The Cool Factor
Mindy Dubin is an artist. That’s first and foremost the reason why New
York City’s Quiet Man post chose her to head up the company’s new
creative offshoot, grasshopper, as creative director/partner.
The fact that she was born with divergent strabismus (the lack of depth
perception-she can’t see out of both eyes at the same time) didn’t
hinder Dubin’s progress as an artist. In fact, she says, "When I was in
art school, it was a bonus, like when we were asked to close one eye
and hold up a pencil so we could see stuff without the illusion of
perspective. I always felt like somehow I almost had a leg up working
flat or in 2D."
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon
University, she spent several years living, painting and drawing in
Paris; her work was exhibited throughout Europe. Once she began to
transition her skills into the moving graphics space and returned to
the States, Dubin found her way to Quiet Man where she continued to
push the creative.
What's Their Gig?
Located on the 20th floor of a midtown Manhattan building (just one
flight down from Quiet Man), grasshopper has officially been in
business for just five months. "We were talking about launching it for
a while," says Amy Taylor, executive director/partner of grasshopper/
Quiet Man. "We made the decision in October  and launched
grasshopper by the end of that month. And it was nice because we
already had jobs coming in that were perfect for the type of work
grasshopper was going to be doing."
Where Quiet Man has primarily been focused on "graphics set in
reality," says Taylor, grasshopper’s focus is more on the abstract and
artistic side. "Basically, what distinguishes the two companies is that
live-action footage is not the star at grasshopper, it’s just a piece
of the final project. It could have the same importance as a color."
So far, grasshopper’s clients have included GE, Pepsi, the U.S. Open
and the brand new Horror Channel (yet to be launched). But Dubin
explains she doesn’t want the new company to be limited by commercial
work. "I still think there are great opportunities to push creative in
commercial work, but I also think there are amazing opportunities in
title and broadcast design and even working with artists. I want to go
where the creative is-whether it means working with an artist, dancer
The Geek Factor
Not a lot of geek here, but Dubin does admit she favors Discreet
software and predominantly works on inferno because it "lends itself
nicely to the kinds of things we want to do. There’s an enormous amount
of freedom and flexibility with it." However, you’ll easily find a fair
share of workstations-both PCs and Macs-running a variety of graphics
software and an on-staff tech-guru to make sure it all plays nicely
"We don’t want to spend a lot of time on troubleshooting," she says.
"For me, it’s about pushing original, strong, stellar, creative kinds
What Thay Do
Launched in October 2004, grasshopper grew from Quiet Man post, leaning
more towards artistic and creative projects. The new shop is not
limited solely by commercial design.
Who They Are
Mindy Dubin, creative director/partner of grasshopper; Amy Taylor,
executive director/partner of grasshopper / Quiet Man; and key
designers Jason Sienkwicz, Beth Kaufer and Adam Stockett
Adobe After Effects
And a whole lot of plug-ins and other graphics software
28 West 44th St., Suite 2001
New York, NY 10036