• SPEAKERS

    Aaron Draplin

    Located in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity and Illustration categories. We make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Esquire, Nike, Wired, Dinosaur Jr, Timberline, Chunklet, Eaux Claires, Poler, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Jill Soloway, Chris Stapleton, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Rhett Miller, Old 97s, Nixon Watches, Jason Isbell, Patagonia, Target, Megafaun, Jerry Garcia Band, Ford Motor Company, Woolrich and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that.

    We’ve traveled the world telling our story, with 240 speaking fiascos under our belt and counting! We co-created Field Notes with Jim Coudal, and our proud offering of American-made memo books are sold in over 1,000 stores nationwide, with limited-edition special editions shipped quarterly to a booming subscriber list.

    Our first book titled “Pretty Much Everything” came out on May 17, 2016 on Abrams Books, which incredibly, is in its sixth printing. We pride ourselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps us up late into the wet Portland night.

    Dian Holton

    Dian Holton is deputy art director at AARP but in the wee hours of the morning, you may find her installing retail window displays. A former military dependent, she grew up in the United States, Berlin, and Seoul. In fact, her creative passion continues to be fueled by random global jaunts to discover new social initiatives, meet intriguing artists, and gather inspiration for future projects. Holton’s professional background includes publishing, marketing, retail visual display, styling and most recently footwear designer.

    She has served 10+ years on the board of AIGA’s Washington D.C. chapter, and has paired more than 60 designers with mentors and has overseen the Design Continuum Fund, a scholarship for underrepresented students attending college in the DC metro area. Her passions include philanthropy, fashion, and pop culture.

    Ovetta Sampson

    As a design research lead at IDEO, Ovetta works to be the voice of people while inspiring design. Her work at IDEO has spanned many industries from mobility, entertainment, health care encompassing both physical and digital product design. A large portion of her work focuses mainly on technology that incorporates artificial intelligence, autonomous technology and data. Prior to IDEO, she worked as a UX researcher, doing everything from conducting qualitative research to usability tests to quantitative studies. Her UX work spans various platforms including websites, mobile applications, software development and AI/intelligent design.

    In a previous life, (she's had many) she was a journalist for about 20 years having her work appear in such publications as The Washington Post, the Colorado Springs Gazette, The Chicago Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor. (She still writes for publications on occasion and authors books). She left the newspaper world for adventure and became a global writer and editor for humanitarian organizations interviewing people all over the world. Along the way she picked up some website design, data visualizations and mobile application coding skills (enough to be dangerous) and fell in love with designing and crafting digital products. She has her M.S. in Computer Science, specializing in human-computer interaction, from DePaul University.

    When not working, Ovetta is swimming, biking and running, preferably in that order and in exotic locales. And occasionally, does these races called Ironmans.

    JAmes Walker

    Walker has a background ranging from environments, branding, illustration, and interaction. His work has been featured in several publications and books; was part of larger collective projects that are now in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, MOMA, and the Brooklyn Museum; and has won several design-focused awards from organizations such as the AIGA and Communication Arts. He received his MFA in Visual Communication and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. During his studies, he presented his research at conferences globally as well as Richmond’s first TEDx.

    As an educator, he lectures on design at The University of Texas at Austin and has previously taught at Washington University, Santa Reparata International School of Art, The University of Missouri, and Virginia Commonwealth University. On the side, he cofounded the type-focused nonprofit, Type Hike, which is a broader collaborative poster project benefitting America's natural wonders.

    Alyssa Issler

    Alyssa is an Industrial Designer currently working at Home Products International as a part of a small team in the Marketing Department. She has worked in the Housewares industry as well as the Exhibit Design industry, taking part in a range of products including small kitchen electrics, home storage solutions and baking innovations.

    She graduated from the School of Art and Design at SIUC in 2014 with a BFA in Art (Industrial Design).

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