Had some designers/tourists from Vancouver, BC come into the gallery today. They were so friendly and SO excited about design week, we ended up chatting for a good 45 minutes….I think I may have unintentionally convinced them to move to Portland :)
Let’s talk about the lovely Gemma Correll.
Big regret! Kate brought Gemma and Anthony Zinonos ’round to LLWM and introduced them, and I was somehow unable to get right out of my chair, walk up to them, and shake their hands. Instead I was all like, “oh hai, nice to meet you, (yawn), I’m at my computer on the Internet.” DAMN YOU, INTERWEBS! TAKING OVER MY ETIQUETTE AND MY LIFE!
But! Shyness and inability to get ass out of chair aside, we saw them at Show and Tell, and they were amazing.
Gemma Correll is a British cartoonist/illustrator who does charming and lovable illustrations of her life, of the animals in her life, and of all of those humorous little things that compose our days and make us weird.
It is impossible not to like her through her drawings. Also, she’s young, cute, wears glasses and says she’s socially awkward and that parties scare her. She’s successful because she works all the time on her craft (unlike me, because I do this all day instead).
Here are some lovely highlights from her talk:
“I think reading and writing is as important as drawing.”
When she was fresh out of college and needed funds, Threadless was new to the T-Shirt scene and needed illustrators. So she sent in a few sketches from her journals. “Obviously, I didn’t have that much competition, so I won, and I’d just gotten out of college so that money was really helpful.”
“I really loved to sketch in my sketch book. So if I didn’t have any work, I still sketched.”
“On my first visit to America, we went to Las Vegas, and my only way to process it was to write it down and draw it.”
The first time she went to San francisco, she saw so many pugs that she made the Pugs not Drugs illustration, put it on a bag, and said, “If I can sell enough bags to get a pug, I’m going to get one.” And that’s how Pickles was ushered into her life.
She gave a delightful lecture that inspired me to keep working and doing my craft which, right now, is this blog post. I hope you enjoy it.
(This post reprinted from Wonderful is Wonderful)
I was surprised when Design Week Portland asked the folks at Life Long Work Month to, you know, contribute their time and energy to the cause. I thought all we had to do was create a cool space and just hang out and stuff. So I agreed put out a little, you know, to help out this really amazing thing they’re working day and night to pull off and all.
They asked us to pass these tres cool posters out to the Open House design studios. I got the choice NE side.
The Amazing Magnetic North was my first stop, and they already had posters (balderdash!). But I got to meet the famous BT Livermore, hand-letterer, and a couple of nice folks whose names I can’t remember, because they weren’t LIVERMORE. He said he hated it as a kid but likes it now. It reminds me of the Burmingham art piece at Burning Man. He was painting this Portland Design Week Portable-Office-Truck-Number. They asked me about the legendary Tsilli Pines and I said I could email her, thus displaying/pretending that I am indeed a cool person, because we’re like this. They politely declined.
TENpod offices were next, and these lovely signs were stacked in their lobby. The place was really quiet and no one knew why I was there, and any confidence I pretended to have by “knowing” Tsilli Pines was totally non-existent.
Me, in a whisper: “Uh, hi, I’m, uh, here for Design Week Portland, for PSU I mean, and uh, these are your posters?” I left them on some random guy’s desk (who wasn’t there) and ran off. But big a plus side is jgspdx commented on my Instagram pic, possibly my first comment, ever.
We visited for about thirty whole minutes where I learned some nice gems about what it’s like to be a “successful designer” and person. I shared my fear of anyone worth anything in the design community, and he urged me to watch Beautiful Losers, and said that Kate is really an amazing person who I shouldn’t be slightly afraid of (because she is so *amazing* in real life). We also talked about the roots of the Portland DIY/Woodsy/Vintage aesthetic (“The Heritage Thing” he called it), which he said might have originated with the guys at OMFG.co. I’d wondered if Portland was trying to copy the aesthetic of Vermont cliche. He explained how that wasn’t the case.
Some pearls of wisdom I picked up:
“You really have to make your own break.”
Some designers are using Kickstarter to circumvent the organic work and time that builds into success and reputation the hard way.
“Everything is going to be OK” and there is no right or wrong anymore.
“Being 90% Rich is doing what you love.”
Stop by any time and say hello. Why, heck! Why not during Design Week Portland?
Finally, I met the designers at Spooltown and Queen Bee Studios, where I got a sneak peek into the inner recesses of Spooltown.
And voila! Hope you get a chance to check out some of these neat places during DWP.