We were supposed to toss him back!

Found this in my sketchbook, almost a year ago to the date, from when I was crew on a sailboat crossing the Atlantic from Tortola to Bermuda, and trump was still just an orange face with a really bad combover (ah the good 'ol days). And I looked over at the Life Sling instructional manual hanging next to me (because when you're in the middle of the ocean you'll read just about anything), and decided to draw my own version (because when you're in the middle of the ocean....). Guys!! We were supposed to toss him back!!

Found this in my sketchbook, almost a year ago to the date, from when I was crew on a sailboat crossing the Atlantic from Tortola to Bermuda, and trump was still just an orange face with a really bad combover (ah the good 'ol days). And I looked over at the Life Sling instructional manual hanging next to me (because when you're in the middle of the ocean you'll read just about anything), and decided to draw my own version (because when you're in the middle of the ocean....). Guys!! We were supposed to toss him back!!

Top ten things I find inspiration about Portland...

Hey, hello! 

Is that sunshine?!? Excuse me while I adjust to the light that has, until now, all but vacated Portland, Oregon. This city may not be the quirky post-90's utopia so many people lately think it is (Portlandia be damned!).  I'm now convinced that depression is like an earthworm and if you just add enough rain its bound to surface. I've also noticed an inverse relationship between traffic and good feelings, but I'm an artists so what do I know? Anyways, now that I've gotten THAT out of my system, I'll get on with the great parts of this city that have lately inspired me...   
1. MUSIC.  
Yeah, ok, San Francisco and Seattle like to steal the show, but we have John Craigie! I absolutely loved working up the poster for his upcoming solo tribute show, and if I need to tell you who its tributing then you need to read a history book, preferably one on 60's pop culture. The show is SOLD OUT, but I know how to get you a poster if you want one (wink, wink).
John Craigies SOLD OUT show. Poster by your's truly, and available in my store

 

2. FOOD. You may remember my introduction of Serenade in my last newsletter. Well they're still at it, and I had the pleasure of designing the latest menu for their Brazilian themed diner event. They pair these themed culinary events with live music and add a little twist to the mix with local spirits. What's not to love??
Place card and menu design for Serenade. Latest theme: Brazil! 
 

3. HORSES. Nothing like fresh air and horse manure to inspire creativity. Sure, I drive the 15 miles south to spend time with these majestic creatures. But lest you forget, horse drawn carriages used to be Portland's primary mode of transportation, and the little horse rings on the city's curbs are still there to prove it. I'm guessing we were more creative then. Or maybe just smellier. 
Personal project. Its me on a horse!
 
And more horses. Because I'm obsessed.  

4. TRUMP, or lack-there-of. There is no shortage of Never-Trump inspired group shows in this city, which just feels.... nice. Like Novocain for a bad tooth. Eventually the tooth needs to come out, but while it is there the Novocain helps. I recently submitted a piece to a political group show at The Pacific Northwest College of Art, and then shortly thereafter the US military dropped the "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan (palm to face).
New piece for a group show, titled "Will he do it?" And yes, its a double entendre.
 
And that completes my top ten inspiring things about Portland. I realize that I've only mentioned four. I'm keeping the other six secret. Or maybe I just ran out of ideas, its anyone's guess. 

Thank you for your time.  Happy Spring (finally)!! Stay strong out there!

Chelsea
Left Pebble Studio

February, you're so so short......

oh HELLO! 

Sweet February, such a Napoleon complex! So short, yet so pack with holidays and celebrations! Its actually endearing. And in the weekend finale of the month, I'll be packing my bags for the 20th Annual FisherPoet's Gathering (FPG) in Astoria, Oregon. During this four day spoken word festival, fishermen/women of all ages, creeds and heritage have a platform to share their poetry and story about the life and work of a commercial fisher.
 
Four years ago, I had the honor of collaborating with Patrick Dixon (fisher poet and editor) and Jon Broderick (founder of the FPG) to create an anthology of fisher poetry.  By May of 2013, I had enough of the project together to crawl myself out of Pacific Northwest College of Art with an MFA in Collaborative Design. But it wasn't until January 2015 that the project was fully completed, resulting in seven different books differentiated by seven common themes of fisher poetry. All seven books fit neatly in a fish-like case to complete the anthology we proudly called: Anchored in Deep Water. My role in this collaboration was interviewer, cover illustrator (of which there were seven), and layout and package designer. You can find all seven cover illustrations below, with some images of the books and book case. Art prints and books are for sale at my online store.
 
Dangers
Perhaps the most frequent tale is that of terror - the tragic loss of friends at sea, the fear of one's own life, and how quickly ones sense of control can be turned upside down when dealing with the sea. 
 
Family and Heritage
Many stories and poems are written about working with family, while others write about longing for family while they're away. 
 
Love
So many commercial fishers write about their love for the work, the sea, and the fish. Despite so many reasons to pack up and quit, its always their love for fishing that brings them back, even when they hate it. 
 
Women
Today more and more women are finding their way onto boats - or outright owning their own boats - and they write of their experience often with wit and humor. About half of the poets at the gathering are, in fact, women. 
Environment
Commercial fishing is frequently vilified in mainstream media. But many fisher poets write about being stewards of the oceans and natural resources, like their livelihoods depend on it. Because indeed it does. 
Camaraderie
Perhaps the best perk of the job is building among life-long friendships. Listening to poems about the camaraderie among crew will make you want to quit your job and take to the sea with - or in search of - your best friend.
History
Commercial fishing is rich in history, from old practices to industrial changes that have marred the industry with the very efficiency that has contributed to overfishing. These are stories and poems of the way things used to be, for better or for worse. 
Enter Mardi Gras! Unfortunately, because I'll be in Astoria this weekend, I'll be missing THIS Mardi Gras inspired event in Portland, hosted by local sweethearts, Serenade. If you're in Portland February 25th, be sure to treat yourself to a night of food and boot stompin' music, NOLA style. Serenade switches up its food and music pairings each bi-monthly event, so this is your one chance to put down your fork and knife and dig your hands into a cajun crawfish boil!  Serenade truly harnesses the art of collaboration, and I had a blast designing the place cards and menu for this month's event. 

 

Menu tastefully crafted by the chefs at Tournant.

Tickle your fancy? Go visit www.serenadepdx.com for details on tickets and future events!

Can I wake up from this nightmare yet?

Hello friends,

Whelp, this past month was a doozy. I would be lying if I said that I didn't sometimes want to run away, dreaming of greener grass in far away pastures. But then Mary Oliver's wisdom rings like a bell between my ears and I'm reminded - now more than ever - why we root down, stand tall, fight for what we believe in; why we stay!  I'm so inspired by the outpour of love and support and action from people in my community and across this country, which has in turn inspired an outpour of artistic expression from me in response to the tumult of the recent election:
 
Roots
Illustration for pop-up show at Tillamook Station in Portland Oregon, November 2016.
Screen print + digital.
 
Wings
In honor of all women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creed, here and everywhere.
Graphite and ink.
 
In other news, this month I had a cover and full page illustration in the November issue of Gather Magazine, the Lutheran Women's magazine based out of Chicago. I love the depth of empathy and emotion - always relatable regardless of one's religion -  within the pages of this magazine, and this issue couldn't have been published at a more appropriate time: 
Cover Illustration, November 2016, Gather Magazine
This issue focused on accepting flaws and discovering the sometimes surprising beauty and strength in our weaknesses. The concept was based around kintsugi, the art of embracing damage. Art directors: Greg Scott and Vicki Walden.

Resilience: the stickiness to keep going, November 2016, Gather Magazine.

Full page editorial illustration based on the article by Julia Seymour on guiding our children to be resilient to the inevitable challenges in life as they grow. Art directors: Greg Scott and Vicki Walden.
And in October, I had another illustration on the cover of Gather Magazine for their issue on envy and fairness:
Cover Illustration, October 2016, Gather Magazine
Envy, and dealing with emotions around fairness. Art directors: Greg Scott and Vicki Walden.
As Christmas approaches with its threats of cold weather and endless christmas playlists, I'm also gearing up for some wintery craft fairs and barter martkets throughout Portland Oregon.  I just ordered a bunch of mugs with my very special design to promote peace and justice! Great way to warm up with a strong coffee. Look for ways to purchase these on my website and Facebook page soon! 

I got your Blog right here!

Is it really September already? If you live in the Pacific Northwest like I do, this means you're in for a lot of flux - shorter days, cooler nights, truly amazing change of color! And if you're me - but last I checked, you were you - reaching September also means that your very first cover hits the press! 

Cover Illustration for Gather Magazine

Cover Illustration, September 2016, Gather Magazine
I was beyond thrilled to illustrate the cover of the upcoming September Issue for my long-time client, Gather Magazine. I was directed by art directors Vicki Walden and Greg Scott to reimagine the story of Jonah and the Whale, using a woman in place of Jonah. The narrative is one of retribution and mercy, and rebirth through repentance.
Gather Magazine is a Lutheran Women's magazine based out of Chicago, IL. I have done editorial illustrations for this client for over a year, but getting asked to do their cover was a major honor! I do not subscribe to any specific religion, so my experience working with this client has challenged (positively!) the way I read an assignment, research the material, and create secular imagery while still meeting the needs of a non-secular client. Discovering ways to make my images relatable to both the article and a broader audience is my hallmark. 

Editorial Work for Gather Magazine, 2015-2016

Let the Light In,  July 2015, Gather Magazine
This article talked about struggling with depression and anxiety, and the tendency to conceal our troubled minds from the outside world, when what we really need is community.
Slow Faith: Sabbath and Play, September 2015, Gather Magazine
On the importance of playfulness and curiosity as adults. "When we are young, we revel in silliness and imagination... as we grow older, we somehow absorb the idea that adult trust in God is made evident through seriousness. We become ashamed or embarrassed to ask questions. We hesitate to rest because we don’t want to seem lazy, inefficient or self-important." Excerpt from Slow Faith, by Julia Seymour.

Gratitude Changes the Way You Live, November 2015, Gather Magazine

On the importance of shifting perspectives and looking at our mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning. "When I view things from the proper perspective, I can only choose gratitude."  Excerpt from Gratitude Changes the Way You Live, by Karris Golden.
What Mary Knew, December 2015, Gather Magazine
"After [she] takes her moment in the corner...she finds bravery in her self. She entrusts herself to a new self, to a willingness to imagine a future beyond what she knows, to embrace an identity of which she has little understanding." Except from the article, What Mary Knew by Leila Ortiz.
Generation to Generation, May 2016, Gather Magazine
An interview between one mother and her two daughters, on their ideas of faith and how they see God individually and as a family. The mother, in particular, reflects on the evolution of her own ideas of faith and spirituality from the time she was a child to the present day as a mother. 
 
Road to Reconciliation: Moving From Conflict to Commonality, June 2016, Gather Magazine
"Disagreement—whether it be an argument with a stranger on the street; an ethnic, racial or cultural conflict; or two nations waging war—can be resolved through the process of peace-making through conflict mediation." Excerpt from Road to Reconciliation, by Rosemary Dyson.
Fairness: Towards a Deeper Understanding, September 2016, Gather Magazine
On how our fears and perception of a situation can make us blind to the resources available to change and adapt. "Focusing on 'fairness' can mire us in inertia." Excerpt from Fairness, by Karris Golden.