1. WeMake’s sketchXchange with Jolby

    Our first sketchXchange with Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols of Jolby was awesome! About 30 people gathered last Friday night to be inspired, sketch in a few books and mingle with other illustrators and designers from the community.

    The night started with drinks and food at The Sting Ray Cafe on the first floor of The Left Bank Project. It was leisurely moved up stairs to the modern industrial setting of Sockeye  where Josh & Colby’s illustrations and sketches adorned several walls from top to bottom.

    A captivated audience sat comfortably around a table that was piled with a mountain of Jolby’s sketchbooks, and it didn’t take long for guest to reach for the bounty! You could tell by the smiling faces that what they discovered was worth being one of the few and lucky participants who helped launch the first night of sketchXchange. Some of them even grabbed their own pens and began sketching into the pages. I’m sure the guys will be pleasantly surprised the next time they open their books!

    The characters of Josh and Colby not only shine through the work they create together, but also when they talk about the process of creating. It’s collaborative from the onset and they are quick to move on if something doesn’t work. Colby usually draws the larger shapes, objects and characters, while Josh will later come in to create the patterns and textures. From then they both work together to finish a piece.

    One of the highlights for me was their discussion on creating their first children’s book, “ The King’s 6th Finger”. The book was launched during a Kickstarter campaign and has since been published in hard back. It is a lovely collection of illustration and whimsy. During sketchXchange, the original sketches covered an entire wall, and participants had an opportunity to see the process unfolding in the various sketchbooks throughout the room.

    The guys also talked about the balance of graphic design and being illustrators and how they are true to both. Just recently they had a show in San Diego at the Subtext Gallery titled Shapes and Smiles, an exploration in storytelling through drawings, paintings, wood-cut shapes, screen prints, plush, home goods and more. It was so great to see many of the ideas unfolding in the sketches they brought.

    Thanks again Jolby  for making WeMake’s first sketchXchange a night to remember!

    PS: Their next show, Triforce Tribute (celebrating Zelda!) is a collaboration with Always With Honor and takes place at the Land Gallery March 9th-April 21st.

    Photo’s courtesy of Jeff Freeman Photography, more coming soon!

    #jolby #sketchxchange #illustrator

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  2. Lovely Letters, An interview with Mary Kate McDevitt

    Written by cre8tivegirl | March 28, 2012


    We are super excited to have Mary Kate McDevitt as the next guest illustrator for sketchXchange. As always space is limited, so be sure to register early!

    Tucked away in a NE neighborhood of Portland, Oregon sits the studio of the gifted type illustrator and designer Mary Kate McDevitt, and her equally talented partner Fred DiMeglio of Man vs. Ink.  I spent the afternoon getting to know Mary Kate and learning about the impressive journey she’s taken so far that has put her work on and in publications like: Fast Company, Better Homes & Garden, Oh Comely, Women’s Day, Rachel Ray Magazine, The Portland Mercury and Willamette Week.

    As a young designer Mary Kate began her career a few years ago, working for a small design firm in Lancaster, PA. It was her late night and personal work (creating sweet little chalkboards sold in her Etsy Shop) that caught the attention of Chronicle Books. This launched her solo career as an independent type illustrator and designer. She hasn’t looked back since!

    Mary Kate’s workspace is as sweet and charming as she is. The bulk of her work is created in a spruced up closet that once housed a Murphy bed. To put the finishing touches on many of her pieces, she heads downstairs to build, silkscreen and ship. Both spaces are equally wonderful!

    Do you work full time as an illustrator?

    Yes. Occasionally I do some graphic design work but mostly I work creating hand-lettering and illustrations for several different clients. 

    What is one of your favorite pieces of client work?

    I really like the Live Well, Eat Well, Be Well project I did with Women’s Day Magazine and my mom was pretty excited to see my work in a magazine she reads! 

    Where does your client work come from?

    Word of mouth. I make stuff for my shop and then it get’s featured on blogs. The work with Chronicle Books got a lot of attention but I also post my stuff on dribbble and I think I’ve gotten some work there as well. Many of my projects are editorial driven, I really like doing that kind of work. The Art Directors I collaborate with are pretty easy going and nice to work with. 

    What other social media platforms do you use to reach potential clients?

    TwitterPinterest, Etsy, and Dribbble. A lot of my Etsy sales are from Pinterest. When I first got on twitter mostly student’s and crafty people followed me, now I see more designers. They all are great.

    Tell me about Your Handwritten Letters

    This project was inspired by a discovery I made when I was 12 years old from a box of handwritten letters my mom and my aunt wrote to my grandmother when they were in college. The letters were kept neatly together with string in a shoebox and I recall admiring the beautiful penmanship. That memory was in my head when I made my  "Write More Handwritten Letters" poster. Shorty after making the poster, I decided it would be most effective to receive an actual handwritten letter in the mail. So, I started the project with a commitment to writing a handwritten letter each day, not a traditional letter but a letter from the alphabet. Using twitter, I collected addresses for people interested in receiving a Handwritten Letter and I got an astounding response! The first day over 300 people responded. I have completed over 115 letters so far.

    How do you create the letters?

    Everyday I draw a letter, scan it in and post it to the Handwritten Letters blog, then send it out via post. It’s a great way to spark my creativity each day and I enjoy writing letters to total strangers. 

    Whose work are you inspired by?

    I really like vintage type and get a lot of my inspiration from there. I also love the work of Tom Frost and Ray Fenwick.

    Please join us for an intimate night of drawing and inspiration with Mary Kate!

    DATE OF THE EVENT: Friday Night, April 6th, 2012

    TIME: 6:00-9:00 PM 

    PLACE: The Left Bank Project Bring Check-in begins at 6:00pm in The Sting Ray Cafe. Doors close at 6:45

    COST: FREE

    REGISTRATION BEGINS: Monday, April 2nd, at 9am

    Check our website for more information on sketchXchange and follow us on twitter for up to date stuff!

    #sketchXchange

    #hand lettering #mary kate mcdevitt #portland designer #sketchxchange #typography #illustrator

    12 notes


  3. A few photos from sketchXchange with Mary Kate. It was awesome!

    Check out more photos by Ethan Allen Smith here!

    #sketchxchange #mary kate mcdevitt

    10 notes


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