Experiencing The Process

Grit, imperfections, and grease beneath the nails. It's the kind of image you might get of a blue collar factory worker leaving home for a day on the job, and it's those same images that inspire the work of Nathan Yoder. As a kid growing up in rural Oklahoma, and at times often resenting the fact, Nathan discovered it was these familiar ties that his work commonly pays homage to.

“ I respect so much of it. My father, raising us in the way he did. It didn't matter if the job was glamorous. He was going to do what he needed to do to provide. Work is work.”

It’s with this reasoning that he gets the same satisfaction in designing a logo for a plumber or a logo for a top celebrity.  I found his honesty sincere, and so refreshing.

Having been in Portland less than a year, Nathan is quickly becoming settled into the folds of the community. He’s a full-time freelancer who has worked for an array of clients including Nike, Element, and Leo Burnett to name a few. We talked about his work, his move, and some of his other passions—drumming, his motorcycle, and jazz.

“I’ve been on a jazz kick for the last year, I’m not a jazz drummer but I feel like if I put my work to music, jazz kind of captures it. It’s spontaneous and moves in and out, it’s got the melody here and there but goes on these tangents and then comes back.”  

We also talked about the imperfect, and experiencing the process as a designer. With his roots in design, his style has evolved and grown and the work is a combination of design, illustration, and lettering. He embraces the imperfections in each area of his craft, and though he has used many tools of the trade his old faithful is an extra fine Sharpie in black.

“There’s something about when you have a brand new Sharpie. It bleeds a lot, there's a lot of variation and line weight that you can get. One pen will last me through a whole piece. Right now I have three Sharpies I’m using, one is brand new, one is almost out, and one is almost dead.”

Another thing about Sharpies is that they are unpredictable. Nathan finds satisfaction in this. Discovering his way through the process the handy work surfaces—along with a bit of grit and grease here and there.


Please join us for a night of inspiration and making.

In this workshop, Nathan will not only show his creative process but also share insights on the art of hand lettering, with step-by-step guides. Participants will illustrate in multiple forms and walk away with new tricks of the trade for their personal toolbox, plus a few other goodies!
Snacks and cost of materials included.

DATE: Friday, February 6th

PLACE: Tillamook Station

665 N Tillamook Street, 97227

TIME: 6:00pm- 9:00pm

COST: $20

Space is limited.

Nathan Yoder is an illustrator and designer specializing in pen and ink illustration, hand lettering, and branding. His personal style is often reminiscent of the Americana era.