In-the-know Blazers fans queue up at the Moda Center hours before tip-off these days, in hopes of snagging one of the team’s limited-edition game-day posters. The artwork is created by artists with Portland connections, with only 160 hand-numbered copies printed. At $15 a pop, the posters have emerged as both a hot collectible for fans and a coveted get for local artists, who receive a $315 stipend, game tickets, and social media shout-outs; net proceeds go to the Blazers’ charitable foundation. The program is so successful that the New York Jets and the Atlanta Braves have both launched their own versions. We asked a few of the artists about their inspirations.
1. “These athletes [are] in their prime, competing at the highest level, on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights—and in those moments of pure spectacle the cameras and crowds just fade to the background, leaving only the player and the ball.” —Tyler Lang, @alwayswithhonor
2. “The poster is my tribute to the flower that has become a symbol of the city. Fiber art, a very traditional medium, has had a modern resurgence over the past few years, and I’m excited to see what other applications embroidery and sewing can have.” —Amy L. Frazer, @amylfrazer
3. “I love character design, so I started to mess around with some different Blazer fan characters. My mind went to Kaiju, Japanese monster movies, and I created a lovable Kaiju Blazer fan monster—a monster you would want to hug or rub his belly before games for good luck.” —Todd Saucier, @toddman1984
4. “I enjoyed looking at how the logo and branding had changed over time, pulling in retro elements and expanding the brand palette for a bold, bright, floral representation of the Rose City and its team.” —Kate Blairstone, @kateblairstone