On the Go with Josie Portillo and Polyester Studio
The way you start your day sets the tone for everything else. That’s why it’s important to get solid rest, a healthy breakfast, and try not to spill your coffee all over yourself. The morning can be a trial, rushing around, getting everything in order before a long day at work, so anything that can help and streamline the process is a bonus. Illustrator Josie Portillo and animation studio Polyester Studio teamed up to bring Coffee-mate’s newest product, Coffee-mate 2GO, to life in their own imaginings of how their portable creamer can help their customers. By making access to coffee flavors a no brainer, customers don’t have to juggle with milk jugs and pumps of sweetener. Coffee-mate 2GO makes the whole process much simpler.
To start, Josie Portillo began by illustrating scenes and advertisements that could ultimately become the animations. The first thing you may notice about what she does is the unique style she brings to the table. For her, the style is all inspired by the art she loves. “I’m very interested in mid-century style,” she says. “And one of the reasons that the art director reached out to me was because they were looking to emulate a retro feel. When I first got into illustration I was looking at a lot of mid-century cartoon illustration styles, and a lot of that stuck with me.” You can recognize that style in her characters and staging of the scenes where she exaggerates certain elements, making them slightly cartoonish while remaining relatable. In fact, for one of the ads, Josie drew directly from her own life. “They wanted me to show a messy desk and I basically just illustrated my own desk here at my office,” she says with a laugh. She admitted that her desk is a little more chaotic than what made it into the final ad because, after all, it was an advertisement.
For Polyester, it was all about editing. When they first received the scripts, Polyester knew that they could apply their expertise to the project immediately. Bob Zagorskis explains: “Our initial scripts were really long, so we worked with them to distill it down to each scene. To get the idea across about what happening in the spot. "We had to really figure out what the key idea was in the spot and then just hit it hard.” In order to condense the stories into 15-second spots it was crucial that they get clear on what the heart of each piece was. “For us it was just really paring back everything that was extraneous and getting down to what mattered.” By working with Coffee-mate, they were able to clarify and concentrate each story making them as clear and focused as possible. With Josie, they made sure that the images told as rich a story as possible while still keeping them within the strict time limits.
In all, it was a seamless collaboration, with Josie adding, “It was really great working with Polyester.” They leaned on one another to tell the stories Coffee-mate needed, while keeping everything clear and giving the audience a laugh. Cheers.