PDXDF: From Designer to Author with Lisa Congdon and Kat Vellos

Come hear from a panel of designers and artists turned authors about ways to share and publish your creative work.

Learn about self-publishing, working with a publisher, how to come up with your own content and ideas for books, the process of getting a book published, and more.

Each speaker will give a brief talk about their experience with publishing, then the panel will have a conversation together. You’ll have a chance to submit questions for the panel ahead of time when you RSVP for the event.

About the Speakers:

Lisa Congdon is an internationally known fine artist, illustrator and writer. She makes art for clients around the globe, including Target, Amazon, Google, Warby Parker, Method, Comme des Garcons, REI and MoMA, among many others. She is the author of ten books, including Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist and Find your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic. She is the host of the podcast The Lisa Congdon Sessions and cofounder of The Long Table Foundation

Lisa is self-taught and didn’t achieve momentum in her career until she was nearly 40 years old. Despite her untraditional path, Lisa has achieved recognition, not just as an artist, but as a leader in the industry for her work in social justice, knowledge sharing, mentoring and teaching. In March of 2021, she was named “One of the 50 Most Inspiring People and Companies According to Industry Creatives” published by AdWeek. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon. 


Molly McLeod is an artist, designer, and creativity coach based in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of The Daily Project Deck: Build and Easy and Fun Creative Habit, out now from Chronicle Books. Since 2015, she has made over 1,000 pieces of art by doing different daily art projects every month. She has self-published dozens of other zines and books, as well as several tabletop games.

Molly supports creative people to make work that's important to them, achieve their goals, and share their gifts with the world. She also works with people who may not consider themselves "artists," but are interested in calling in more creativity in their lives. In her design work, she helps nonprofits, government agencies, and organizations working towards social justice communicate more effectively and design awesome things. She’s worked on activist board games, feminist documentaries, adult summer camps, and public art projects. Molly is currently available for coaching, short and long-term projects, speaking gigs, and artistic commissions and collaborations.


Kat Vellos is the author of We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships. She is a speaker, facilitator, and community creator. In her former career as a senior user experience designer, she researched, designed, and advised on the UX of digital experiences serving millions of people at Slack, Pandora, and various startups. With her debut book, We Should Get Together, she turned her expertise in user research and experience design towards helping people live healthier lives through the cultivation of deeper, more fulfilling friendships. In addition to writing books, Kat creates tools for connection such as the Better Than Small Talk cards and the Better Conversations calendar which have helped countless people in over 100 countries forge closer connections with their friends and colleagues.

Her interviews can be found in a variety of media outlets including The New York Times, The Good Life Project, Real Simple, Forbes, NPR, Communication Arts, Hurry Slowly, and Parents Magazine. Kat is also a sought-after speaker who has graced the stages of TEDx, San Francisco Design Week, Design for America, VivaTech, the Transforming Loneliness Summit, Lesbians Who Tech, and many more. She is currently available for virtual speaking and facilitation gigs. You can find her at katvellos.com and weshouldgettogether.com


Moderator: Xena Ni is an artist, founder, and designer. She believes that public institutions should work with and for the people they serve. To that end, she creates multimedia installations and interactive experiences to advocate for humane, equitable, and just public policies.

Presently, she is a Partner at Trestle Collaborative, a nonprofit strengthening technology that powers movement building and progressive political campaigns. Her artwork has been featured in the Washington Post, Washingtonian, and Bloomberg.


About PDX Design Festival:

PDX Design Festival is a week-long celebration of design in the city of roses. After several long years of isolation and virtual collaboration, Portland's creative community is back and ready to reconnect. Our inaugural theme, chosen by the AIGA Portland community, is connection and echoes these sentiments. This is a can't-miss event for all of Portland.

Events tickets are reserved for festival pass holders—get your all-access festival pass on the PDXDF website.

When & Where
Thu, Oct 6, 2022 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM PDT