winter 2017

A Special Design Week Portland sketchXchange with Tuesday Bassen

My childhood was spent building up this idea of womanhood through the women in my life, so it’s not a struggle to come up with artwork about that. It’s so much a part of me, and it makes me sad that it’s not for some other women. That’s why it’s exciting that my work can be that for them.

WeMake is proud to host the award winning illustrator, designer, and rebel Tuesday Bassen for a night of process, inspiration, and fun. The talk will be moderated by local illustrator and fine artist Lisa Congdon, and will take place at The Portland Art Museum.

When: Tuesday evening, april 25th from 7-9pm
Cost: $15
Register below!

All attendees will receive a special Scout Book as well as other fun surprises!

Tuesday Bassen’s carefree-girl-gang-pop-style is fun, rebellious, and bold. (We love that about her.) Her clients include Lucky Peach, Playboy, The New Yorker, United Nations, Nike, Adidas, and more. Tuesday also owns an online store where she sells illustrated wares and has a brick and mortar shop called Friend Mart in Los Angeles.

We are stoked to have her as our guest along with long-time friend Lisa Congdon. It will be great to have Lisa on the other end of the mic asking questions and digging deep into what inspire Tuesday's work.

We couldn't ask for a better venue and supporter than The Portland Art Museum. We hope to see you there!

A Special DWPDX sketchXchange with Tuesday Bassen

Meet Brett Stenson

My life is a mix tape.
— Brett Stenson

All photos by Daniel Cole. 

What: sketchXchange with Brett Stenson moderated by Adam Garcia
When: Friday, March 3 from 6-9pm
Where: Tillamook Station
Cost: Suggested $5 donation - scroll down for tickets - You'll get an Special Edition notebook designed by Brett and donated by Scout Books.

Just a 90 minute drive west of Green Bay is Sunset Lake, the most beautiful thing Wisconsin native Brett Stenson has ever seen. He was married on the edge of the water in summer. He viscerally remembers drifting on the water, fishing to Frank Sinatra. He daydreams about the lake. He feels the connection with its natural beauty and the emotional pull of happy memories. 

This intersection of nature, history, gratitude, change and beauty is where Brett lives as a human and as an illustrator. For the last three years, he has been an art director with Jolby & Friends, a Portland design and branding studio created by artists Colby Nichols and Josh Kenyon. Brett freelanced with the duo while he was in Milwaukee after leaving his job as a designer for a “sports marketing agency.” The work eventually moved him from his roots to a new playground in Portland. 

“The city is a weird, cozy shelter you found in a rainstorm. Everyone is stoked to be in this little shed enjoying the best coffee and beer in the U.S.”

At Jolby, Brett is able to explore his love of collaboration - design without ego. He embraces the idea that no work belongs to an artist, but belongs everyone. He’ll often start on an illustration and turn it over to another artist to play.

“People should be inspired by each other. You see the beauty of what you’re making together and that’s motivation enough to follow the process.”

Carving Out Your Style

Even though Brett favors collaboration, he retains a recognizable style forged from crude shapes and clean lines, his textures inspired by lake fishing or in the garage working on a motorcycle. He likes sharp angles and curated color palates with whimsy thrown into the mix.

“The key to style is thinking how it comes out of your hand without thinking about what’s new or over-composing in your mind. That’s where style starts. Take an idea and push in through your lens - that’s when it becomes your style.” 

Brett, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, pulls inspiration from memories, too. Sometimes a texture reminds him of a moment and a state of mind. He uses the emotion attached to an object to inform his design.  For example, think about a summer day on a lake. The sun plays off the slow, rhythmic waves against the dock. A texture created by the waves that feels peaceful, happy. This is the feeling he brings into his work.

"I would describe his illustration style as 2-D work that is sheared with texture, pattern, and depth making it both retro and modern. He tucks lore into his pieces without being overbearing and his eye for color is stupid-good!" Colby Nichols, Co-Founder of Jolby & Friends said.

Midwest Work Ethic

Like with many transplants, Brett misses pieces and people from back home. His grandfather was a farmer, his dad was in the Army and and his mom a single woman working her hardest to support her son from afar while instilling strong work ethic. His understanding of the importance of working hard and “earning shit” comes from a youth spent respectfully learning that “you’re owed nothing ever.”

The lessons he picked up while watching the adults in his life and are now woven into his internal fabric. After Brett quit his day job to start his own freelance thing, his former boss gifted him with profound career advice.

“He sat me down for an entire afternoon and shared his knowledge with me. He was frustrated that I was leaving, but understood.”

By the end of that day Brett had a few key insights:

  1. Build an nest egg in advance.
  2. You’re still working whenever you’re out with people. Even if you’re partying, you’re still a professional.
  3. You get to pick what you want to do. Don’t ever feel like you have to do something you really don’t want to do.
  4. Live within your means, so you don’t have to stress about money.
  5. Do shit no one else is doing.

His favorite tools:

  1. His Cintiq.
  2. The “shift” key on his keyboard – to make straight lines easily to connect points.

"Brett is an amazing maker, thinker, human and all-around creative goblin. Being in his sphere of weirdness keeps your brain moving into unfamiliar places and his 'have fun forever' motto keeps good work flowing all day," Colby said.

“I’m lucky to have a job making art for a living."  - Brett with Ole. 

Reserve your spot!

Pin That Shit—A Creative Affair to Show Off Your Flair

Featuring Pins from some of our favorite designers, Like this one from  Dan Christofferson  (Beeteeth)

Featuring Pins from some of our favorite designers, Like this one from Dan Christofferson (Beeteeth)

You're invited to share your flair!


“Pin That Shit—A Creative Affair to Show Off Your Flair.

WeMake is seeking artists, designers, and makers of all sorts to share your flair. Participate among artists like, Dan Christofferson , Adam Kurtz, Emily McDowell, and Tuesday Bassen, and join us in a fun filled evening and gallery show to raise money for arts education.

“Pin That Shit” — A creative affair to show off your flair. The curated show will feature local, national, and international makers and be held at Tillamook Station during Design Week Portland on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 4-7pm. Artists and/or team entries will be chosen to participate in the project and asked to donate 10 custom pins which will be sold at the event with profits going towards funding arts education in Portland.

How to get your pin to stick in the showcase!
• Submit a pin(s)- with a creative message, or ones that you just think are really awesome!
• Create a new pin design or use an existing one.

What you will get in return
• A feature write up in our blog, and promoted through social media
• A chance to win a sweet award
• A super HIGH FIVE! for being the rock star that you are
• A warm fuzzy heart for helping us grow aspiring artists

• January 30, 2017 Call for artists sent
• February 20, 2017 Selected participants announced
• April 13, 2017 Final Pin (s) dropped off to WeMake
• April 27, 2017 Pin Showcase Event





Share your work, it's good for you.

Hey there! WeMake wants to showcase your work! We are looking for submissions in any creative genre: graphic design, digital, fine arts, industrial, even music! To be considered samples of your work or a link to your website. Chosen entries will be featured on our blog, in our newsletter and in social media, including instagram, facebook, and twitter. 

Send your email to our Student Outreach coordinator Chris Murphy,

See past student features here


Make A Logo The DDC Way

WeMake is proud to host Aaron Draplin for his first logo workshop in Portland! You may have heard him speak and you certainly know his work, but now's the time to get up-close and personal with the big guy and learn from him in this unique logo workshop.

Go behind the scenes with the DDC and learn about Aaron’s process for creating marks, logos and more.

Each student will attack a logo on their own with guidance from Aaron. Could be something you are currently working on, or, have always wanted to make. Tips, tricks, tales and threats will be shared along the way. The workshop will be five hours, and refreshments as well as lunch will be provided. Bring a laptop, Field Notes, pencil and an iron will! 

Exciting DDC door prizes to all who attend. How sweet is that!

PLACE: In our headquarters at Tillamook Station / 665 N Tillamook Street, 97227

Esquire. Ford Motors. Burton Snowboards. The Obama Administration. While all of these brands are vastly different, they share at least one thing in com­mon: a teeny, little bit ofAaron James Draplin. Draplin is one of the new school of influential graphic designers who combine the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life.