1. Drop Cap Girl— sXc with Jessica Hische

    Written by cre8tivegirl | April 2, 2014


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    WeMake is thrilled to host type designer, letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische for May’s addition of sketchXchange!

    Please join us for a night of inspiration, drawing and fun with Jessica as we learn about the process she uses to create and more.

    Date of the event: Friday, May, 2nd 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm Check-in begins at 6:00pm. 
    Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $30

    REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Eventbrite - sketchXchange with Dan Stiles

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    Beginning her design path in 2006, and then heading out on her own in 2009, Jessica’s career propelled as she landed jobs with clients like Wes Anderson, Penguin Books, and Google. 

    She’s been named one of Print Magazine’s New Visual Artists, an ADC Young Gun, and one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Art and Design two years in a row.   

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    Her style—warm, friendly, playful and sophisticated is all her own. It crosses many platforms from editorial design, advertising, product design, book design, identity, and even temporary tattoos! 

    One of the things I find inspiring about Jessica is her ability to share. Whether it’s a talk, as a judge in a portfolio review, offering a workshop, or thoughtful posts on her own site where she writes about getting paid, process, and other tangents. Some might say she’s an over sharer but I can respect the transparency.

    ”I think putting myself out there has helped clients feel like they know me before they make first contact, and maybe made them more likely to contact me over someone with similar work but less transparent of a personality. It’s also been wonderful to meet strangers that feel like they know me already. I can ask them questions about them and not have to go through the whole “so what do you do” robotic introduction that happens at design events. I feel like old friends with people instantly and strangers write me as if we’ve known each other our whole lives.”

    We are really looking forward to having her share her thoughts on design and her process and hope you will join us too. Space will be limited so be sure to sign up early!

    Date of the event: Friday, May, 2nd 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm Check-in begins at 6:00pm. 
    Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $30

    REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Eventbrite - sketchXchange with Jessica Hische

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    Letter’s from Jessica’s Daily Drop Cap

    #jessicahisch #sketchXchange #wemake #portland #type design

    5 notes


  2. Punk Rock Modern—An Interview with Dan Stiles

    Written by chloeameliam | March 26, 2014


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    Dan Stiles' name is often associated with the large collection of concert posters he's designed (and in many cases, screenprinted). His clean, colorful, geometric style, has been described as “punk rock modern” and “pop folk”. His work can be found on promotional materials for Nike, AT&T, Birch fabrics, and recently on the IBM food trucks at this years SXSW. He's created several children's books and worked on many gig posters for bands like, Band of Horses, Feist, Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, and countless others. We're happy to announce that he'll be our next guest for sketchXchange.

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    Please join us for a night of drawing and inspiration with Dan on Friday, April 4th.

    Date of the event: Friday, April 4, 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm

    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    Registration Begins: This Friday morning. March 28th at 9am

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Eventbrite - sketchXchange with Dan Stiles

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    CM
    Can you tell me about your process? Do you use sketchbooks?

    DS
    I don’t really sketch that much anymore. I keep a sketchbook, and I’m constantly drawing in it, but it’s more of a form of shorthand to myself. I’ll noodle something out and it’s a note to remember to try that idea later, it’s also a little bit of a test. “Is this idea any good?” You look at it in a sketchy form in and say “No, that’s terrible” and don’t pursue it. I used to do really elaborate sketching but I’ve been working almost entirely on the computer for the last fifteen years, and so if you really work a sketch, you just have to redo all of that on the computer. I use a tablet now, so I’ll sketch things out and then redraw that rough thing into the computer and work it from there, which allows me to do more of a collage style. I’ll draw the elements that I like and then I can pick them up and move them around.

    With drawing, it’s a very linear process. You have your blue line, your grey line, your ink line and then you’re done. With a computer, especially with Illustrator, you can draw all of this stuff and then say “You know what? I hate all of these elements up here”, and grab them, throw them out, keep going. So it’s a more fluid, almost a spiral, that you work through rather than a linear process. Tablets are good. They’ve completely changed the style of my work. It’s a computer input device but it’s not a mouse. You can’t draw with a mouse.

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    CM
    You started pre-tablet, so would you scan in drawings?

    DS
    Yeah, actually I would. I would scan in drawings and trace them with the beziér tool, I’d click and drag the handle, click and drag the handle, and it’s just horrible. That’s not really drawing, it’s like CAD. It’s a technical process; yeah you’re creating, but you’re really just tracing something you’ve already drawn and make it not look crappy. So being able to draw straight into the computer allowed me to use the computer as a creative tool and not a production tool. I used to be really anti computer illustration. I hated it in the nineties, I thought it looked terrible, I was really a hold out for pen and ink. I had a job retouching photos and all I did was click click click, and finally I couldn’t really move my hand, so I thought “I’ve gotta get one of these tablets”, and my work opened up from there, once I started playing with it.

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    CM
    And that’s totally changed your work.

    DS
    Yes, completely. If you look at the early work, it’s literally pen and ink illustration, it’s blue line, grey line, ink line and then it’s like a coloring book, you fill in your colors into your shapes. I don’t have any line work anymore, everything is all shapes and colors because I can create shapes and do whatever I want with them, I don’t need these lines to constrain whatever the illustration looks like.

    CM
    You’ve created a lot of concert posters – how did you get started with that?

    DS
    College. That’s how I got into design, period. I was not a designer and then in college I started doing rock posters, at the UO. That was the early nineties and all the bands would come from Seattle, down through Portland to San Francisco, and we’d catch them on the I-5 corridor and get them to come play. We’d bring in all these bands, and I’d get paid twenty bucks and all the beer I could drink, which was a great deal at the time.

    I’d always been into rock posters, I’d been into rock posters since I was a teenager, but it was always the sixties stuff. This is also pre-internet, so I didn’t know other people were doing rock posters at this point in time. All I knew was the history of it, and that I was interested in it, and I had the opportunity to make them. I was just on my own, doing it. Those were the black and white telephone pole posters. And then one day I saw a copy of the Rocket, and it had a big spread on color posters, silkscreened posters, and I thought “Holy shit, I’ve gotta learn how to silkscreen”. So I taught myself how to do that, and pulled color prints from there.

    CM
    Do you work with the bands on concepts, do they give you creative freedom?

    DS
    Ninety nine percent of the time, they say “just do something cool”. I think they know better. They mostly say “make the coolest thing you can think of”, and sometimes they veto, but even that isn’t very frequent. I think that’s why posters in general are this standout art form right now. It’s a huge group of very talented people that are allowed to do what they do best. Whereas in a lot of commercial work, there are so many restraints placed on it, that it always reels it back in.

    CM
    Can you tell me about a poster that has special significance?

    DS
    Oh man, they all have some kind of significance. They’re all my children! I did this sonic youth poster, years ago, and that was a big deal because I really like sonic youth. That was actually a really horrible process for me, I made it horrible for myself. I probably did about twelve posters before I found the one that I liked. But it was also a breakthrough for me, because the technique that I used in the final poster was something that I carried forward into other designs. It was one of those deep explorations where you want to rip your eyes out for two weeks and then all of a sudden: breakthrough.

    CM
    And it moved your work forward?

    DS
    Right, there was a step forward. Probably once a year I’ll have a poster that’s like that, this horrible experience but it helps you in the end.

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    CM
    Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?

    DS
    Have some place where you’re making your own work and exhibiting your own work. This is for writers too, any kind of creative. The stuff you do at your job is never going to be the stuff that carries you forward. It’s going to be the stuff that pays the bills, and you’re going to learn things from that, but it’s never going to be your breakthrough work, because it’s workday stuff, it’s a service. A plumber comes and fixes your pipes, you don’t expect the sistine chapel from that plumber, you just want your toilet to work.

    A lot of design projects, a lot of projects that you’re going to get in the creative field, they’re like that. They’re the same kind of work, they’re never going to sing, because they’re not supposed to. It’s good to have your own kind of outlet, mine might be rock posters, yours might be your blog or something where you’re creating completely unfettered work that goes out into the world, thanks to the internet, and then people will go “Oh, look what she’s capable of, she’s capable of this terrific stuff, not just this pedestrian stuff. Let’s hire her to do that.” And using that, you can climb the ladder of creative work, until eventually you’re at the point where people come to you for what you do. I think that’s everybody’s goal. I do this thing, and I want people to pay me to do it for them.

    Please join us for a night of drawing and inspiration with Dan on Friday, April 4th.

    Date of the event: Friday, April 4, 2014

    Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm

    Check-in begins at 6:00pm. Doors close at 6:45pm.

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $5 suggested donation at signup

    Registration Begins: This Friday morning. March 28th at 9am

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Eventbrite - sketchXchange with Dan Stiles

    #sketchXchange #danstiles #gigposter #wemakepdx #wemake

    6 notes


  3. Macramé Workshop with Emily Katz

    Written by chloeameliam | March 17, 2014


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    Artist, designer and art director Emily Katz is a busy woman. Her macramé plant hangers and wall hangings have been featured in lifestyle magazines around the world. She’s launched clothing and jewelry lines, produces and shows her artwork, writes poetry, and works as a photo stylist (she credits much of her recent success to her use of Instagram). This multitalented artist also does freehand machine embroidery that incorporates watercolor. We’re excited to have her teaching a workshop at Tillamook Station on Thursday, March 27th.

    Please join us for an evening of fiber arts and inspiration with Emily Katz on Thursday, March 27th at Tillamook Station.

    Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $25, includes supplies

    Eventbrite - Discovery Workshop with Emily Katz

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    CM
    How is Portland a good fit for your interests?

    EK
    I think that Portland is really supportive of artists and creatives and so I find that it’s a good place to be for that. There are a lot of people that are doing their own thing, it’s a good place to be self made.

    CM
    I love your embroidery work – can you tell me about your process?

    EK
    I went to art school in Baltimore and studied printmaking and learned about intaglio and etching and the raised line of that medium was so appealing to me, but i didn’t really like the whole process, so many steps. I’m a much more whimsical creator; like when I cook, I just throw things in, I’m not much of a recipe follower. So with the embroidery, it really happened organically. I never knew that that was a thing, and one day i just sat down at the machine and started sewing and it worked.

    The process of making those works is all on the machine and freehand. Lately I’ve been adding some watercolor to the process. I basically draw with the sewing machine using the needle as a static place while moving the fabric around. I don’t trace anything. Sometimes when I’m making a really large piece I’ll sketch some just to have proportion.

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    CM
    How and when did you learn the art of macramé?

    EK
    I learned how to macramé from my mom while visiting her two summers ago, she lives in Connecticut. I don’t spend a lot of time with her, so when I went to visit, I wanted something that we could do together and something she could teach me. I remembered that she had done macramé when she was young, so I asked her about it. Then we went to the store and got all the supplies, we sat up in her kitchen while my two half sisters were baking cookies and my boyfriend was sitting on the floor playing guitar and we made two macramé plant hangers.

    It was such an amazing experience to be all together. It was really, really special and I feel so grateful that she’s passed this knowledge on to me. She used to make them as a teenager and sell them at this salon where my grandma went to get her hair cut. She sold them to raise money to buy her first guitar, which was the guitar that my boyfriend was playing, it’s an old Martin from the seventies. So it’s really cool to have her influence in my work.

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    CM

    What are the benefits and challenges of being self-employed?

    EK
    The benefits are many. I find that I’m able to travel a lot and that’s really a big piece of what I want to be doing in my life. Macramé especially has been really exceptional for that, because people want it all over the world. Having a flexible schedule, being able to make time whenever I want—which sometimes goes into the negative. Working at home, there’s laundry to do and oh there’s the bed and I want to take a nap. But there’s this balance between what you think you should be doing, and what society tells you you should be doing, and how you want to live your life. So even though it’s three o’ clock and I’m going to make another cup of coffee and bake some cookies and take a nap, then I’ll work until one in the morning. It can look kind of stressful sometimes, or maybe it’s outside of the norm of what you’re “supposed” to be doing. I feel very grateful. It can be hard, but it’s always worth it.

    CM
    Have you been doing any recent collaborations?

    EK
    I’ve been doing creative consulting, which really is a collaboration. It’s part of my dream to help facilitate other people’s dreams and to support them in the work that they’re doing. So that’s kind of a collaboration, sitting across the table from people, talking about how I can help to make them better. Even if it’s just talking, which is kind of the best part for me.

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    In her March 27th workshop, Emily will share her knowledge of macramé with us. Everyone in attendance will make & take a macramé keychain and participants will also practice their skills by working on a collaborative wall hanging. Emily will also be wearing her creative consultant hat and touching on building the life you want and doing what you love.

    Please join us for an evening of fiber arts and inspiration on Thursday, March 27th at Tillamook Station.

    Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

    Place: Tillamook Station, 665 N Tillamook Street, PDX 97227

    Cost: $25, includes supplies

    Eventbrite - Discovery Workshop with Emily Katz

    #macrame #embroidery #workshops #PDX #portland #wemakepdx #emilykatz

    5 notes


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