Last month I took my first flight to the States in almost three years to attend the 40th Birthday Party of one of my licensees: Allport Editions of Portland, Oregon. Allport is led by the amazing Mackenzie Jeans, and produces stunning notecards and dish towels of my American state themed illustrations and iconic cities.
The outward journey was not straightforward. A sudden death on the plane and being stranded overnight in Winnipeg led to a scramble for seats on an early morning plan to Vancouver BC and onward to Portland, where we arrived ... 36 hours later!
Allport's ruby anniversary was celebrated in style with a matching red colour palette. It was great to meet the people behind the brand and working with my licensees around the world is always such a pleasure and amazing learning experience too.
I also got to discover more of Portland and Oregon, places that I had drawn but never visited until now: The Japanese Gardens and Pittock Mansion in Portland, Multnomah Falls and more.
It was also a thrill to see my work on sale in stores around the city:
My Portland natural canvas tote bag has been a best seller in the iconic Powell's bookstore for years.
By luck, I came across these cute University of Oregon water bottles in their Duck Store on the banks of the Willamette River.
And as I left Portland, I saw my dish towels in the Calliope airport shop, which matched my Oregon canvas tote bag perfectly.
The slogan for Portland is "Keep it Weird", which is something I love .. an open and welcoming message, embracing tolerance and creative expression, and makes me feel at home.