Interview With Maine The Way
The Sisters of Studio Linear
by Maine The Way
Their paths weren't always pointed in the direction of design. Born to the parents of an architect and a textile designer, Andrea Beaulieu and Sara Pullen began their careers as a landscape architect and marine biologist respectively. Their eye kept pulling them towards design, however. Eventually, they realized they could be stronger together and left their desk jobs to let their curiosity and creativity unfold. Now, the sister run business of Studio Linear is flourishing as they embrace all aspects of designing beautiful and functional spaces. They love working with clients ranging from entrepreneurs, looking to get their website off the ground, to new restaurants, figuring out the floorplan and menu design to match their mood. We recently caught up with Andrea and Sara to learn more about what inspires them, why they migrated back to Maine, and where they're headed on this entrepreneurial path. Enjoy, visit their website, and pick up some inspiration from the Bangor based designers.
Maine The Way: You’re a sister run business! What is that like? What do you each specialize in?
Andrea & Sara: We like to joke about the fact that growing up, we were opposites. Sara was very analytical and meticulous, while Andrea, on the other hand, was more of a free spirit and dreamer. Coming together to run Studio Linear has been like a ying and yang in ways, we compliment each other very well. The differences influence the way we work on projects. While both specializing in design, Andrea tends to keep in mind the big-picture and has a great ability to envision the direction of a project, and Sara hones in on the details of both the design work and business operations. With both of us coming together on projects, it feels as if we successfully integrate each other’s ideas, allowing us to produce our best work.
MTW: Neither of you have an educational background in graphic design work. Similarly, Cam studied Geology in school, but ended up as a writer/photographer. How do Marine Biology and Landscape architecture inform the work you do today?
A&S: These science specializations have really helped to develop our curiosity and sensitivity to our surroundings. We continue to use this approach to gather inspiration and develop insights that guide our work. When approaching a design project, we observe all facets of our client's business as it currently exists and look at where they would like to be - using insights to move our work forward. When creating designs, we are always inspired by the details, patterns, and design inspiration around us, so keeping our eyes open has always been a big part of our work.
MTW: What is your favorite kind of work to do? Why?
Andrea: I love print design because I am able to design with my heart. Digital collage is a favorite, building it up layer upon layer. Sometimes I'll have a Photoshop file open with a design that consists of hundreds of layers (and truth be told, I'm AWFUL at labeling those layers).
Sara: Website design is my favorite work. I have a lot of fun curating an experience for people who visit the site, distilling information so visitors gather a complete understanding of what the client or business is all about. My hope is that viewers find the website engaging and unique, as Andrea and I work hard to cater each site very specifically to our client’s needs.
MTW: What your dream project be? How would it start and where would you love to see it go?
A&S: Our dream jobs tend to be those when a client comes to us needing solutions to every creative piece of the puzzle. Starting with branding and spatial design, which are actually very similar in the design process in terms of being a foundation and setting the tone for the way a business will look and be perceived. We would then design print materials such as menus for a restaurant or packaging for a brewery. Finally, we would wrap up the project with a gorgeous website and photography to show off all of the hard work!