Spreading Joy in Downtown Portland

Hello and Happy Start-of-the-Holidays!

It’s been awhile and it’s good to be back.

I’ve been really busy and I bet you have too. Let me quickly fill you in on what I’ve been up to.  Last summer, after I blogged about the branding for Sol Rides, I went to work for Nike as a contractor for about 2 months in the NBA group. It was so much fun to see old friends and make new ones. I loved the social aspect of it the most.

During that time, I was also involved in a super fun and meaningful art sale & fundraiser called Yugen Planet. I was one of about 20 artists from Portland and India, where we raised money for two organizations serving youths in crisis, one in Portland and one in India.

As the work for Nike ended, and as if there is some great “keeper of freelance projects flowing” God, I then seamlessly re-started a project for Mercy Corps and USAID that had been stalled out for months. And just as that was ending, I was asked by Pioneer Courthouse Square to do their holiday campaign again. I say again, because they were my first “big” client when I went freelance in 2009. They contacted me because they wanted a more “art-centric” design that would be special for the grand re-opening of the renovated Square.

Here’s a look at the Be Joy banner in the Square of downtown Portland: (there are 3 others containing event info)

And another of the Street Pole Banner:


In addition to the design, I also came up with the tagline, “Be Joy”.

I was walking with a good friend in Forest Park, telling her about my project and some of the ideas that I thought would make it more special. I mentioned how the Square is just finishing up a massive (big $$) renovation and with the start of the holidays it feels more important than ever to put a special message out to the world. And what I think is amazing about the Square is that everyone is welcome and it’s a place to gather, to speak up and be with people. So, naturally, my first thought was “better together”.

It’s also a time in our history where we are being challenged to stay positive. Let’s face it, the world is a little crazy right now and when there are tragedies, people come together and the Square in downtown Portland is a great symbol of positivity.

So, I went to sharing joy, but also being joyful, BE-ing joy, and then BE JOY. I wanted to put an empowering message out to the world and to remind people that it is a choice to be happy, to be joyful. Don’t wait for someone to tell you it will all be ok. You are that person. You are “the light”. You are joy.

It pleases me to no end to have my work be visible right now, for whatever reasons, and to spread some joy myself.

Here are my initial design concepts:


And, the final layout of all four:

There are TONS of other pieces in this project (from a postcard, to A-frames, Tree Truck banners, stage banners for 3 events, a holiday guide and songbook for the Thomas Lauderdale sing-a-long), so when I add this project to my portfolio I’ll let you know so you can check out all the pieces.

Thanks, as always, for reading and stay tuned for a more art-centric post and more updates in the near future.

I wish you tons and tons of joy this holiday season.

All the best,