Every month, we invite a new artist to take the ThinkNW logo and make it their own. We asked artist Rana Duzyol, a Portland State University Alumni and Food Photographer to give us her touch on November’s Logo Takeover.
How did you initially want to approach your interpretation of the ThinkNW logo? What were your thoughts and inspiration?
I wanted to do something that reminds me of Portland. I lived there for a few years, and I absolutely loved it, though I couldn’t really pinpoint why I enjoyed my time there so much until I recently returned to visit. I remember walking down the street and smelling really clean air. When I lived there, I would just take hours-long walks simply because my neighborhood in SE was a beautiful and enjoyable place to be. So I wanted to portray that calmness and joy.
How did the direction in designing the ThinkNW logo evolve/change over time?
I started with a time-lapse video at first because I had done similar works for a logo before, and it was a fun and attention-grabbing piece of work. But when I sat down to think about what Portland really means to me, something entirely different emerged in my head. I didn’t want to do a quick video that’s only entertaining; instead, I wanted something that people would sit down and look at, spend a few minutes observing, and smile along the way.
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)?
Color is a big part of this takeover, and it goes back to the very feeling of the city for me. I kept thinking about the moment I visited Portland, when I felt that fresh air in my lungs and felt really good inside. So I wanted something clean and bright in the background to revisit that moment.
The next element was the fruits. One other thing about Portland that is incredible is the fresh food. I wanted to portray the quality food you can find in Portland by using the berries. I added grapes to refer to Oregon wineries, a piece of lavender to refer to lavender farms across the state, and a seashell to refer to the Oregon coast. Lastly, I added a piece of pomegranate and honey to refer to my Middle Eastern roots and integrate myself into this piece.
When did you know that art was something that you wanted to pursue?
It happened really quickly, actually. I was laid off at the beginning of the pandemic because where I worked was shut down. So I was sitting at home, thinking to myself that I didn’t want to come out of the lockdown only having watched a lot of Netflix. So I decided to dedicate the time to learning a new craft.
I had an old camera sitting in my home, and the only place I could really go was to grocery stores. So I tried photographing food, and it just clicked with me the moment I tried it. It became obvious that this was something I wanted to get better at, and thankfully, people showed interest on Instagram immediately. This led to a number of work opportunities within the first six months, which made it pretty clear that there was a lot of potential, and I should stick with it.
What are the biggest inspirations in your art (i.e.. people, places, things)?
It’s a lot of little and big things—colors, textures, impressions, compositions, and so on. Sometimes I would see a beautiful orange color in a photo, and it would give me a rush of creativity that would kick me out of the couch and get me doing something with that color. Anything that looks interesting could be a source of inspiration for me.
Do you think that you have a style? If so, how would you describe it? If not, why is that?
I have a colorful and playful style. Creating something makes me happy. It lifts my mood, so I think I reflect that feeling in my style. And I create with the hope that my work can lift others’ moods as well.
What is most important to you when expressing your art?
Whenever I see outstanding work, whether that is photography, interior design, or sculpture, it makes me stop whatever I do and appreciate what I see. It excites me, and it changes my mood. I always look to elicit that kind of reaction when I work on my own stuff. I ask myself, do I change how people feel even for a split second? If so, that is something worth sharing.
Where do you feel your art is going next?
I totally enjoy my colorful and playful style, which is not going anywhere, but I want my work to evolve into a more graphic style. I want it to grab attention right away, and graphic photos do an excellent job at that. So you will probably see harsher shadows and richer colors more often as I keep creating.