1. Crafting the Story: An Interview with Dan “BeeTeeth” Christofferson

    Written by cre8tivegirl | August 25, 2014


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    Creating a single image that tells a story is a craft. For artist Dan Christofferson, storytelling plays a significant role in the work he produces. His art may be controversial to some, but for most it is a young perspective on the histories of culture and religion. Not all of it is based upon his Mormon upbringing. There are also huge influences from growing up in the Southwest landscape.

    We are excited to have Dan in The Station for Septembers sXc, please join us.

    When: Friday, Sept. 5th, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 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

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

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    When I first came upon Dan’s work I didn’t know about the influences that inspired this formidable collection. What I did know was that I loved everything. His variety of mediums is impressive. Clean digital icons, intricate paintings, hand-drawn illustrations, and mixed media. His experiments with printing processes like foil, vinyl, textiles, and silkscreening bring an analog approach to the systems he often creates resulting in some pretty cool stuff.

    When I discovered what inspired his work, I became even more intrigued. You see, he is a man covered from head to toe in tattoos creating beautiful graphic illustrations and paintings of a world I know nothing about. His depictions made me very curious.

    “Not a lot of people know these stories, and grew up with symbols of beehives, keys, and handshakes. That was something that clicked for me in school, something that set me apart. Tell the story of where I come from, in as many ways as I could.“

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    YPE How does the Mormon community regard your work? Is there any controversy?

    DC For the most part they have embraced it. I have been very careful knowing that religion and spiritual beliefs mean a lot to people. I don’t want to step on any toes or put anything out there that makes people have to defend themselves. Instead, I want to combine all these symbols and images in a way that makes people ask what it is, or think about the stories they’ve already been told.

    I would say that 90% of the people who see the work are excited that illustrations and art are being made about these stories, and 10% of the people are frustrated that it doesn’t tell the story how they believe it should be told, or they feel like it is poking fun at something that is important. Those people might be just a little too conservative and wouldn’t see art for what it is. I sort of dismiss that, it doesn’t really bother me.

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    YPE Are you going through the Book of Mormon to create the imagery or are there just certain stories that resonate with you?

    DC It’s just certain ones. Because some of these stories have been told so much, (maybe not to the world, but in my community), I’ll start to combine stories and connect them in unique ways. I’ll find a couple of stories and merge some of the imagery, so I tell it or present it in a way that it can be told. I don’t want to give away all the answers but I want to have a visual that people can engage with, and maybe come up with their own ending.

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    YPE Do you have a consistent set of characters that run through your work?

    DC Yeah, I think aside from the overuse of these symbols and shit (which I just can’t seem to stop doing), I’ve noticed that I include animals in weird ways in a lot of things. It makes sense growing up in between two mountain ranges. My dad was an animal guy and that influenced me. He would raise birds of prey, and always had snakes around us. Growing up it was really easy to see these characteristics of animals and connect them with exaggerated characteristics of people.

    “I need the ability to paint and draw which is a slow process. There are a lot of mistakes that you can react to and the ability to do things digitally I can undo quickly. “

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    YPE You have a good balance of digital and fine art in your work. Do you prefer one thing over the other?

    DC I’m always torn between if I should just focus on one style or medium, I don’t want to confuse people about the kind of work I do. I would love to focus on a certain style to have someone like an art director to rely on.

    I need the ability to paint and draw which is a slow process. There are a lot of mistakes that you can react to, and the ability to do things digitally that I can undo quickly. That balance makes life a lot easier when you can go back and forth depending upon how you’re feeling.

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    YPE Have you ever thought about putting your own stories into a book?

    DC Yes, I’m working on two books right now. One is a children’s book with my wife, and the other is a book I’m putting together from an art show I did last year. It’s based upon a fictitious brotherhood I invented. Essentially all the mysteries of the universe are revealed to the brotherhood, and then they reveal all those mysteries back to us through fine sewing, tailoring, and garment making. Thus the mysteries of the universe could be found in a really nice suit. The paintings I did for the show, the textile work and a few illustrations will be apart of the book.

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    We are excited to have Dan in The Station for September’s sXc. He’s an awesome dude and an award-winning creative who combines art, illustration, and design into his work. Dan is currently the Community Director for Big Cartel and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife. Client work includes: Weapons of Mass Creation, Big Cartel, Mailchimp, and more.

    We are thrilled to bring Dan to Portland for this special event. See you there!

    When: Friday, Sept. 5th, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 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

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    #sketchxchange #wemakepdx #pdxart #pdxevents #dan christofferson #beeteeth

    14 notes


  2. RECAP: sXc with Jessica Hische

    Written by emdash84 | August 22, 2014


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    Back in May we had a special sketchXchange with the talented Jessica Hische who inspired and delighted the audience with a wonderful presentation and how-to.

    Jessica shared her work on type design, hand-lettering and illustration—created both for clients and personal projects. We got a glimpse of her body of professional work and she took the audience through her process of hand-lettering and type design. It was a treat for sure.

    See more photo here!

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    #wemakepdx #portland #sketchxchange #jessicahisch

    12 notes


  3. A Mover and a Maker: An Interview with Paul Anders

    Written by megangex | July 22, 2014


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    When: Friday, August 1, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 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

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    Space is limited. Be sure to register early!

    Our August sketchXchange features Paul Anders—a ball of animated energy, impressive drive, and persistent curiosity. As an illustrator turned graphic designer turned interactive designer turned motion graphics artist, there is nothing he can’t do in the digital space. (And his diverse portfolio can prove it.) Last week we interrupted his month-long hiatus from the freelance whirlwind for a chat about this artistic process, paintings, and career progression. 

    Like most of us, Anders had always been an illustrator. He was that kid in class who was caught doodling super heroes and characters. It wasn’t until he picked up a copy of Communications Arts that he realized he could turn his talents into a career.

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    Anders landed in Portland during an exciting time for design. It was the early 1990s, just before the boom of the Internet. His first industry job was creating advertisements for the Yellow Pages using programs such as Photoshop II and Illustrator 98. This was his introduction to print design, creating anything from ten original logo designs or spot illustrations each day.

    Together with a group of design friends, he went knocking on the doors of CyberSight, a creative agency that would later be known as Nine Dots. Here, Anders was introduced to interactive design at a time when the Internet was teaming with immersive experiences. Anders quickly became an expert at designing elaborate online spaces for Adidas and Nike as well as web games for Captain Crunch.

    With the introduction of broadband Internet, Anders saw the opportunity to reinvent himself once again. The industry was moving away from interactive experiences and into video and he seized the moment by moving into animation. Working as a senior art director at Razorfish, he decided to build their motion graphics department. The robustness of Adobe After Effects allowed Anders to combine his unique interactive design style with linear storytelling. He developed a quirky, collage-like style that was gobbled up by clients.

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    BeerWest Magazine from Panders.tv on Vimeo.

    This transition also allowed him to collaborate with other artists and revisit his own illustration skills. He has worked with the likes of Ty Mattson and Dan Stiles on professional and personal projects, helping bring their artwork to life through animation.

    Today, as a full-time freelancer Anders can see an entire video project from start to finish. He plays the role of illustrator, filling out the storyboards with his own sketches. Then he can transition into the animator role—setting his original graphics into motion.

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    Dexter - Alternate Title Sequence Featuring Ty Mattson and Fashionbuddha from Panders.tv on Vimeo.

    While his career path follows a logical progression with the advances in technology, Anders still finds time leave the screen for his sketchbook or easel. In fact, he is currently taking a break from freelance and hitting his home studio for a month of personal projects.

    WeMake: Where do you find influence? 

    PA: Everyone can name their specific influences—an artist they admire. Sure I have those, but I love looking through my Instagram or Vimeo feed. I follow a lot of great people and that’s where I get really excited about the work. I get to see what people are doing right now.

    WeMake: Your sketch blog and paintings are in stark contrast with your client work. What does this artistic outlet offer?

    PA: It’s important to get away from client work. I like to push myself to do art for me. I don’t do it for anyone else, or for outside motivation. It’s like meditation. And it’s where I can experiment and try out different ideas.

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    WeMake: You create a lot of portraits. Who are your subjects?

    PA: I would say they are more like imaginary self-portraits. I want them to come across as a narrative, but you never quite know what the story is. I want people to have questions in their minds.

    WeMake: Why do you make?

    PA: I guess it’s an itchy drive—almost like a sickness that is constantly there. I just have to do something.  

    Come meet Paul Anders and hear about his excitingly diverse career! He’ll be showcasing his animation process as well as his sketchbooks and inspiration. You’ll be in for an energetic night! 

    When: Friday, August 1, 2014

    Time: 6:00 – 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

    RSVP on Eventbrite

    #sketchxchange #wemakepdx #wemake #pdxart #pdxevent #paulanders

    4 notes


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