Paper and Digital Designer Workshop Review February 2012

This last weekend was the Paper and Digital Designer Workshop. I obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I scheduled it the weekend after CHA. Despite the back-to-back scheduling, we had a fabulous time and it went off without a hitch.

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter how many classes I have taught, I always get a little nervous about getting in front of a group. Thankfully, the group dealt with all the Illustrator techniques I, ahem, made them participate in relatively well!

I was so impressed with the doodling, papers, textures, techniques, and elements that these ladies came out with during this workshop. (I was equally amazed at the amount of food I managed to eat during the two days.) The group was a wide range from beginners to industry designers. You’ll recognize some faces and names from this group (and might I suggest some up-and-coming designers?). Though I was the teacher, I learned so much from them as they shared their tips and tricks.

A huge thank you to Riley Blake who donated fabric to the swag bags. We had a number of Riley Blake designers in attendance, which made the event that much more fun! I also need to thank Susan Haglund for taking all of these pictures over the two days of the workshop.

Lots of thinking, thinking, thinking (picture below). Mostly of how we could all get Diet Coke IVs inserted. Since Roxanne came up with the idea, I’m expecting a patent from her soon. You’ve gotta love Samantha Walker’s monster computer screen (she was banished to the back row)!

A few of the ladies posing in one of the Little America Hotel Rooms.

The picture above looks pretty serious. That’s the only reason I included it.

I know that all these pictures give the illusion that we had our heads stuck in our computers the whole time. However, there was a lot of unruly behavior from the blonds at the back of the room (aka mischief-makers assistant Susan Haglund and Heidi Swapp). It seemed like every time I left the room to do a portfolio review with someone, those two had everyone in an uproar.

Other surprises? That Samantha Walker can tell a great embarrassing story on command.

We had lots of locals (Deena Rutter was in-and-out since her boys were battling it out for the hockey state championships.) as well participants from as far away as Canada (Thank you for the maple syrup, Melanie Ritchie!). Meg Stocks, a mentor at, came all the way from Atlanta (I do love my southern girls!).

I was also thankful that Pam Meeks and Rachel McPeek (do you like how their last names almost rhyme?) made it in right before the Colorado snowstorm hit. I was also grateful that it didn’t make it’s way up to Utah! Kathy Sierra-Fernandez came from Washington and became our resident Illustrator expert (we all learned a thing or two on how she magically builds patterns!). Roxanne Bergener of Close to My Heart cracked us up with her wit and  dazzled us with her industry experience.

The picture above is of Audrey Hanks (traveled from Wendover) and Christine Chodil(traveled from Chicago). It was fun to chat with both since they came from your non-typical designer backgrounds (Christine’s degree is in Musical Theater and Audrey has a MA in Mathematics).

Heidi Swapp gives her two cents on our typography exercise. We will certainly take her two cents along with any other change she has on her.

And who knows what I am explaining here? Obviously something to do with the itsy bitsy spider.

Don’t let the cool appearance of this one fool you (Kasey, Casey, Kasie, Casee…who knows how to spell her name?). She’ll slice you with her witty comments. And putting her next to Heidi wasn’t our smartest move.

You gotta love the work of Lori Whitlock. I just felt lucky that she came!

For our final dinner, we let a few guys crash our girl party. I’m pretty sure that I’m saying something extremely important here (photo below). Thank goodness for that pretty damask pattern behind me.

First off, there was no possible way to shrink down the picture of this slice of cake (scroll down, it’s hard to miss). Secondly, I thought it best for you to see the size of it in relation to Susan’s head.

Yes, we ate like that for many meals the entire two days. And yes, I was sick afterwards.

Lori Whitlock’s husband Doug, Eric Swapp of, and Jody Hunt of Echo Park overseeing our picture-taking.

In review—we ate a lot, designed a bit, had a number of “aha” moments (even me!), and had a pretty fantastic time.

Cheers to girl-design-time,



  1. Lori Whitlock


    The workshop/class was SO MUCH FUN!! I really enjoyed spending some time with all these awesome ladies and getting to know you better! Thank you so much for inviting me. I learned a few new tricks that will make life easier. You’re awesome! Can’t wait to do it again.

  2. Catherine

    So glad you girls had a great time! 😀

  3. pammie~k

    A fabulous time – learned a lot of tips and tricks – and am embracing illustrator.

  4. Meg

    It was brilliant on multiple levels! I might have even said that Illustrator isn’t so bad….maybe…. 😉

  5. Lindzie H

    This looks like fun! Wish I could learn how to make such fabulous stuff as well. 🙂

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  7. Jodie Lee Patterson

    Ahhh, I wish I had of known about this! I definitely would have loved to be there! 🙂

  8. Celeste Knight

    Are you going to be doing another one? I would LOVE to attend something like this!

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