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Design Week Portland: 'Creating in the Brain You Have' Panel Discussion

Creating in the Brain You Have


Hand-Eye Supply presents the third installment in the Process, Praxis and Pitfalls series. A panel of Curiosity Club Alumni will share tales of tribulation and triumph from their personal and creative paths. 

This year’s focus: the intersection of mental health and creative work. Is there truth to the stereotype that artists, designers and other creative people are predisposed to atypical mental health? How does mental health affect our work and creative processes? How do we work within or around our mental idiosyncrasies? Where do our personal experiences with mental health complicate our work, and where do they aid us? We ask a panel of Curiosity Club alumni about their experiences with mental health and wellness and how it interacts with their creative lives.


Confirmed speakers:

Alison Jean Cole:
Alison is a lapidary artist, geology tour guide, and proud member of the Mt. Hood Rock Club. She runs a small lapidary studio out of her home, cutting jewelry, boxes, and chess sets that are sold in shops and museums from coast to coast. She spends a great deal of time off-roading in search of material in Oregon, Nevada and California. You can follow her studio work, mineral finds, and flat tires on instagram: @alisonjeancole

Arthur Hitchcock:
Arthur Hitchcock is a freelance editorial and documentary photographer. His work often focuses on contemporary design/creative process, beautiful spaces, and compelling individuals. He was born in the Midwest, raised in Long Beach, CA and is now pursuing a fully nomadic lifestyle with a homebase in Portland, OR. Arthur's work is informed by his personal experiences and through his interaction with his subjects and close friends.

Amber Dawn
Dirt Bag Films
In the 1990's, Amber ditched high school and traveled around the US, hopping trains, playing music and performing spoken word. In 2001, she moved to New York, attended SVA for film, and became a high school English teacher in the South Bronx. Amber is currently residing in her hometown of Portland, Oregon working on a feature documentary about losing her best friend to suicide amidst the Grunge/Riot Grrl music scene. 

David Butts:
Mad Dog Garage
David Butts was born and raised amid the endless wheat fields of eastern Washington.  He came to Portland to go to college in 1966, and never really left (except for a few years at the U of O).  I put myself through architecture school playing bluegrass in bars and taverns around Eugene, and then worked as an architect for many years on K-12 schools.  Architecture being the business that it is, I was out of work with each recession, and filled my time building kinetic sculptures - small ones at first and then larger as my tools, workspace and addiction grew.  Since 2011, people walking by NW 15th and Everett can play with my creations through a storefront window that I call the "Sidewalk Gallery".

Faith Buchanan:
MaeB Dreamcrafting
While attending graduate school for Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Faith Buchanan was processing her recently uncovered family history and needed a way to contain it. She turned to her art supplies and reached out to other people in her community with similar experiences. She then contributed to and curated an art show at the Women's Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This led to her ongoing work of crafting dream images for the purpose getting in touch with her inner world and inviting others to share about theirs.
Faith Buchanan now works at a non-profit agency providing support to youth and their families who are experiencing acute mental health issues. She is also a new mom who is eager to share her passion for crafting the dream world with her daughter.