Every month, the Pacific Northwest’s next generation of great artists puts their spin on the ThinkNW logo. Portland-based artist, designer and community organizer Heldáy de la Cruz explores digital mosaic styles in a fresh interpretation of ThinkNW’s logo.
How did you initially want to approach your interpretation of the ThinkNW logo? What were your thoughts and inspiration?
I knew I wanted to play with the digital mosaic style I’ve been doing for years. My inspiration around the motifs was rooted in nature, as is common for anything Pacific Northwest-related. There’s something meticulous about it that I love, and it brings me some new challenges with creating a new typeface with certain limitations.
How did the direction in designing the ThinkNW logo evolve/change over time?
As a designer who works in brand identity, I usually aim to make a logo as functional, simple, and straightforward as possible. While I love perfecting a word or a couple of words to present on their own, I’m also drawn to breaking out of that path I usually find myself in.
What are some of the specific elements in the ThinkNW logo design that you feel are unique/cool/fun (i.e., palette, illustration, overall style)?
The digital mosaic look allows the creation of unique type and elements like patterns or motifs.
When did you know that art was something that you wanted to pursue?
When I was a kid, I was always drawing. I wasn’t particularly good, but people around me encouraged it often, and as a perfectionist, I wanted to get really good at illustration.
What are the biggest inspirations in your art?
My inspirations include identity, culture, patterns, nature, human forms, and lettering.
Do you think that you have a style? If so, how would you describe it? If not, why is that?
With illustration, I lean into realism. With digital design, I lean into clean edges and an attempt at making something feel timeless.
What is most important to you when expressing your art?
That I love what I’m presenting.
Where do you feel your art is going next?
I’ve got some bodies of work cooking, with an exhibit coming up this summer! I hope to lean back into my art practice this year more seriously.
More about Heldáy de la Cruz
Heldáy de la Cruz (pronounced “el-dye”) is an artist and community organizer. Through illustration and design, his work explores the lost and found identities within the queer and Indigenous diaspora. These, alongside his undocumented status, are at the core of his community work.
Heldáy’s artwork and story have been shared in Milk X Magazine (Hong Kong), The Huffington Post, AIGA Portland, She Shreds Magazine, Ecotrust, Street Roots, East Oregonian, The Oregonian, ACLU of Oregon, Design Week Portland, Brand New Podcast, Social Justice League Podcast, Talking with Ghosts Podcast, Homebase Gallery, CultureStrike, Define American Film Festival, and the U-FLi Center at Brown University.
He founded and co-leads UndocuPDX, a collective that provides resources, education, and news for the undocumented community.
Where to find him