giving a great push and fire, was not going to give this project the strength to bloom. As I rescheduled, I focused on polishing what I had in the meantime. The project is about a 2 month timeline. This will be my working goal for the next adventure.

3) Speaking of next adventure- I’ve had a number of people asking to be a part of the next Collaboration. This is wonderful to me- I want Artful Raven to be a place where people want to join, want to create, want to tell stories.  This project has made me spread out from my creative island and build some bridges.

This project will be complete in the next few days- All the animation is complete and my sound designer is making his final pass.

I can’t wait to share this with all of you, trust me- it’s lovely.



Storytime! Collaboration Adventure #1

In celebration of collaborative story, a tradition has begun here at Artful Raven – An Annual Exquisite Corpse Animation!

Basically it is a project where in each participant gets a small portion of soundtrack to animate as loosely and as creatively as they see fit. Once everyone returns their portion, It is placed together for completed work.

It’s free, loose, and oh so fun. The turnaround is about a month.  O.O

This year’s theme is Story. The Narration, the soundtrack and the artwork are all unique to this project. Illustrations , Animations, Motion Graphics, all Creative styles are all welcome.

Hand picked Invitations have gone out- replies are coming in slowly.

Let’s make something AWESOME.


I’ve been working this studio over in my head for the last 5 years. What can I bring to the table? What do I do best? Why do I want to do this? It all comes down to one very simple thing. I am a storyteller. I want to make things and tell stories as long as this world will let me.  The adventure officially begins today, though the preparation has been long in the making.

Artful Raven Studio is a place meant to bring stories to life and share them with everyone.  This company will grow and stretch with each project and each lesson gained.  I am very much looking forward to what the future will bring.  In the meantime, prepare yourselves folks-

Our first project is on it’s feet and wide awake. “Haunter” is a stop-motion short based on HP Lovecraft’s short story “The Haunter of the Dark.” It’s being brought to you by Holly Heft, Troy Hileman, and myself. Our site will soon have bio updates, if you are so curious as to why this is an AWESOME team. We are estimating a finished short by mid 2014.

Meanwhile I’ll be blogging with weekly updates on both the studio development and behind the scenes progress on our short.

Talk to you all soon-

Sophya V.


Artful Raven New Logo

Artful Raven is a production studio based in Portland OR.  We bring stories to life.

Story, Collaboration, and Quality, are the foundation for any project done here- and we love it.

2D, 3D, Stop-motion are all worlds we play in. Our passion for storytelling drives us make works that bring you on a grand adventure.

That’s the beauty of imagination – it can take you anywhere and everywhere.

So if you want to go on a journey with us, feel free to drop us a line here.

Adventure awaits.

The Artful Raven Studio is an emerging production studio. With knowledge and craftsmanship as the cornerstone of all projects- Quality is always a priority. How can I help you?