Luke Choice

Recap: 2017 WeMake Celebrates: A Design Conference About The Process of Making

This year we explore Experiments in Process. 
"Before there is ever success or failure, there are experiments."
2017 WeMake Celebrates_132.jpg

Photos by Rowen Bradley & Megan Gex

On Friday, Oct. 13, the WeMake team hosted our third conference – WeMake Celebrates – at The Armory in Portland's Pearl District. This year, we explored the experiments instrumental in the creative process.

On stage, six speakers told about their experiments and shared their successes and failures while the emcees Jolby (Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols) guided the journey and recapped the day with cleverness.

The Line-Up

Artist and author  Adam J Kurtz (Toronto/Brooklyn) told us to feel all the feelings and not to be precious with anything. 

New Portlander and illustrator and designer, Mauja Waldia (India/Portland) spoke about her young career on stage for the first time.

Brilliant designer and science lover Kelli Anderson (Brooklyn) showed us that experiments will lead you to new discoveries and ignite curiosity. 

Nicholas Misani experiments with letters and type in his studio in Brooklyn and makes beautiful fauxsaics, which capture the spirit of cities around the world.

Experimental artist Craig Winslow makes everything an experiment - it's in his job description. He taught us that light can change everything and introduced us to lost history. 

Australian graphic artist Luke Choice (aka Velvet Spectrum) bring motion and color to his visual experiments. He also weaves in generosity and positivity into the elements of his success. 


5 minutes, 5 slides with local creative entrepreneurs: 
Anthony ScottAsa Bree SierackiTyesha SnowSaul Koll and Ian Williams


"Nobody in the world ever wrote their own song. You have inspiration from all the people around you, from your life experiences, to a person next to you who cracked a joke."

Ural Thomas, musician & storyteller,  has uplifted his audiences in Portland and all over the world.

B. Frayn Masters, writer, storyteller and producer, shared her wicked humor and love of the absurd. Catch more of her round Portland with Back Fence PDX and The Moth. 

Helping Arts Education

From ticket sales, we raised $7000 to give to non-profits making a big difference on a small budget. Thanks to you, we helped:

  • MARROW, a radical education, arts, and activism space, centering young people
  • p:ear builds positive relationships with homeless and transitional youth through education, art and recreation to affirm personal worth and create more meaningful and healthier lives.
  • Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls builds girls’ self-esteem through music creation and performance. 
  • Schoolhouse Supplies is an award-winning nonprofit that supports public education in Portland by giving students and teachers free classroom supplies.

Thank You to Our Community Partners

Wieden+Kennedy, Wacom, Aquent, The Study, Klum House, Widmer Brothers, Scout Books, HouseSpecial

Finally, remember the questions that started the day's experiment? Above are the results of your selections. Squares are a rare breed and green is the most favored color. What does that mean? More expereiments. 

Finally, remember the questions that started the day's experiment? Above are the results of your selections. Squares are a rare breed and green is the most favored color. What does that mean? More expereiments. 

An Interview with Luke Choice—Experimenting with Abandon

Stop looking at what everyone else is doing.
— Luke
Luke Choice

Luke Choice, aka The Velvet Spectrum, is an Australian graphic artist based in Los Angeles, who specializes in typography and 3D illustration. Starting out his career designing for the music industry Luke has formed the base of his portfolio with a strong focus on dynamic color and composition.

Catch Luke on the stage at WeMake Celebrates on October 13.

This year, our conference’s theme is ‘experiments in process,’ which complements your work perfectly! Could you describe how experimentation plays into your process specifically? How do you go from inspiration to implementation?

The process is a large part of what inspires my experimentation. Diving into artwork with no real intent of where I want it to end up, gives me the freedom to react to the colors, forms and movement that present themselves. I often look for abstracted concepts within the experiments to inspire the direction of the artwork. 

You have a lot of bright, vivid colors in your work, what is it about hot tones that inspires you? 

There’s a lot of early inspiration from the comics that I read as a kid and to my early years designing for the music scene back in Sydney. Once I began to learn digital programs, it was a case of “more is more.” I didn't resign myself to simplicity in my work, because the new tools were so exciting to explore. 

What is the strangest thing that’s inspired you to create? 

An artwork inspired by fecal matter for a WaterAid exhibition a couple of years ago. 

Luke Choice’s “Poop Art” (all images courtesy WaterAid America)

Luke Choice’s “Poop Art” (all images courtesy WaterAid America)

What has been your favorite project and why?

At last year's Adobe Max conference I created the visual language for an interactive partnership between Adobe and Emotiv, which develops advanced brain monitoring technology. Attendees were fitted with EEG headsets that read five key emotions (Stress, Interest, Excitement, Engagement and Focus) triggered during the creative process. These visualizations were broadcast on monitors to show the brain activity fluctuate during the process. The challenge came through trying to find a complementary graphic style to best represent each emotion, while not over-complicating the scene. It can often feel isolating behind the computer, so having the opportunity to watch people interact with something I created was such a rewarding experience. 

What is the ultimate goal of your work? 

I want to convey a positive energy through my work, whether it be playful messaging or vibrant color palettes. There's a lot going on in the world that's hard to digest, so my aim is to cut-through and cause people to stop and connect with something surprising and light hearted. 

Why do you make?  

A constant pursuit of developing the technical skills to realize my creative ideas. 

What advice would you give people to experiment more? 

Stop looking at what everyone else is doing. Start simply and build up around core principles that excite you. 


Catch Luke at WeMake Celebrates on October 13.