Dave Vitt of Kulshan Brewery
The people she draws get to decide what card they want to be. Mari Kemper of Chuckanut is the Queen of Diamonds, Aaron Matson of the Copper Hog is the Ace of Spades. The four Jokers will be Terry Urbanik, Jim Parker, Joe LeDoux and the fourth is being worked out. She describes her portrait style as “illustrative and funky.” Whatever it is, it’s pretty cool looking.
To start the process, she takes a closeup photograph of her subject. Then Johnson makes a representational sketch of the subject and traces a one-line drawing, referencing anatomical features and light sources. She says the mouth, eyes and hair offer the most clues to personality.
I said, “You know, I’m basically bald. What does that say about me?” She responded, “Oh! Your personality is definitely in the eyes.” I just nodded, but secretly thought that 33% of my personality was missing.
Johnson started working in the craft beer industry with Kulshan Brewing when Jim Parker handed over her resume to Dave Vitt. She cut her teeth there before moving to Portland, where she worked at Apex. Then, like a professional athlete, she was quickly picked up by renowned Cascade Brewing Barrel House. She recalls,
They wanted me and I wanted them
It was in PDX that she was first inspired to build a “brew deck.” After working at Cascade, she returned to Bellingham. “Tyler the Elder” over at Saravesa Bottle Shop had told her about some beer trading cards that listed an assortment of beer stats on them. She liked the idea, but felt they weren’t accessible enough. Around that time she moved back to Bellingham and decided to apply her artistic talent to her love of Bellingham’s craft beer community. Bellingham provided a much more community oriented experience for this project because of it’s smaller size.
There’s so much culture behind it – There’s a family aspect. It’s always been a pleasure to work for craft breweries. I wanted to celebrate the the craft beer community through this project.