• inspiration: books and pdx

    This summer has been surprisingly full of travel, and I'm only just getting around to projects that have been on the to-do list. In the meantime, I've been totally in awe of two new projects by Portland-based illustrators/authors.

    My friend Amy Martin recently relocated to Portland from Los Angeles. This coincided with the release of her new children's book, Symphony City, by McSweeney's.

    Amy's illustration is hugely inspiring for me - her work is saturated with color and her graphic style is appealing and very well-suited for everything from music posters to (you guessed it) children's books. What impresses me the most about her latest project is that she also wrote the book herself, and great children's literature is deceptively difficult. If you get a chance, pick up a copy from your local bookstore (it's also available on

    Another huge inspiration at the moment is the new project of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy and Decemberists illustrator (and wife of Colin) Carson Ellis. I have long loved Carson's work, and so it's been incredible to see what she's come up with for their new book Wildwood, the first in a series of books known as the Wildwood Chronicles. Colin is authoring the texts, and Carson is illustrating. You can preview the first four chapters via the Wildwood website now. I think I'm most excited to see all of the illustrations Carson has come up with.