Keeping with our DIY wedding theme, we sought out one of our favorite customers, whom is also a designer and illustrator located in Portland! Austin Sellers dabbles in a lot of graphic design themes, mainly band posters and music flyers, but he also makes wedding suites! We love his detailed, whimsical, unapologetically eccentric designs.
How did you start designing?
I’ve been professionally designing for 11 years and counting. Every day is a new adventure. It started when I was little. I would hang out at my mother’s office and draw. She was a graphic designer as well, so there were many toys and gadgets to play around with and an endless supply of freshly printed ephemera. It seemed like a natural thing for me to do as I got older so I went for it as soon as I had the opportunity.
My first real project after getting a degree was a business card for a custom motorcycle builder. It’s not much like the things I work on lately, but I welcome all types of projects. That’s one of the best parts of working with different people–you can go left one day, and go right the next.
What makes your designs stand out? What other creative fields are you involved in?
Whenever I’m hand-drawing something I think my own style comes through. I love using bright colors and lettering too. After college and before going freelance I worked in package design for 6 years. I still enjoy it very much! It was corporate packaging by day and rock’n’roll packaging and posters by night. I’ve worked on projects for large corporations and a handful of the best indie and major label record companies. I recently finished an 8 month long project creating websites for a few big name clients. That gave me a great update on current web design standards. I imagine I’d like to get into designing more wedding invitations and get back to making album artwork.
Do you find the creative and design scene in Portland to be competitive and difficult to get your foot in?
I really think that once you get past introducing yourself to others you’re on your way to making an impact in the community. Our city is fortunate enough to have such wonderful interest in art and art education that it should be fun for everyone. If anybody gives you any guff, they probably aren’t fun to be around in the first place. You have to work hard at what you love and love working hard in order to make a difference around you.
How did you start designing wedding suites?
I have a college friend who wanted me to make a card for his wedding in 2010. It’s one of my most favorite projects to date.
Since they’re not really within your usual design realm, how was your experience working directly with clients, versus working with a company?
There’s a fairly different interaction process when working directly with a client versus a company. You’ve got to take on so many more roles to create and finish a great project. However, you also get first-hand knowledge of client needs, and a better comprehension of the task at hand. You can be personal as well as professional, because after all, this is a very important day for 2 great people.
What’s the best advice you have for someone interested in joining the design scene in Portland?
Always do your best and don’t be afraid to get a little weird.