Ellen Weinstein
As President of ICON8, I have the privilege of commissioning an artist and a designer to create the identity for the conference.
I have been following the wonderful work of acclaimed illustrator Carson Ellis for some time. Her work is intricately detailed, incorporating dark, whimsical imagery with beautiful hand-drawn typography. In other words, awesome! Carson, who makes her home in Portland, will also grace the ICON8 stage as a speaker.

For the design, I asked Paul Buckley, the multi-talented Vice President, Executive Director of Penguin Books, another artist whose work I greatly admire. Paul was a speaker at ICON7, of which I was Programming Chair. Needless to say, I was thrilled when they both graciously said yes.
Similar to ICON7, we decided to print a two-sided poster. I gave them each our theme of Work + Play, as well as the information that needed to be on the poster and watched them do their magic. Carson created a lush, beautiful painting that speaks to our theme and the location of Portland. Paul’s vibrant, eye-popping design plays off of this being ICON’s 8th conference. Their poster images couldn’t be more opposite but yet united since they celebrate the breadth and diversity of our world of image-makers. There has been a great response to the poster, lots of sharing of the images on social media, and we have been inundated with requests for the posters.

ICON8 will not be taking place exclusively in a hotel.  Instead we are making full use of the wonderful city of Portland and have coordinated great venues within a short walking distance of each other. The conference presentations will take place at the historic Portland Art Museum, our closing party is at the famed McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, and our preconference events will take place at our partner school, the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The Benson is the official conference hotel. The creative community in Portland could not be more welcoming and we have a team of local advisors helping us with our planning.
Our board members, along with our Conference Director, Mark Heflin, have been busy planning since the beginning of the year. We have a stellar new website, thanks to our Tech/Design Chair, Matt Sundstrom, an illustrator who also works at Instrument, a prominent web firm in Portland. Our PR machine AKA Mark Kaufman has been firing away since our first board meeting in January. The entire board has been lining up great speakers and events that will take place during the conference including a new two-day Educator’s Symposium, headed by Education Chair, Rick Lovell, where educators from art centers around the world will present and share ideas.
Continue to watch our website and updates with exciting announcements of speakers. Watch our registration page for an equally impressive list of attendees. It is the social component that continues to be the legacy of ICON and the best reason to attend, with a chance to hang out and trade stories and sketchbooks over drinks. I met Yuko Shimizu and Marcos Chin for the first time at ICON4 in San Francisco. Tickets are flying fast, register now and join us in Portland.


  • Ellen Weinstein — President
  • Robert Brinkerhoff — Vice-President
  • Melinda Beck — Advocacy & Workshops
  • Matt Sundstrom — Technology & Design
  • Susie Ghahremani — Bookstore & Road Show
  • Jason Holley — Stage and Event Production
  • Rod Hunt — European PR & Development
  • Mark Kaufman — Public Relations
  • Rick Lovell — Education
  • Owen Smith — Programming
  • Katherine Streeter — Secretary
  • Esther Watson — Bookstore & Road Show
  • James Yang — Treasurer & Sponsor Relations
  • Mark Heflin — Director
  • Melanie Reim — Volunteer Coordinator

Recent Articles

illustration (32)

Personal Work (11)

American Illustration 32 Live Cover Project (10)

Post-It show at Gian Robot 2 (5)
Illustration work
Weinstein is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!