There may not be enough creative professionals working in Rhode Island to counteract the economic discouragement that the state finds itself in, but they are trying.
Specifically there is a small but evolving animation and special effects sector having success here. Take Treanor Brothers Animation on North Main Street in Providence, for example.
Brothers Paul and Todd Treanor won their first honors while they were students at Barrington High School in the mid-’80s.
“We won the Cox Cable award in high school for a stop-motion animation we did called ‘Mutant World’,” said Todd. “We had GI Joe figures fighting Claymation monsters.”
Both brothers left Rhode Island after high school to follow their creative talents and to perfect their skills, with Paul going to New York and Todd to Chicago.
Starting their creative collaboration in Chicago in the early ’90s, the two moved to San Francisco in 1995.
The growth of the video game industry continued to fuel the growth of their business.
“We do a lot of development for game companies,” he said, “working with the art director at a game company.
And while the Treanors are among many professionals who leave Rhode Island to launch or grow their careers, they also followed a well-worn path back to the Ocean State for family and quality of life.
Paul came back first to work at the public relations firm RDW, and then in 2002 opened the Treanor Brothers Animation studio on North Main Street. Over the next several years, Todd transitioned from the West Coast back to Providence.
“It wasn’t for the business potential that I moved back to Rhode Island,” said Todd. “I have three children and I loved growing up here.”
The project that helped them develop an important local business relationship was working on the program Action Blast! for Hasbro Inc.
Their relationship with the Pawtucket-based toy maker continued to develop, and Treanor Brothers Animation has designed and developed many computer-generated elements for Hasbro’s Cake Mix Studios. Their piece for Hasbro’s Crocodile Chomp game won a Silver Telly award for best children’s commercial.
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