Behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes: Our Fall Cover

To celebrate our back to school themed Fall catalog we enlisted the help of talented Portland, OR designer and illustrator Lauren Lidstrom to create a custom graphic chalk masterpiece for our cover. Check out the time lapse video of Lidstrom in action!


Below are a few pics of her artistic process plus some questions about her work and what she loves best about living in the Rose City!

Tell us a little bit about your background as an artist...
I’ve been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until after high school that I realized I wanted to make a living by art and design. I began to mix my skills of traditional illustration with digital design, and eventually found a passion for print and web design. After achieving my Bachelors of Art in Graphic Design, I worked in Los Angeles as a Junior Graphic Designer for a year until I moved back to the Pacific Northwest. I now work and live in Portland, Oregon as a Freelance Designer and Illustrator with an emphasis on hand-lettering.

How long does it take you create a chalkboard drawing like this?
It’s only been a couple of years since I started lettering with chalk, so there is still a lot to learn about the process. Because of this, every chalk piece I’ve completed has taken a different amount of time. This specific typographic design I created for Hanna Andersson took me about 5 hours from start to finish (concept sketching, chalk lettering). However, this is an exception due to the fact that 50% of the time I used light projection to trace some of my original lettering and the Hanna Andersson logos. On a chalkboard this size (about 2’x 4’) without a light projector, it could take up to 8-9 hours depending on the complexity of the design.

What do you like best about using chalkboard as a medium?
What I love about utilizing real chalk lettering in design is the organic imperfection of a real human hand. It has a unique texture and creates such nostalgia! I also enjoy the freedom of being able to easily erase any errors that occur during the process, giving it even more layered texture than before.

Who are your favorite artists/graphic designers – where do you find your best inspiration?
As someone who is striving to become a better chalk letterist, I have to mention Dana Tanamachi! Her work is so classic and beautiful. I also really enjoy the illustration and design of Mikey Burton and Studio MUTI.

Future goals/projects on the horizon?
I would love to be able to travel internationally through my design work. It’s harder in the present day since everything is so easily delivered digitally. I am also hoping to create a large-scale chalk lettering installment in an office, store, or restaurant in the near future. I haven’t lettered anything larger than 5 feet, so I’d love to break out of my comfort zone and create something that is literally bigger than me.

Finally, favorite people/places/things about our hometown of Portland?
This is a hard question, because I love so many things about this city. Great public transportation, amazing food and drink, creative, open minded people, and the natural beauty that surrounds us. I am lucky enough to live near one of the entrances to Forest Park, so I spend a lot of time climbing the trails with my dog. I can’t really see myself living anywhere else!