Design Mentees Meet a Professional Artist

Lane Arts Design Mentees in my Digital Storytelling group got to hangout with Corvallis-based illustration artist Janique Crenshaw this month for a Ask An Artist session!

This group is the 4th generation of my Digital Storytelling class with Lane Arts Council Art and Design Mentorship program. In this class, students learn story writing, character design, planning, illustration and coding a website for visitor interactivity. Their stories are published on my student website, where anyone can read their stories, click through illustrations, and even choose their own adventures.

Since the beginning of winter term in mid-January, this group of students have been working on creating stories, making comics, and designing characters, as well as navigating doc-sharing platforms, uploading to the class website and building community within our group. Since this class is generally focused on digital art (although not exclusively, students have the option to work with traditional media as well), for our mid-term class session, I decided to switch it up and brought in some gouache (my favorite!) painting.

Students worked on a character chart for the characters the’ire currently imagining, and then practiced painting those characters in gouache.

Also for this class, we had Janique Crenshaw, a fellow Corvallis-based artist join us virtually to talk about her artwork, what inspires her and answer student questions.

Janique’s work is colorful, inspired by popular media in movies, music, and shows, and she explores identity in her traditional and digitial illustrations. She was perfect to talk to this group of students who are creating in their own voices, inspired by media in books, movies and games.

Before meeting Janique, students came up with a list of questions to ask her, including:

  • Do you ever really feel satisfied with art that you make? (They started out with the big questions.)
  • What’s the first artwork you made that wasn’t scribbles?
  • How to do you get into conventions?
  • What’s your favorite/ least favorite work of art that you made?
  • Is bread the best food? (This is both an actual question and actually my favorite question my students asked. Janique’s answer was correct, by the way: it depends on the bread and she likes garlic bread.)

For the next 6 weeks, these students will work on refining their story ideas, illustrating their work and uploading to the student website, where they’ll add the interactive elements that makes these stories unique. They’ll be celebrated at the April First Friday Art Walk in Eugene at Spark on 7th, where folks can come by and try out their interactive stories in-person!

Check out some of the past student stories from Lane Arts Design Mentorship Digital Storytelling at

Find out more about the Lane Arts Design Mentorship program at

Lane Arts Design Mentorship

Each quarter, I work with Lane county students on small group design projects. Our projects are lead by students to develop, design, and create web-based interactive stories and artwork. Students gain marketing and creatice skills for portfolios and career exploration. This program is coordinated by Lane Arts Council in Eugene. Find out more by clicking below!

See sign up info at Lane Arts Council
See past student projects at

Past Design Groups

Check out our previous design groups and see what we created!

Design Mentees Meet a Professional Artist

Lane Arts Design Mentees in my Digital Storytelling group got to hangout with Corvallis-based illustration artist Janique Crenshaw this month for a Ask An Artist session! This group is the 4th generation of my Digital Storytelling class with Lane Arts Council Art and Design Mentorship program. In this class, students learn story writing, character design,…

Lane Arts Design Apprenticeship 2021

This winter, I joined Lane Arts Council as a design mentor for Lane County youth. I had the privilege to work with four amazing teens in the Eugene area, discussing design work, personal expression, and market design strategies. We were definitely not without challenges in this project; our group met entirely virtually and we had to compete with our own hectict school and work schedules to prioritize our collaborative process. Through the experience, I aimed to mentor the youth with experience-based guidance in creative collaboration work, as we focused on a final presentation that wrapped up last Friday at the Eugene First Friday Artwalk.

The students came up with the focus of our project while I supported with facilitation and helping them determine objectives and deadlines.

Their focus was to create a fashion line that helped wearers express personal identities. In this work, we talked about the different ways folks identify themselves– everything from “food consumer” to “go-with-the-flower” and (my personal favorite) “challenger”. This conversation turned out to be a great way for us to get to know each other and begin developing genuine connections.

We also talked about the reasons for design work: for functionality, aethetics and communication. Being entirely virtual, we had the benefit to look around our own spaces and discuss the design of objects we interact with daily, creating comparissons between the different focuses in the designs of objects including utilitarian (functionality) to pure expression (aesthetics) to message-making (communication).

As our project clarified, the student designers focused on how to design fashion and accessories to tap into identity niches, which we dived into, fully imagining who our target fashion wearers would be and what their lives would be like.

Students designed sketches and drafts based on aesthetics and functionality for the target markets. They then worked with each others’ designs to create accessories and characters that captured those aesthetics plus ways to communicate to target markets about the designs created (marketing communication).

For the final presentation, we printed boards and stickers and students talked about their work with art walkers at Spark Labs during Eugene’s First Friday Artwalk. The stickers were super popular and really showed off the students’ work in graphic design to communicate style and person expression through aesthetics.

Interested in the Lane Arts Council Design Arts Apprenticeship program? Learn more about it here on their website:

Student Presentations and Artist Statements

Artist Statement: Amelia

What is your design?  My design is the logo(s) for the fashion brand Lovebun. The logos shown are for the brand itself and three of its fashion lines. 

Who is your design for? Lovebun’s clothing and accessories are meant for young teens to adults so they can express what they feel makes them unique, whether it’s their aesthetic or their gender/sexual identity. Lovebun is “for everyone and anyone.” The people who are most expected to purchase from Lovebun are ‘alt’ teens who spend their time on tiktok or other social media and enjoy the products of similar brands. 

What was your experience like in this class?  Stressful at times due to school and other activities getting in my way, but overall it was a fun and great learning opportunity for me. I’d recommend it to others who want to step foot into a possibly new experience or want to learn what it may be like to go into a professional arts career. 🙂

Artist Statement: Lizzie

Describe your design: I drew 4 models with clothes I designed myself based on Harujuku streetwear. I also drew multiple mascot characters depicting different styles I’ve seen at school and on the internet. 

Who is your design for? I based my designs around people I’ve seen around school and on the internet. I tried to recreate styles directed toward girls around 14-17 years of age. These people want to express their style and personality through bold, cutesy fashion.

What was your experience like in this program? I had a good experience. I liked seeing everyone’s different art styles. It did get a little stressful when I tried to take on too much work, but I’m happy with my results.

Artist Statement: Joyce

My brand is called Esteem by Eve, and it is made for women who needs confidence. It is a formal attire, high fashioned one piece dress, perhaps worn with gold earrings and bag with gold chains. The clothing brand is targeting women 20-40 who needs to wear formal attire in work or events such as performances or exhibitions