Archives for category: graphic design

For my digital illustration class, we created a series of illustrations/patterns around a specific theme for use in licensing. Since I have been waiting for the rain to clear away so we can feel the sun again in Portland, I decided my theme should be spring. I decided to go abstract with it and I avoided typical spring motifs like flowers. Here are the illustrations that I created:

The whole set has tons of triangles and geometric shapes which I drew by hand and then took into illustrator to color.

I liked this project because I got to integrate type using pen and ink. I mostly had T-shirts, bags and stickers in mind for the type but it could be used on any product.

The little shades were my favorite part.

I mocked the illustration set up on a few things in Photoshop to get the idea of what they look like on products:

My favorite is this pencil case:


I was really excited to go to Albany today for the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association awards with the rest of my co-workers at PSU Vanguard. Our newspaper won in a lot of different categories and it was interesting to see all of the different student publications in Oregon. I think the Vanguard is really unique for having good photography, writing, editing and design on a smaller budget than some of the other schools in Oregon.

I think it’s cool that they chose an illustration that I did about domestic violence awareness, something that is really important to me. When I sat down to do this illustration I really tried to put my own emotional response to this issue into it, something I’m not really able to do with every illustration.

I love doing these editorial illustrations and being a part of getting information that students care about to them, and I feel inspired now to make them even more relevant to the articles.

Today in my design business class we visited the Official Manufacturing Co. in SE Portland. We’ve spent the term grilling different design and art business owners, trying to learn from them. The guys at OMFGCO were very encouraging. We asked them about setting up the physical studio and they said that it wasn’t until after they did all of the design for Spirit of 77 that they set up their studio space, and before that they had their office in Jeremy’s house. But Jeremy had worked with Ace Hotel for years and Fritz had worked with Stumptown Coffee, so when they started OMFGCO they were able to get clients based on that.

Their studio space is full of reclaimed signs and cool stuff, like the wall above which is covered with signs that they found from a Chinese place that went out of business. It reminds me of a highschool shop class, teacher’s lounge and design studio.

While we were asking them about what kind of advice they had for students just starting out, they said that no one really knows what they are doing but they figure it out as they go along. They said it’s a good idea to figure out what you can do and what you can’t, accept your weaknesses and strengths and if there is something you want to do but you don’t have the skills don’t let it stop you because there are probably people in your community that do have those skills.

Jeremy talked about the importance of taking good care of the people you work with, be it interns, employees or clients, because at the end of the day it’s about relationships and those relationships could grow into something amazing. He also encouraged us to work with the people that we want to, even if it means going to our favorite restaurant, taking their menu, redesigning it and handing it back to them. He said not to expect to get paid what we are worth in the beginning, because he didn’t but he did great work that ended up being priceless in terms of bringing in bigger clients.

Their kitchen… The cabinets say ‘Fine’ ‘You So Fine’ and ‘You So Fine, Guurrl’

I thought it was cool too that they talked about what motivates people- we’re taking a business class but a lot of what motivates people isn’t necessarily money, it’s other things, like the people that they are working with, how creative they are able to be on projects and how much they believe in what they are doing. He also said for us business people that starting a business is surprisingly easy, it’s the reality of keeping income coming in enough to keep it going that’s the hard part. My favorite quote was when we were asking them what they had in the beginning and they said that they began with nothing: “All you need is a laptop, your brain, and optimism.” Thanks guys!

-EHT 03/14/12

As a part of the design business class that I am taking this term with Jill Bliss, we are visiting various design studios, galleries and stores to pick professional brains about how they have became successful running their own businesses. Today we went to the Grass Hut Gallery in Chinatown, owned and curated by Bwana Spoons, the infamous creator of hundreds of strange toys, crazy paintings and wondrous drawings.

Bwana Spoons teaching us kids how to succeed and achieve our dreams

He talked about his life leading up to being able to work for himself, and I learned that he went to City College in San Francisco for one semester before getting on his skateboard instead one morning, riding into the sunrise and never looking back. He says it took him 20 years of working various day jobs (most of them related to toy manufacturing or distribution) before he was able to finally quit and begin working for himself. I learned a lot about how licensing is different from freelance or contract work, because the artist can collect royalties over time and can often negotiate being paid in product (in Bwana’s case, this means shoes, skateboards and toys!)

The Grass Hut is a magical wonderland filled with toys, comics, paintings, and awesome zines

His toys are limited edition, collectors items that are only produced small quantities- sometimes only 100 at a time- and many are hand painted by him, making them completely one-of-a-kind. Grass Hut was full of tons of independent comics and zines that I had never seen before. Everywhere I looked I found more inspiration!

(images from here)

I thought it was interesting that he said that his marketing strategy for years was “constant yet gentle harassing”– he just kept doing art, giving people zines and promos, finding the people at companies that were the decision-makers and calling/mailing stuff specifically to that person. He said that while the person might not remember you the first few times, if you keep meeting them and keep giving them promos and zines they will eventually remember who you are and that can lead to work someday. It was very inspiring to talk to Bwana Spoons about design business and marketing stuff and see how Grass Hut supports so many independent artists and freelancers. He also really inspired me by saying that one of his friends, Scrappers, worked at the Vanguard newspaper too!

-EHT 02/08/2012

I have a collection of random ads from magazines and books so I grabbed some and started creating line drawings, like this one:

In design studio class I am taking with Jill Bliss we are doing a project where we take found objects and create a brand around them. I added old playing cards that I have to this illustration, as a decoration and background:

This has really been fun for me because I really haven’t gotten to do any illustration or experimentation in school this year because the focus has been on learning Graphic Design techniques and programs. I feel really inspired so I think I will do many more of these kind of illustrations for this project.. Can’t wait!
-EHT 5/2/11

I’m doing a project in one of my classes branding a collection of objects that I found in my house. I decided to try using them as elements in illustrations, like this illustration which I found at a thrift store of a lady with a button as her face!

It turned out to be really fun…

I can’t wait to do more of these….

-EHT 4/28/2011

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This is one of my first projects designing many different graphic elements that go together. I ended up using an exact-o knife to cut all the little holes in the cover and did the type by hand too so enjoy seeing the result of hours of work!

-EHT 01/28/2011

As she walks through a snow shower
Breaking a path through the ice
She passes a high ice tower
Which penetrates a polar night

I am making a poster for Rasputina, a band creating some of the most beautiful music of our time. The three ideas for the poster so far:

The beginning, with no color.

I added a little bit of red by putting another cello in. This one might actually be my favorite of the three.

This is what I have now, a strange abstract version of #2. I don’t know that anyone will be able to understand what this is but I really liked the shapes.

She lacks oxygen
Essential to fire
But her jet-pack glows bright
And she doesn’t even feel tired
As she penetrates the polar night

What a mystery of vast complexity
There’s something going on here we don’t understand
A downpour of dust-clouds unexpectedly
Appears in the palm of her hand

Everything flows freely
Across a freezing dust-scape
It’s cool stars
Red and bright with life
Arrive at the end of their colossal lights

Everything flows freely
Across a freezing dust-scape
It’s cool stars
Red and bright with life
Arrive at the end of their colossal lights

Other unimagined phenomena
Gets relayed back by radio waves
Up into space towards Andromeda
Leaving behind little trace

I made this to celebrate halloween this year for my art 120 class. The assignment was to use photoshop to blend the parts of various creatures together, creating monsters. Now that I look at it he looks like he is the ‘bad boyfriend’ monster… I should have him holding roses and saying “I’ve changed… I want you back… Just give me one more chance”

Here is something I made a few years ago, inspired by the idea of monster women. I have had a few ideas for paintings that used different female faces to represent different parts of myself. I used to have monster women figurines and a monster woman lunch box that said ‘Invasion of the Monster Women’, I wish I still had that thing because it was amazing. It’s really impossible to describe.

I was searching for images to use in my Rasputina poster design and I found this… Thing. This doll looks so lonely and strange looking, it’s perfect for Rasputina but I don’t know for sure how to incorporate the idea of this weird toy into my design. I remember my friend Maya introducing me to Rasputina when I was 13, she played the song ‘Diamond Mind’ for me. Then an English teacher in highschool made me a mixed tape with Bjork and Rasputina on it, and I had never heard of either of them. It was ‘Signs of the Zodiac’. I bet that teacher doesn’t remember me at all but I still have that tape and I’ve listened to it hundreds of times.

-EHT 11/03/10

This took a long time to do because I redid the design many times, and spilled coffee all over it at one point but the hours paid off. Once this comic book is ready to go you can get your very own filled with strange people and drawings, by going to my store. It is 76 pages long and contains art from the past 3 years including lots of new stuff so I am very excited because this is the biggest zine I have ever published myself!!!!

EHT 8/11/10