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I recently attended Designer Vaca in Palm Springs, which was really awesome and inspiring! Unfortunately, I’ve been traveling a bunch and haven’t been able to post about it.
To tide you over until I can- here are some illustrations I did of me and Shauna from last year’s conference.

I haven’t posted these anywhere, except for the one below, which is obviously on the front page of this website- but here it is uncropped and high res!

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To up the ante a little bit, and encourage me to keep making and collaborating with all the lovely ladies I met at DV, I’m inviting all you ladies who attended to send me a photo you took at this year’s conference. I’ll draw an illustration similar to the ones above from your photo and I’ll include in my post for this year!

But I only have time to draw ONE!

So comment here, email me, facebook message- just send me something highish res and I’ll pick one, okay?
Send me your faves!

31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday.
Here I am, surrounded by dahlias, squinting into the sun.
The past few years have been brutal but rewarding.
Both 29 and 30 started with health problems, and I was nervous that this year I was headed for a Hat Trick. I’m pleased to say that this year I wasn’t sick on my birthday for the first year in a few.

This past year I’ve become a much better designer & developer, and this month marks a whole year of working for myself. Looking back over the projects I’ve worked on, I’m really excited by the things I’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time.

This past year I:

I hope I can get better at keeping you all in the loop on what I’m doing. I just finished a whole ton of projects that I haven’t gotten to show you yet- and I’m excited to have the time to share it in the upcoming months.

Here’s to another year, and the hope that things will only get more awesome.

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My band, This Can’t End Well, is playing tomorrow evening with the most excellent folks in Makeunder!
We’re playing at one of my favorite venues, too- the charming antique store and private venue, Viracocha.

Here’s the details:

Wednesday July 24th
Viracocha
21st & Valencia
San Francisco, CA
Doors: 8:30

If you’re coming, kindly RSVP on Facebook here.

& just to convince you extra hard, here’s a video of our Amazing Horse cover from our show in December, with guest violin by Meredith Yayanos!

[Video by Tim Riot]

Lastly, if you haven’t heard Makeunder, please check out this amazing video of them:

Hope to see you all there!!!
<3

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This project is part of a greater initiative by Dandelion Chocolate called Chocolate+. The project focuses on the experience of pairing chocolate with other things, such as bourbon, coffee, and wine. I came up with the branding and concept for this initiative. Dandelion has teamed up with several local businesses to host tasting events.

For this particular Chocolate+ event, Lisa Gallinger, chocolate maker at Dandelion Chocolate and Michael Lazar, bar manager at Hog & Rocks, teamed up to lead a tasting of single origin chocolates and barrel strength bourbons. The tasting event, part of an ongoing series, allowed participants to learn about the production of both chocolate and bourbon, understand how to best taste and evaluate each product and then experience the alchemy of tasting both together.

My task for the event was to design tasting notes and mats for the chocolate and bourbon. My challenge was to create a cohesive design that combined the Dandelion and Hog & Rocks brands. For the final design, I chose to go with chocolatey earth tones and created a subtle patterned texture using the plus sign, to underscore the Chocolate+ brand. I also photographed the event. Pictures below!

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Continue reading…

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I was completely blown away by Evelin Kasikov’s CMYK handprinted Alphabet.
All that embroidery would make my head spin.

Here’s how she describes her project:

This is my first fully CMYK-embroidered alphabet. My intention was to create stitched letterforms considering typographic characteristics: legibility, coherence, weight and contrast. I wanted to avoid manipulating existing character sets – this is not halftoned Gill Sans or Helvetica. I began by setting up a 4-layer halftone grid with 10 crosses per x-height. The screen for each colour is set at a different angle: Cyan 105˚, Magenta 75˚, Yellow 90˚ and Black 45˚. The challenge was to construct a coherent character set upon this grid. Each letter consists of four layers, Cyan being printed first and Black last. The equal blend of stitched CMYK colours results in handmade Registration Black.

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Sadly her site doesn’t allow comments, so you can’t tell her how awesome you think it is.
But she has a lot of other awesome projects up that you should go check out!

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Stumptown Comics Fest is an independent comic convention in Portland that draws over 3,000 attendees yearly. I’ve been going to this show for 7 years straight, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing it grow from a wee thing into a huge and robust convention. To be perfectly honest, it’s my favorite comics show of all, which is why I was so thrilled when I was asked to be the Art Director.

My job was to ensure that all visual materials produced for the event by different artists worked together to create a cohesive look for the event. In addition to art direction, I did branding and designed all the print collateral. I created a logo and style guide, designed a 34-page program, flyers, badges, t-shirts, and an 18×24″ poster.

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As Art Director, I wanted to create a unified look for all the festival’s collateral. Even though the Festival is now in its 10th year, until I came on board, it had never had a logo or style guide. My goal was to get all the festival-related materials to be tight and visually harmonious. 

I was invited to art direct the festival by Kaebel Hashitani, the festival director. I’ve known Kaebel for a few years, but I really got to know him well when I put together my show, “Date Lines” at the gallery he co-runs with Merrick Monroe.

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For the branding, I wanted to create a logo that could be used in different ways. I ended up creating a major brandmark, the tree stump with a stylized Portland skyline. The tree stump can also be removed, and the text inside of that can stand on its own as a secondary brandmark. The T-shirt, event booklet and postcard feature the stump logo, while the badges, which are pretty small and feature full-bleed illustrations, look better with the simpler version of the logo.

In designing the badges, postcards and other collateral, I got to collaborate with two wonderful artists, Mike Russell, and Bill Mudron. Initially, Bill was supposed to do the poster and Mike was supposed to do the badges, but because they’ve collaborated in the past, I thought it would be good for them each to work on both. The result was spectacular.

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For the poster, Bill created the artist’s desk, hands and a border. Mike drew the scenes inside the comic panels. In the top panel, Mike riffed on my logo and did an illustrated version of it. I ended up modifying my vector logo slightly to match the geography on top of the stump in Mike’s illustration, because he’s a native Portlander and I’m not. In fact, I was the only remote member of the entire staff, so we ended up doing a lot of collaboration over Skype, phone and email.

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The collateral list was pretty huge: postcards, a poster, program, badges, and the t-shirt. This was the first time that the t-shirts ever sold out completely! The booklet was a big effort as well, because I had to design a color-coded event schedule and a map for the exhibition hall. A huge shout-out to Mary at Brown Printing for getting everything printed beautifully and on time!

I’ve been asked back to Art Direct for 2014, and I’m really looking forward to pulling it all together again next year!

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