Design Arts Apprenticeship Mentors

Our mentors are local, professional design artists from a wide array of fields, from fashion to graphic design to woodworking and more! Please note that not all mentors are available all quarters of the program and course focus may change depending on student interest.

Alex Ever

Digital Design

Alex’s apprenticeship focuses on digital illustration as students experience an in-depth design process from start to finish. Students will use a pixel and vector-based program to create physical vinyl stickers. During this apprenticeship, students will explore new ways to generate and develop their ideas and share their process with others.

See Alex’s art on Instagram!

Andrew Heinrich

Architectural Design

Andrew guides students through the creative and playful architectural design process, where they learn how to tell their own unique story through the built environment. Students will strengthen their collaboration and quick sketching skills in group settings, while picking up new abilities in 3D modeling and simplistic digital rendering.

Learn more about Andrew here

Ben Sanders

Intro to 3D Printing and Design

Ben’s apprentices will learn product design process and 3D modeling as they work to create original toys and gadgets which they’ll 3D Print and test out in the real world!

Constance Van Flandern

Graphic Design

With Constance, students get hands on experience with graphic design, working with digital art software on iPads. Graphic design projects have included re-imagining tarot cards or designing family crests to represent their unique identities.

Erick Wonderly Varela

Illustration Design

Erick will help guide apprentices in creating illustrations based off of a piece of text of their choosing. Over the course of the program apprentices will research a piece of written media that they themselves feel passionate about, including magazine articles, poems, literature, etc. These chosen samples will be used to inspire sketches and drafts that will culminate into final illustrations that will be publicly displayed.

Heather Greene

Biomimicry Design**

Heather takes apprentices on a deep dive into design inspired by nature, reconnecting with the natural world through field trips, journaling, and inquiry. Art forms apprentices will explore include pen and ink, colored pencil, watercolor, calligraphy, photography, graphic design, and up-cycling. Past apprenticeships have included field trips to The Raptor Center to study nature from an design perspective.

**Heather’s apprenticeship will be held in Cottage Grove in Winter 2024 and in Eugene in Spring of 2024.

Jack Stepp*

Concept Design

During Jack’s apprenticeship, students will create a character and go through the process of creating concept designs of that character. Apprentices can create 2D designs and learn to illustrate and color them digitally or create actual wearable gear such as helmets or armor from foam stock.

*Jack Stepp’s apprenticeship will not be available in winter/spring of 2024.

Click here to learn more about Jack and his art!

Jen Hernandez

Interactive Storytelling (Web-Based Design)

Jen teaches apprentices how to create an interactive story to be shared publicly online. Apprentices will decide the type of story they will tell (genre, fiction, non-fiction), then outline and storyboard their stories to create digital illustration and animation. Apprentices will practice with simple website design and CSS-coding to construct interactive online stories to be showcased publicly at the end of the apprenticeship. Apprentices will also design material assets (stickers and posters) to promote their stories and compose artist reflections to publish alongside their work.

Click here to learn more about Jen and her art!

Mitra Gruwell

Upcycled Art and Design

Mitra teaches apprentices how to wield their creativity to transform discarded items and waste materials into innovative products and pieces. Apprentices will work through the design thinking method and learn fun ways to loop-de-loop their way towards a circular economy. Apprentices will come away with an encouraging look at how they can use their creativity to express themselves as artists and help the environment.

Learn more about Mitra and Discard Upcycling here!

Trevor McClelland

Product Design

During Trevor’s apprenticeship, students work collaboratively to design a product that addresses a problem they have identified. Apprentices will practice all the steps necessary for designing a functional product including ideation, sketching, model making, prototyping, and fabrication.