Every month, the Pacific Northwest’s next generation of great artists puts their spin on the ThinkNW logo. Artist, curator, writer and registered member of Oregon’s Grand Ronde Confederated Steph Littlebird explores textures and colors for a unique interpretation.
How did you initially want to approach your interpretation of the ThinkNW logo? What were your thoughts and inspiration?
I wanted it to have the textures and colors I associate with the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, in particular. Some of my favorite things about the state include the beautiful landscapes and evergreen trees.
How did the direction in designing the ThinkNW logo evolve/change over time?
I wanted to give a nod to the landscape and make it feel less like a “logo” and more like an illustration. I played with the lettering style and initially started with a blue sky and eventually decided to move toward a sunset.
What are some of the specific elements in the ThinkNW logo design that you feel are unique/cool/fun?
I wanted to go with bolder colors since most designers tend to stay away from full saturation. I also love to use large shapes to break up composition so the viewer can see many areas in an image.
When did you know that art was something that you wanted to pursue?
Some of my first memories center around coloring books, and I have been hooked ever since. I love creating images and spent a lot of time in the art room as a high schooler. Eventually, I went to art school for painting and learned digital design. I love to use my image-making skills in a wide range of mediums.
What are your biggest inspirations in your art (i.e., people, places, things)?
I am inspired by my Indigenous heritage and community; much of my work revolves around uplifting my culture. I also do a lot of work about land and the earth and how humans can be better stewards of our world.
Do you think that you have a style? If so, how would you describe it? If not, why is that?
I am known for my strong linework and bold color use for sure. I am very much influenced by my tribe’s art and basketry styles, which often subtly find their way into my work.
What is most important to you when expressing your art?
I must honor my community and ancestors through my work, pay respect to those who have come before me, and create a positive representation for those who will come after me.
Where do you feel your art is going next?
My career is now shifting into the illustration world, working on children’s books and collaborating with Indigenous authors to bring their stories to life!
Discover more of Steph’s work: