The Portland Creative Conference brings together the top marketers from the city of Roses yearly to connect, englighten and celebrate the community. 2016’s line-up included an actress, a fashion designer and a former music executive, amongst other dignitaries. This year #TeamBamboo sent two artists, Robin Casey and Norman McCuller, to capture images from the presentations. Keep reading to learn about about their workflow and motivation.

 

Graphic Designer Norman McCuller utilized the Bamboo Slate during the Portland Creative Conference.

“Being able to digitize and share my notes in real time was awesome! The Bamboo Slate completely eliminated the need to scan, which was HUGE! Saved a ton of time and that is always a good thing.” – Norman McCuller

Beth Harrington created with the Bamboo Slate by Norman.

1. Why was the Portland Creative Conference a fun event to work at and attend?

It was really cool to see so many creatives from so many different industries in the same place. Being in the room with so many motivated and like-minded individuals was truly an invaluable experience, but being able to collaborate with a fantastic company like Wacom at the same time made it all the more rewarding.

Michelle Lesniak created with the Bamboo Slate.

2. What is your typical workflow? Which hardware and software do you typically use?

When I approach any project I usually begin in a kind of “sketch” phase. Whether I’m working on a website or logo or whatever, I find sketching and ideation super important to my process. When I’m in sketch mode, I write out all of my ideas onto a page, literally everything I’m thinking or not thinking about a project. These ideas can take the form of rough sketches or words, depending on the project, but I always find it helpful to get all my thoughts in one place. I find it easier to refine and experiment with ideas this way. Feedback is also something that is important to my process. Whether it’s in the form of a formal critique or just casual thoughts and comments I always like to include this in my process at some point. I’ve always been told that good design doesn’t happen in a box, so feedback is crucial to really making a project hit the next level. Once I get to a place I feel comfortable, I go digital so to speak. This usually involves scanning some of my sketches so I that I can refine and expand them on my computer. A Canon scanner, and Macbook are my tools of choice. As for software, I typically use the Adobe Creative Suite, with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign being my main jams. When building websites I typically go with any text editor that’s free, so I’ve got Brackets on my machine at the moment.

Kevin Willmott captured by Norman and the Bamboo Slate.

3. What is the best thing about the Portland Creative community as a whole?

I find the Portland Creative community to be super supportive. There are so many meet ups, events and other avenues for creatives to express themselves, all of this is great for fostering community.

Robert Brunner's talk captured with the Bamboo slate.
Robert Brunner’s talk captured with the Bamboo slate.

4. Why utilize tools to create?

Tools allow me to expand the limits of what I’m able to create. Having the right tools can mean all the difference to producing quality work or a poor product, so I feel tools are invaluable to the creative process. Using tools is also a great way to speed up your process. I feel like deadlines are always looming, so anything that saves a bit of time without sacrificing quality, I’m all for it.

Brian Michael Bendis captured by Norm and the Bamboo Slate.
Brian Michael Bendis captured by Norm and the Bamboo Slate.

5. What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a student?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You can’t win if you don’t play.

Kelli Richards wise words drawn with the Bamboo Slate.
Kelli Richards wise words drawn with the Bamboo Slate.

6. What did you learn at the Portland Creative Conference?
I learned that it’s ok to fail. Everyone does it, but it’s how you learn from it and respond to it that’s important. Also, process is important. Knowing and understanding what it takes for you personally to succeed, is important to producing a quality end result.

 

Hand-letterer and illustrator Robin Casey used the Cintiq Companion 2 during the event.
“The Cintiq Companion 2 is a great tool. It has a strong visual-to-physical connection with the actual device, and the pen pressure on it is really spectacular. I enjoyed getting to work with it and getting to try it with different applications.”

Robert Brunner
Robert Brunner: caption made with the Cintiq Companion 2 by Robin.

1. Why was the Portland Creative Conference a fun event to work at and attend?

The Portland Creative Conference was an incredible opportunity to listen to the speakers, hear about new projects, and meet new people. Getting to do the live drawing was a challenge for me. I had such a small amount of time to come up with a concept and execute something representative of each speaker, and it was really a thrill to get to push that boundary. I enjoyed getting to see the reactions of the crowd when it was flashed on the screen because the reactions were really interesting.

Lauren Weedman created by Robin.
Lauren Weedman created by Robin with the Cintiq Companion 2.

2. What is your typical workflow? Which hardware and software do you typically use?

Most often, I work things out in my sketchbook. Then, I’ll scan them in and put them into Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. After that, it depends on the project. I’ve been working on an Intuos 4 since 2011 and it’s like an extension of my hand. I do everything with it, from illustration to lettering and page layout. Sometimes I’ll start in Illustrator, tune the fine details of shape and size, and then bring them over to Adobe Photoshop for texture, definition, and background.

Kevin Willmott made by Robin with the Cintiq Companion 2
Kevin Willmott made by Robin with the Cintiq Companion 2

3. What is the best thing about the Portland creative community as a whole?

I think the best thing about the Portland creative community is the wide variety of people. The people I’ve met have come from incredibly diverse backgrounds, with wide ranges of skills and experience. Everyone has something different to offer. There is something that can be learned from interacting with every person in the community, and each person offers an engaging new perspective whether they’re in design or any other creative field.

Kelli Richards captioned with the Cintiq Companion 2.
Kelli Richards captioned with the Cintiq Companion 2.

4. Why utilize tools to create?

Tools are important because they extend your ability to create. I use about 8 to10 different kinds of pens to sketch out my lettering. I can use the same amount of digital brushes with my Intuos stylus on a given project. Different tools get different results, and there are some things you can only achieve in either digital or analog but for me I feel it’s necessary to have the ability to use both. I would say that my tablet and digital brushes are as integral to my work as any of my brush pens or calligraphy nibs.

Brian Michael Bendis drawn with the Cintiq Companion 2.

5. What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a student?

I wish I had known better how to handle networking, contract writing, and freelance navigation! There are a lot of good resources out there to figure out on your own, but I wish I’d had a little more guidance in that area before striking out on my own.

Beth Harrington captioned with the Cintiq Companion 2.
Beth Harrington captioned with the Cintiq Companion 2.

6. What did you learn at the Portland Creative Conference?

I learned a lot about the creative process from people who have experience in my field and other creative areas. I learned about their experiences as people, as well as professionals. I learned about their achievements and mistakes, and even a bit about how to handle both. If I had not attended the conference, these may or may not be people I would have had the chance to talk to or learn from, and they all had something personal to share from their creative, personal, and professional perspectives that were really impactful.

 

For more about Bamboo smartpads, click here.

For more on the Portland Creative Conference, click here.

For more on Robin, click here.

For more on Norman, click here.