"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Alex Wijnen
Who are you?
What do you make?
I'm a graphic designer and first started creating my illustrations when I was developing a day planner that I was going to present to my clients as a holiday gift. I came up with my own style of creating images that involves drawing the line art in pen & ink, then scanning it and digitally adding color and texture.
Besides making things, what do you do?
My graphic design business (www.defteling.com) started years ago on a part-time basis when I was still employed at a marketing firm. Since 2003 I've been freelancing full-time and have a steady roster of long-term clients, including the University of Oregon, Kettle Brand Potato Chips and the Oregon Humane Society.
What inspires you?
Most of my illustrations are inspired by childhood memories or the beautiful nature that surrounds us here in Portland. While my decorating style at home leans towards vintage and muted palettes, I love using vibrant colors in my illustrations. My images are usually happy and somewhat whimsical so the colors help communicate that.
Where can your work be found?
I mostly sell online in my Etsy shop (alexwijnen.etsy.com) but locally you can find some of my prints at Etcetera in North Portland. I also sell at various shows throughout the year (next up is Buckman Elementary School's Art Show & Sell).
What do you love about Portland?
We still can't believe we're lucky enough to live in such a great town. We've lived in our neighborhood (NE Hollywood/Rose City area) for nine years now and absolutely love it. Portland as a whole has a huge and varied selection of great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. It's also very supportive of artists and environmentally responsible. But what I like best is coming home on an airplane and seeing the green hills and fields just roll on and on... it's beautiful!