Show & Tell with Jenn Armbrust

This week we’re welcoming Jenn Armbrust for Show & Tell!

Jennifer Armbrust is an artist and advisor working and living in Portland, Oregon. She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College where she relieved a BA Critical Theory in 2000. A former designer and gallerist, she currently runs her own creative consultancy, Armbrust & Co. She recently launched Card Carrying Feminist and sometimes gives out free advice.

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Hope to see you at noon on April 17th in room 320 in the Art Building (2000 SW 5th AVE). RSVP over on Facebook. Show & Tell is free and open to the public!

Call to Draw: Pancakes & Penguins

Our first Call to Draw of Spring term! Pancakes & Penguins, care of Pinball Publishing (sponsored by the letter P).


Parameters: Square Format, high resolution, tag it #calltodraw, a new prompt every Thursday. Have fun!


Come celebrate the School of Art + Design at our Open House!SAVE THE DATE!THURSDAY, APRIL 17th FROM 5–9PM1990 & 2000 SW 5th AVE
Join Portland State University’s School of Art + Design in celebrating our vibrant programs & our amazing students. Our three departments, Art History, Art Practices, and Graphic Design, will present an evening of specially curated exhibitions, events, and open studios at the Art Building.Some events include:5x5 Mini PresentationsSpace RoomMFA Graduate ExhibitionsBFA Open StudiosMFA Open StudiosTime Arts Club Happening Number 12Art History Student SpotlightArt & Social Practice Open HouseA+D Projects Open HouseTrash TalkHey, Sophomores! A Graphic Design Student Portfolio ExtravaganzaElevator Mini LecturesStairwell ProjectSculpture in ShattuckCheck out our website for all of the event details!


Come celebrate the School of Art + Design at our Open House!

1990 & 2000 SW 5th AVE

Join Portland State University’s School of Art + Design in celebrating our vibrant programs & our amazing students. Our three departments, Art History, Art Practices, and Graphic Design, will present an evening of specially curated exhibitions, events, and open studios at the Art Building.

Some events include:
5x5 Mini Presentations
Space Room
MFA Graduate Exhibitions
BFA Open Studios
MFA Open Studios
Time Arts Club Happening Number 12
Art History Student Spotlight
Art & Social Practice Open House
A+D Projects Open House
Trash Talk
Hey, Sophomores! A Graphic Design Student Portfolio Extravaganza
Elevator Mini Lectures
Stairwell Project
Sculpture in Shattuck

Check out our website for all of the event details!

Good Editions Curators!

Big news, everybody! We are so excited to announce our first group of guest curators for Good Editions. These fantastic people will be selecting PSUGD student prints to sell alongside their own in the shop. Here’s their bios along with some interviews/videos/etc so you can get to know them better. They’ll be checking out your work!

If you don’t know what Good Editions is yet, check out this previous post or

Dan Cassaro 


Dan Cassaro is a native New Yorker and frequent get-the-hell-out-of-New-York-er. He was named an ADC Young Gun in 2011. His works and projects have received accolades from the New Yorker, Fast Company, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, and many major design and illustration publications.


Check Dan out here:

Portfolio Site / Great Discontent Interview / WMC Video

Will Bryant


A southern transplant, Will Bryant’s work weaves together humor with commerce, fun, and positivity. In his sculptural installations, photographic still lives, and commercial illustration projects, there is always a sense of exuberance at play with a colorful palette.
His work has been plastered across T-shirts, record sleeves, posters, magazines, furniture, snowboards, underwear, and also exhibited internationally. He is interested in Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Michael Jordan, anthropomorphism, 90s basketball, SEC football, pets, pop culture, cookie meetings, and even parts of art history.
He works full time in his studio in Portland, OR and teaches part time in the graphic design department at Portland State University.


Check out Will here:

Portfolio / Nothing Major Interview / Threadless Video

Lisa Congdon


Artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful paintings and collages. Since 2007, she has been illustrating for clients including The Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, The Obama Campaign and Simon & Schuster, among others. Lisa is also known for her intricate line drawings and pattern design and has licensed her work for fabric, kitchen linens, wallpaper and bedding. In addition to illustrating full time, Lisa maintains a thriving Etsy shop and writes a popular daily blog of her work, life and inspiration called Today is Going to be Awesome. She is the author of Whatever You Are, Be a Good One and Art, Inc., both set to be released by Chronicle Books in 2014. Lisa periodically shows her work in galleries around the country. In 2011, she had her first major solo show atGallery Hijinks in San Francisco and was in her first museum show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. She’s an avid cyclist and swimmer. She lives and works in Oakland, California.


Check Lisa out here:

Portfolio / Great Discontent Interview / Short Film 

Hey PSUGD students! Now that you’re up to speed on our guest curators, get to work! The deadline to submit for spring term consideration is Friday, April 4th!

Visit for details. 

Sophomore Portfolio Review

PSU.GD has been updated with info for the 2014 Sophomore Review! Check it out and read EVERYTHING!

Show & Tell with Lotta Nieminen

Unfortunately Lotta’s Show & Tell has been cancelled — we hope to have her chat with us next term! Go have a look at her website and just relish in her beautiful work :) 

We’re wrapping up this term’s Show & Tell line-up with a web chit chat with Lotta Nieminen!

Lotta Nieminen is an illustrator, graphic designer and art director from Helsinki, Finland. She has studied graphic design and illustration at the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Rhode Island School of Design, and has worked as a freelancer in both fields since 2006. After working for fashion magazine Trendi, Pentagram Design and RoAndCo Studio, Lotta is now a full-time freelancer based in New York City.



In 2010, Lotta received the Art Directors Club Young Guns award and was selected by Print magazine for its annual New Visual Artists review, highlighting 20 international rising designers under the age of 30. In early 2012 she received the esteemed Junior Award at the Best of the Year advertising and design competition in Finland. Lotta has given talks at the Apple Store in New York, the Rhode Island School of Design and La Cambre University in Brussels, Belgium. She has illustrated for the likes of clients such as Hermès, New York Times, Volkswagen, IBM, United Airlines, International Herald Tribune, Monocle, Newsweek, Wired UK and Bloomberg Businessweek.



Hope to see you at noon on Mar 6th in room 320 in the Art Building (2000 SW 5th AVE). RSVP over on Facebook. Show & Tell is free and open to the public!

Call to Draw: EMOTICONS

Our Call to Draw theme this week was given to us by Chloe Fields, designer at The Beauty Shop, PSUGD student, and Lady of the Letterpress. 


Let’s draw some emoticons! You can approach this with some OG emoticons, using text characters like this illustration from PSUGD student Gregor Holtz


Or get inspired by the iOS emojis. 


Or try out some IRL emoticons like this project from Liza Nelson… the possibilities are endless! 




Parameters: Square Format, high resolution, tag it #calltodraw, a new prompt every Thursday. Have fun!

Where Are They Now? Aaron Rayburn!

Where Are They Now is a new feature where we’ll be checking in with PSUGD alumni and see what they’ve been up to since leaving school.Up first is Aaron Rayburn!

Aaron is a cross-disciplinary art director working in Portland, Oregon. He is also Principle Director of a film collective called Taiga (, and co-founder of




When did you graduate?

I actually left the program in 2010 to go to work, though I loved my experience at PSU - I was an older student and knew what I wanted early on, so I chose to jump right into the industry after I completed my design courses. I recommend graduating. Your mother will appreciate it.

What have you been up to since then?

I’ve been incubating, working, following the sun, traveling, starting businesses, failing, jumping in and out of agencies, going to art shows, exploring my shortcomings, dreaming about clouds, basically I’m trying to touch lightning without getting too burnt. Burnt! Is that proper grammar?

For work I have a small studio where I act as Art Director for a few brands I care about. The work is based on cultural research, ideas, and graphic design. Mostly I want to make work to share with the people I love.

The act of work compels me because I am in love with all matter in the universe.

How did PSUGD prepare you for where you are now?

My time at PSUGD was one of the most empowering seasons in my life. It prepared me to teach myself what I need to know. My two main influences were Kate Bingaman-Burt and Liz Charman, they both fixed a pair of strong wings on my back, deliberately, over my years in the program. They do that with any student that is hungry to learn. It comes naturally to them. Take their classes and show up prepared, the course of your career will be much clearer if you do.

Do you miss anything about PSUGD?

I am not really a nostalgic type of human, but I do miss seeing the same scared, eager, frustrated set of students every day. Even though it’s school, you can still treat it like a hustle. There’s something nice about showing up everyday and getting your clock totally cleaned. As in, “uh how will I ever get good at this” - but not stopping even though your work may be totally shit.

Any advice for current students?

Look around you, your classmates are the design industry’s next set of talent. Be completely nice to everyone. You may hire or work for them very soon. Even the jerks, this is a really small town and industry. Learn about respect, it takes a few years, but always act in the realm of respect. Always.

Don’t limit yourself to graphic design. This industry is so young, you’re probably going to create your career anyway.

Let go of the idea that you have to be good at all aspects of design. No one is. Do what you are good at and get better at it.

If you don’t know what you are good at, you’ve got to make a TON of work over the next 2-4 years to find out what you are good at. Being prolific is fun, make it bad, make it often, so long as you are producing, you’re growing.

Take time to think outside of design. It’s insular by nature, so thinking outside of design will set you ahead immediately.

Use the brutal honesty of the internet to gauge the value/impact of your work. If the internet is silent, you may not be doing it right. It will tell you how you are doing, and for goodness sake don’t take it personally. Grow skin thicker than the exterior or a tank, immediately!

Be wary of situations that don’t have tension. Tension makes work better.

Do work for free, but never for someone who tells you it will be a good portfolio piece. Those days are over.

Look at trendy work, but more importantly, make classic work while you are a student. You need a foundation. Trendy work will collapse around you like a house of cards if you don’t know the rules of design. It’s not boring, trust me.

Make lots of decisions, you’re about to be paid for your decision making power, so start now. Asking what everyone else thinks can be a crutch, it’s ok if you pick the wrong thing. You’re a student! Beta-state forever!

Show up on time. Show up prepared. This is the basis of everything you will ever make.

Don’t work only when inspired. Work when it’s time to work.




Learn more about Aaron on the internet:





Twitter: @ac_rayburn

Instagram: @aaron_rayburn

Thank you, Aaron! Stay tuned for more! 

Show & Tell with The Beauty Shop

Let’s welcome The Beauty Shop *in person* for this week’s Show & Tell! 


The Beauty Shop is a boutique creative studio in Portland, Oregon, specializing in brand identity, print, and interactive design with a clean, minimalist aesthetic. They love working with people one-on-one, at a time when they are evaluating how they’re going to represent themselves to the world.



Hope to see you at noon on Feb 27th in room 320 in the Art Building (2000 SW 5th AVE). RSVP over on Facebook. Show & Tell is free and open to the public!

Call to Draw: Snacks & Puppies

This week’s “Puppies & Snacks” theme is brought to us by Thom Hines, professor of interactive majesty. 


Parameters: Square Format, high resolution, tag it #call to draw, a new prompt every Thursday. Have fun!