Welcome back to the new and improved Art Departmental. If this is your first time visiting us, you couldn’t have picked a better time than now.
Art Departmental was initially launched in 2009 when I could barely find a single soul talking about production design online. There was only one person on Twitter using the hashtag #artdept and a few blogs that had went silent after only a few posts. I decided if no one else was going to talk about the art department, I should fill that void. It just didn’t seem right to me that no one was discussing a craft so miraculous, creative, and exhausting as production design. Back then, I had only been in the field for 3 or 4 years so I was desperate to learn more. Art Departmental was meant to be more of a learning journal but it morphed over time when more and more people started visiting the site.
My career also morphed and as a result I became more and more busy as an art department coordinator on studio shows and a production designer on indie films. By 2014 I was having a difficult time juggling it all while I continued getting emails from my heroes about how much they loved the site. I created the site thinking only new art department people would be reading so I felt very little pressure. Why would anyone at the top of their game care about my little blog? Well, I was wrong and people of all ages and experiences united in their love for the craft and I felt a lot more pressure for every post to be a gem. The result of this was that I posted less frequently because I didn’t have time to create perfect posts 100% of the time. However, I did manage to keep all of our social media channels going thankfully. By 2016 I could barely stand to look at my own site tumbling in the weeds in a web layout created in 2009 which no longer felt like it represented me or my content fairly. This past March I decided to take some time off and start over on making the site what I know it can be- an essential resource celebrating the art and craft of production design for film and television. So here I am. I can’t promise you every post will be a gem but know I will always do my best under the circumstances I’m given with the spare time I carve out in between gigs to work on this site.
My relaunch timeline was a bit ambitious to say the least. I thought I could relaunch the site within 2 months. How hard could it be? As it turned out, I had spent 7 years on a blogging platform that I had set up incorrectly from the get go. This is why the site had to go offline for so long while I made all of the much-needed changes. It should also be noted that I was trying to bootstrap this process and did not hire anyone with technical skill to help me. In hindsight I wish I had since it was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Once I found the new platform and web layout, I made the switch and realised every single post I ever wrote would have to be reformatted, links rechecked, and all photos would have to be edited or replaced. It was my worst nightmare. This itself took 2 months and there are some posts that still need all new photos. The older PD Porn posts, being the worst offenders, will take some time for me to replace so many movie images with larger high quality images. After those two months zoomed by, I then had to go back to work. After I finished designing that project it was clear to me I had to take another month off work to get the site presentable. I’ve now done enough that I feel comfortable letting you guys see it. Plus it’s time for me to get back to work!
This was an interesting technical journey with a lot of hiccups along the way but I’m really happy to be posting again. I apologise if some of you received random emails while the site was down. There was a glitch in the system that should now be resolved. Crosses fingers. I have mentioned all of these trials and tribulations only as a precursor to say that this is why there is still a lot more content coming this year and this is a bare bones version of the new web content. I look forward to posting 4 times a month when I’m not on a project. I have also been working on several new sections of the blog to make sure people starting out in the industry have every resource that I didn’t have when I was starting out. I want to help people succeed and celebrate their successes.
Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me these past 8 years and contacted me to let me know how much you appreciated and missed what I was doing with Art Departmental. If it wasn’t for all of you I would have simply shut down the site for good instead of working to build an essential resource for production designers. You guys always brighten my day and I truly hope you enjoy the new site.
What do you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below or contact us directly to suggest something you would like to see on the site. Thank you so much for stopping by.
Rose Lagacé | @artdepartmental