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On Friday, October 2 at The Armory in Portland’s Pearl District, makers and designers take the stage to share their insights into the creative process in the day-long design conference, WeMake Celebrates. This inaugural adventure features local and international keynote speakers, panel discussions, live demos and a Makers Market.

Artists in the spotlight include typographer Gemma O’Brien, designer Timothy Goodman, photographer Paul Octavious, printmaker Veronica Corzo-Duchardt and local legends The Official Manufacturing Co. (OMFGCO), poet/strategist Leah Noble Davidson. The event is hosted by Portland non-profit WeMake.

Tickets can be found at Eventbrite ($250). Use the discount code WMPDX for $55 off. Proceeds will be donated to Ethos Music Center and Schoolhouse Supplies. 

The Keynote Lineup

Gemma O’Brien is an Australian artist specializing in lettering, illustration and typography. After studying design at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, she worked as an art director at Animal Logic, Fuel VFX and Toby and Pete before deciding to fly solo as a commercial illustrator in 2012. In 2014 she was recognized by New York The Type Directors Club with an Award of Typographic Excellence. Her clients include Adobe, Volcom, Kirin Cider, QANTAS, Heinz, Smirnoff and The New York Times.

New York-based designer Timothy Goodman recently rose to fame for a personal project called 40 Days of Dating. He hopes to inspire other designers to take risks and push limits by thinking outside the confines of being a commercial designer.

40 Days has torn down a wall I’m no longer interested in having up as a designer. So many of our own experiences and fears are the same as a lot of people’s, and I want to continue to connect to people and start a dialogue through my work,” says Goodman.

Chicago Photographer Paul Octavious’ experimental work can be seen everywhere--from Threadless t-shirts to McDonalds to The Paris Review. Recently he spent time behind the scenes with The Academy documenting this year's award show.

“Photography has no rules. Anything I can think up, I can attempt to make,” says Octavious. “If I succeed, that’s great! If I fail it’s just another step to succeeding.”

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt is a Cuban-American artist, designer, and printmake who is fascinated the history embedded in the objects we use, collect and leave behind. Corzo-Duchardt encourages us to think deeper about the things we surround ourselves with and the stories they tell.

From Portland’s own backyard comes poet and design researcher, Leah Noble Davidson. She’s a strategist who has worked with teams from Microsoft, XBox, Intel, Cisco, Leatherman, Toyota, Jive, Puppet Labs, and others. She toured the US last fall with her bestselling book Poetic Scientifica.

Business partners Jeremy Pelley and Fritz Mesenbrink of agency OMFGCO have created brand elements for Ace Hotel, Portland Meadows, Woodblock Chocolate, Portland General Electric, Google, Beam & Anchor, Gap and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

The WeMake Celebrates conference also includes “Small Scale,” a maker panel moderated by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s April Baer and featuring four local makers whose products have received nationwide acclaim:

During breaks throughout the day, attendees can peruse the Makers Market for goods by Dan Stiles, Egg Press, Meg Hunt, Anna Joyce, Sam Larson, Rory Phillips, Nathan Yoder, Finex, A Pot Spot, MadeHere PDX, and Orox Leather.

About WeMake – wemakepdx.com

Founded in 2011, WeMake has helped fuel a passion for learning, sharing, and creating in Oregon’s creative community. This volunteer-run collective fulfills their mission of fostering art and design by offering hands-on experiences, creative dialogue, and design-in-action initiatives. Throughout the year, WeMake holds hands-on maker workshops and a collaborative artist discussion series called sketchXchange.

For the past three years, they have hosted WeMake Celebrates, their anniversary event that has raised over $30,000 for educational arts and music programs. This year, WeMake Celebrates expands to an entire day of programming with community building at its center.

For more information, visit wemakecelebrates.com