GOOD

Will Bryant Brings Portland’s Hustle and Charm to Life

A close-knit community, creativity, and basketball: Portland’s got it all.

A city could do worse than be pigeonholed as a hub for craft breweries, local food, flannel-bedecked residents, and environmentally friendly mindsets, right? Beyond Portland’s ability to inspire pop culture parody, designer Will Bryant insists that the best thing about the city is truly its people. Even outside the close-knit design community he counts himself lucky to be a part of, Bryant is amazed at how passionate he’s found the greater Portland community to be as well.


Bryant vividly remembers visiting Portland for the first time with his wife in 2008—riding bikes around the city on a beautifully gray, not-too-chilly day. “We were both enthralled by the sights and sounds as we pedaled around the charming neighborhoods,” he says, adding that Portland’s geographical makeup is a huge draw. “Just outside the city, you can go skiing, go to the ocean, and between all that you have waterfalls—Field & Stream magazine covers scattered throughout, basically.”

After finishing his BFA in graphic design at Mississippi State and a post-grad stint working in Austin, Bryant landed in Portland just over three years ago, pursuing a graduate degree from Portland State University’s contemporary studio art program. Though he wouldn’t have made the move without his Mississippi State mentor’s appointment at P.S.U., Bryant was also struck by how many Portland-based designers and creatives he’d connected with via the internet. “I thought to myself, ‘How do all these people live in one place?’ And that maybe I should be there, because they were doing it, and it seemed wonderful,” he remembers.

Once he and his wife bit the bullet, Bryant found himself steeped in a thriving creative environment, one in which revered, established companies (Nike, Wieden + Kennedy, Columbia, Adidas) and independent studios were able to coexist. And thanks to frequent events and the familial vibe of both Portland’s design and contemporary arts scenes—which he describes as “very inclusive, inspiring, and supportive”—Bryant has been able to link up with many of his peers in-person, prompting collaborations and forging deeper connections.

Though he’s meeting illustrators that may have a similar style—essentially possible competitors—Bryant loves that he hasn’t encountered much of a cutthroat attitude in Portland. “There’s a great sense of hustle, but everyone’s also happy for you if you land a gig. There’s plenty of work to go around,” Bryant says.

What’s more is that the relationships he’s formed have often translated beyond a professional capacity into true friendships. “I love the fact that I can play a five-on-five game of basketball with people from the creative industry,” he says excitedly, recalling his upbringing in a small-town where he didn’t find many people who shared his love for both sports and art. Portland, with its vast community of designers each wielding a variety of hobbies, has thus proved to be a breath of fresh air for Bryant, who has found camaraderie in this city, both artistically and personally.

Thus, Bryant’s visual love letter to Portland for the GOOD Cities Project is a testament to the opportunity and acceptance he has felt in this city. His design is characteristically exuberant, playful, and colorful, a mesh of lively representations of things that he holds dear, and that Portland has allowed him to explore—basketball, nature, creativity, the culinary scene, and his favorite people, to name a few. To this, Bryant has added an over-arching message to the city he, his wife, and his four-month old daughter, are happy to call home: “Dear Portland, Thank you for supporting my interests.”

Will’s visual love letter to Portland was on exhibition as part of the GOOD Cities Project throughout November.

Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health