Hey there! We are Pencil Head Industries. And we love stories.
Especially when someone tells you their own. There's that moment when their eyes widen or their voice cracks with emotion, and they truly take you somewhere - back into a memory, or a weightless feeling, or a life changing moment. That’s how this project started, with the mission of capturing those moments and sharing them with you!
With your help, we will release a collection of 10 Audio/Visual Portraits that will transport you to another time and place! Our plan involves:
- The release of a vinyl record with accompanying artwork inside.
- The first of many immersive experiences, beginning with the A.I.R. Gallery, in Portland, OR, this September 19th, where visitors will put on a headset and step into another world.
- A website where the stories will live, and be added to as the Story continues to grow. Now is your chance to be a part of the story!
Examples of the Portraits:
Three years ago Travis Abels started recording conversations with friends and people he met on the street. From those recordings, he made short audio portraits by pulling apart a collection of moments, reshaping them with sound design and music, to create immersive soundscapes. From there the vision grew with Marc Girouard. Together they started collaborating on visual interpretations of the audio portraits, by making 16x16” screen prints to accompany them.
We became fascinated with how a story evolves over time, as memory tinkers with the details. From here, we decided to embrace those inconsistencies and take them a step further. Hence the title, or Something Like That.
We got crazy excited about the idea of an audio/visual portrait, and decided to make a collection of ten and package them into a vinyl record and booklet for the stories to be seen and heard simultaneously.
We also loved the idea of creating a gallery space in which these stories could live in a more interactive way. Upon entering the gallery, you’ll be invited to put on headset that connects you to the portrait of your choice. While walking through the space, your ears are eyes are linked to different versions of the same story!
The collaborative nature of the project grew even more as we began reaching out to our favorite musicians to create original scores for each piece. Such musicians include Gene Back from The Books and Cameron Spies from Portland's own Radiation City.
Over the past year and a half we’ve been working tirelessly to make this dream a reality. Eight of the ten portraits are in their final stages for printing and mastering, and through the good people of the A.I.R. gallery in downtown Portland, we’ve secured a gallery space for three weeks in which to premiere this event.
When you contribute to this project, you get a piece of it, and enable us to spread it far and wide by pressing more records, printing more art, and finding more stories. Assuming that our goal is fulfilled, we'll be reaching out to everyone shortly after the end of the campaign with details about claiming your rewards. At this stage you can pick exactly which portraits you want, how you’d like us to mod out your jean jacket, celebrate your day of honor, what-have-you!
As you might imagine, this is a very expensive and time-consuming process. A portrait can take a few months to get just right as we go back and forth with each musician, and each other, to elevate each story to its full potential. This sometimes means booking space at a recording studio, buying ink and paper for screen prints, and doing several test prints to make sure we've got the visuals dialed in.
Here we've broken down our budget based on meeting our current goal. If we exceed our goal we'll put any extra money back into the story machine for creating new portraits and putting on more shows. We’re currently based in Portland, but we dream of hosting these stories in several galleries all over the country and eventually the world.
There are so many more portraits to come. This collection is just the first iteration. There are over a dozen portraits outside of this release that are in various forms of completion. This is just the beginning!
We are: Travis Abels and Marc Girouard, two creatives with a singular vision for collaborative storytelling experiences. Nice to meet you!
We met 10 years ago in art school, and have been collaborating on art projects ever since. We discovered that our creative styles were complimentary. For instance, when Travis made a giant nose car for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, Marc created this catchy track, entirely from nose noises, to accompany the race.
Outside of Pencil-Head Industries, Marc is a freelance artist and graphic designer, and Travis is an award-winning* trailer editor for the movie business (*The Imitation Game).
So many people have donated their time to this project, from the 70+ storytellers we’ve sat down with, to the musicians who’ve donated their time and talent to breathe more life into each piece. With your help, we will tell this story, far and wide. Thank you and to all of the people who've helped out so far!
Linda Eliason, Jason Traeger, Isabel Miller, Dan Weber, Guin Frehling, Peter Nevins, Ema Robinson, Garrett Price, Adrien Warner, Gene Back, Aaron Ransley, Cameron Spies, Elisabeth Ellison, Mike Zarin, Human Ottoman, Megan McGeorge, Jon Rogers, Susan Richardson, Matt Cartmill, Grayson Fiske, Andy Rayborn, Wax Tailor, Nick Finney, Linsay Craten, Mike Holderreed, Maria Munoz, Tony Morales, Brad Simmons, Evan Skvarce, Karlo Valle, Tarik Bel-Bahar, Cheri Anderson, Andrew Reder, Anna Nelson, Jon Bailey, Servane Varnese, Charlotte Marette, Ollie Collins, Marilyn Divine, Tyler Yenna, Rachelle Eileen, Christina Davis, Jocelyn Brady, Olen May, John May, Steve Parton, Ryan Kong, Jay Flewelling, Kelsey Peake, Donovan James, Tod Kelly, Rob Gray, Anjuli Azem, Jamie Grant, Katie Grant, Ben Cassou, Kyle Stevens, Allie O’Brien, Steve Wilcox, Corrie Weber, Terra Keck, Connor Limbocker, the members of Flight 64, Flight 65, Chris Haberman, The People’s Gallery, Jenny Lamb, Jake Silberman, Ben Carr, Kurt Schnelker, Donna Abels, Roger Abels, Courtney Harmon, Jessica McClure, Dawn Wagner, Alicia Johnson, Patrick Girouard, Debra Cusick, Linda Girouard Jones, Ronald H. Jones, Anthony A. Altomare, Monica Reyes, Andi Bixel, Tim and Eric, and Brother
Risks and challenges
Provided that Marc and Travis’s hands don’t fall off, there’s very little risk that the art won’t be finished in time for the opening in September. There are always unexpected hiccups in any creative process though. For instance, midway through the filming of this Kickstarter video our camera completely fell apart. This, however, is what makes any creative endeavor an adventure, and we’re dedicated to charging forward regardless of what obstacles may arise.
Our greatest challenge ahead is the timing of the record. Working closely with musicians to create original, soaring composition for the last few pieces is taking a bit of time, and most vinyl pressing plants take 14-16 weeks to create a record. We’ve found a great spot in LA that can do it in 8-10, and we’re feeling confident that we can have everything wrapped up in time for a release at the big show in September.
Our first priority is making the record amazing, and if getting it there means spending a few extra weeks on it and pushing back the release til after the show, then that is what we will do. Regardless of what happens, you’ll get your slick vinyl no later than October of this year. Sound good?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)