Mood

It’s less than a year old, and yet this stu­dio has al­ready es­tab­lished it­self as a high-qual­ity hub of cre­ativ­ity

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Most start-up stu­dios are staffed by people brought to­gether by a com­mon love of vis­ual arts, or a group of grad­u­ates on the same course. That's not the case with Den­mark's MOOD, which came into be­ing be­cause of one man: a psy­chopath renowned for his abil­ity to ex­e­cute people from afar, his stealthy moves and the mys­te­ri­ous bar­code em­bla­zoned on the back of his bald nog­gin.

Okay, Agent 47 might be a video game char­ac­ter, but the Hit­man pro­tag­o­nist was the force that brought MOOD's key per­son­nel to­gether. All the artists worked on Io-in­ter­ac­tive's Hit­man se­ries, which fea­tures the foli­cally chal­lenged anti-hero, be­fore they de­cided to leave the Copen­hagen-based game de­vel­oper and launch their own am­bi­tious de­sign stu­dio in the city.

“The dream of start­ing our own stu­dio had ex­isted for a long time,” says MOOD's con­cept de­signer and CEO Ras­mus Berggreen. “We felt that the in­dus­try in Scan­di­navia needed a go-to stu­dio that could han­dle larger projects and deliver high qual­ity. A stu­dio with its fo­cus on evolv­ing de­sign and talent, and el­e­vat­ing the vis­ual level in gen­eral.”

MOOD was es­tab­lished last year and has al­ready pro­duced some high-qual­ity work. De­spite the stu­dio's roots in games, it cre­ates art for film too, and it han­dles ev­ery stage of a project, from pre-vi­su­al­i­sa­tion to mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­ri­als. Ras­mus is keen for each of these to be as pol­ished as pos­si­ble.

“We help to im­prove the projects we are work­ing on by in­creas­ing the over­all vis­ual qual­ity,” he says. “We want to be in­volved and have pas­sion for our projects. This is how we can make out­stand­ing work. I be­lieve that this un­der­stand­ing helps us to be unique and al­ways evolve as a stu­dio.”

Jonas Spring­borg, a con­cept artist at MOOD, fol­lows Ras­mus' ethos – even if it in­volves painful truths. “We're all a bunch of ex­pe­ri­enced de­sign­ers, but we’re al­ways aim­ing to get bet­ter, learn new tech­niques and get sup­port from all here at MOOD,” Jonas says. “And we ex­pect to get bru­tally hon­est cri­tique from each other to en­sure that we deliver top-notch work ev­ery time. I'm cur­rently learn­ing ZBrush with the help from Jan Ditlev, and will hope­fully soon im­ple­ment this into my de­sign flow.”

The need to net­work

Be­cause it's such a new stu­dio, MOOD also has to es­tab­lish it­self and build a rep­u­ta­tion among its clients and ac­tively seek out work – some­thing which Ras­mus un­der­stands well. “Work is not only about the qual­ity,

I love Copen­hagen. It’s a fab­u­lous city. There’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on

but also talk­ing with the right people at the right time,” he says. “Some­times jobs will fall in your lap, and other times you have to do a lot of net­work­ing to get any­thing. But things get eas­ier when you've been in the busi­ness for some time and have proven that you can deliver qual­ity and on time. It is im­por­tant to build those good re­la­tions.”

MOOD's dou­ble-pronged ap­proach to find­ing work helps im­mensely, though. The team al­ready has a wide-reach­ing net­work through­out Copen­hagen from its pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ers, and as word-of-mouth has spread the work has in­creased. How­ever, the stu­dio isn't afraid to ap­proach clients who it feels would fit in with its art di­rec­tion and aes­thetic.

Ras­mus con­sid­ers the Dan­ish cap­i­tal to be an amaz­ing city for star­tups, too. “I love Copen­hagen,” he says. “It’s a fab­u­lous city. There's al­ways some­thing go­ing on and I have a lot of good friends here. There's also a very strong tra­di­tion for de­sign here, and at the mo­ment it's very ex­cit­ing with lots of new ris­ing com­pa­nies fo­cus­ing on apps.”

Jonas also loves work­ing for the stu­dio. “I love the chal­lenges, get­ting to de­sign and draw ev­ery day and, of course, work­ing with some awe­some people,” he says. “It's a great stu­dio in the heart of Copen­hagen filled with tal­ented and fun people. And we have an ar­ray of cool projects and big am­bi­tions for the fu­ture.”

MOOD has only just moved into its light and airy loft of­fices.

MOOD’s head hon­cho Ras­mus Berggreen adds some fin­ish­ing touches to a piece. MOOD can pro­duce a range of art styles, in­clud­ing Square Enix's Game­globe's car­toony look.

A dra­matic piece of per­sonal sci-fi art from Jan Ditlev Chris­tensen. A piece of pro­mo­tional Hit­man: Ab­so­lu­tion art cre­ated by the MOOD team.

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