Michelle Clark Graphic Design

Local Artist: Sarah Cosman
Image credit Sarah Cosman

Image credit Sarah Cosman

I first saw Sarah Cosman’s work just this last Thursday during the First Thursday art walk in the Pearl District here in Portland. I’ve mentioned Last Thursday, and First Thursday is very similar in theory, except that instead of having streets lined with art and community canvases, you get to walk inside a myriad of more prestigious art galleries downtown and partake in some wine and cheese tasting (yum!).

This artist’s work caught my attention right away. Her art is heavily influenced by celestial subject matter, form, and color. Her cosmos paintings swirl and twirl in some of my favorite hues of blue, purple, and green. She also does portraits of a more surreal, exaggerated reality or dream state style, and some abstract works as well. Her abstract paintings are very beautiful and methodical, as if each color, line, and shape was placed with a purpose. Check out the work she has posted on her website. Some of the gallery links don’t work, but you can see her famous Cosmos paintings as well as her abstract work. If you get a chance, check her out every first Thursday of the month at 634 NW Flanders #238.


Local Artist: Jasmine Star
Photo by me

Photos by me

Jasmine Star pendant

This is a photograph of a pendant art piece and the packaging by Jasmine Star. I bought it on Alberta St. back in October during the Day of the Dead art walk celebration. I prefer to wear works of art whenever possible – such as shirts and jewelery. This one has become one of my most prized possessions since, and I look forward to buying more of this artist’s work. On the back of the pendant it has her signature and the year written in white acrylic.

Jasmine Star paints mostly trees in acrylic with beautiful colorful skies, and each piece communicates a different emotion by the colors shechooses to use or the direction, weight, or movement of the branches. She is such a sweet, awesome individual and she puts a lot of thought and care into her work. As part of her collection she has necklaces, earrings, prints, original works, greeting cards, and specially designed gift boxes and cards to hold the necklace, and specially designed bags to put it all in. She even paints original works, just as detailed as her larger paintings, on canvases that are no bigger than your thumb! She sells necklaces, prints, original works, specially designed gift boxes and cards to hold the necklace, and specially designed bags to put it all in.  I believe I spent ten dollars on my beautiful necklace but felt like I walked away with 4 pieces of art, of course I saved it all (even the bag).

To check out her work, you can go a couple of different places. Her website, jasminestar.net is up and running but is under construction in quite a few places,but the gallery works! You can also see many of her pieces here at EbsqArt.com.

Last Thursday 4/30/09
Art on Alberta

Art on Alberta

Last night I went down to Alberta St. for the annual Last Thursday art walk event. This is something I like to go and do every month. During this event you get to walk down Alberta St. and wander into all of the little galleries and shops that are open and artists have their work lined up on the street. There’s music, (imagine a never-ending string of bongo drum and techno blast beats at once). There’s also spots where people have items piled into their front yards or on folding tables they sell for really cheap. It’s a good idea to bring cash when you go – I never have to spend much but end up coming back with a ton of cool stuff. And if I’m really watching my spending, like the other night, I collect brochures, cards, and other print freebies from artists that I like, or that just have design elements that I like.

Last night was awesome, due in part to the nice weather. There were canvases set up on the street with paint, brushes, and water so that anyone walking down the street can paint something and add to the canvases. Everyone also brought their dogs so there were lots of them to pet and play with. Two artists that I want to mention are Angel F. Matamoros, whose abstract paintings of rich color and texture I really enjoyed and Tokiko Anderson who combines abstract and whimsical, elegant illustrations. If you want to learn more about the galleries and events Alberta St. has to offer you can go to their website which always has an updated map of the current month’s art walk.


Collage Credits:

  • Pancho Villa artwork by Hector Sanchez.
  • Alberta Street brochure design by Bennet Stein and Michael Sant. Photography by Sherri Diteman, Norm Whitten, and Julie Shaw of the Oregon Historical Society.
  • JustSeeds.org postcard artwork entitled “Alden” by Swoon.
  • Angel F. Matamoros brochure design by Angel F. Matamoros.
  • Business card artwork by Tokiko Anderson.

A Killer Portfolio Event @ Office PDX
April 10, 2009, 7:08 pm
Filed under: Art, Design, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , ,

Last Wednesday I attended an event called How to Create a Killer Portfolio in NE Portland. They had represenatives from Rumblefish and Adidas talk to aspiring designers about how they got where they are and what they view as successful strategies for building a portfolio that gets you hired.

  • First of all, one thing they really stressed is that you need to tailor your portfolio to the position you are applying for. Don’t include things that don’t have any relevance to the client or the position. For example, if you are applying for a job in web design, you shouldn’t send a portfolio that’s primarily print design examples.
  • The less clicks the better. If you can find a way to condense your portfolio pieces, perhaps by grouping like projects or projects with related elements together, that’s preferable.
  • Nonetheless, they want to see more! The phrase “the more the merrier” was repeated about six times. Include your other talents that are relevant-your photography, paintings, drawings, etc. They mentioned that more often employers are looking for a “jack of all trades” so the more diversity you have in your portfolio, the better.
  • They want to see concepts. If there’s any way a designer could integrate their concept process (research, mood boards, color palettes, sketches, etc.) with the finished outcome of a project, that lets them know how well you can conceptualize and how your beautiful mind works, or just that it works.
  • Another plus is to showcase some of your personal work. They emphasized that they would much rather see a designer who is passionate about what they do and has some quality design work they’ve done on their own then someone who has only school projects in their portfolio.
  • They’re not only looking at your content but also at your character. Know where you’re applying, research the company and get a feel for who’s working there or what the environment might be like. They want to hire someone with whom they are comfortable, and vice versa. Some environments call for very laid-back casual personalites, and others call for more conventional, formal ones. Know which one you are and work it.
  • An important personal asset in designers these days is dependability and diligence. Have good follow-through, communicate clearly and often with your co-workers and clients, and commit to your responsibilites and see them through. Don’t be someone who, just because they don’t have to come into the office everyday, leaves for two weeks and fails to inform everyone else, leaving a project hanging in the balance. Likewise, don’t be that person who just disappears and stops answering their phone or e-mails.

The conference was a fairly short one, a few minutes shy of an hour, and they had some pretty good information for us. I was especially intrigued by how much they are interested in sketches and concepts-things that you might think to toss out when the project is finished (I know I’m often guilty of it). Office PDX runs this event quarterly, so there’s usually one per season. The next event will be in August. During these events, they sell their portfolio materials for 20% off. All in all its an event worth attending, the only strike against it being that when they weren’t conferring, they had Weezer on repeat.

Spring Has Sprung in PDX
April 9, 2009, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photos | Tags: , , , , , ,

photo by Me

This week brought us here in the Portland area some gorgeous sunny weather. The first few days of Spring are magical in Oregon – really. Being so used to cloudy, gray and rainy weather, the first day of sunshine in what feels like months brings with it energy and a sense of peace. No matter what happens on these days, you can’t help but let it all roll off your back and take a walk outside. Having lived in the area my entire life I never want to take those first days of Spring for granted. It always comes a few weeks late, usually just after anticipation of the last snowstorm of the season (I was buried in snow last April).

Earlier this week I noticed the trees beginning to blossom. This is another one of my favorite things about the  beginning of Spring. These blossoms usually only last a few weeks and bring all of the previously dead trees back to life again. This last Tuesday I took a few minutes to sit underneath one of these trees and read for a while, drinking iced coffee, enjoying the smell of the huge bouquet above my head. I took some branches home for myself but sniffed al ittle too hard and my face puffed up for a few hours from massive pollen intake. I recommend enjoying the beauty in moderation.