Design Ranch 2020 Workshops

We’re wrangling up the best workshop leaders from across the land to deliver unique, engaging programming. More workshop leaders being announced later!

Jessica Fontenot

Jessica Fontenot is an illustrator and designer based in Austin, Texas. She enjoys working with different brands to illustrate their products, services and events. With 7+ years of work experience in agencies, her foundation is based in problem-solving and strategic design thinking.

Dirk Fowler

Dirk Fowler is an Associate Professor of Art in Graphic Design at Texas Tech University and one half of f2design, an award winning design and printing studio in sunny Lubbock, Texas. He has created letterpress posters and illustration for clients such as Wilco, The New York Dolls, Columbia Records, Wired, Billboard, Texas Monthly and The New York Times. His work has been awarded by the American Advertising Federation, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Type Directors Club and Society of Publication Designers and has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Novum, PRINT, Communication Arts and numerous books including the Art of Modern Rock, New Masters of Poster Design and Impressive. He has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in museums and galleries around the world, including international poster exhibitions in China, Mexico and Bolivia.

Sara Gibson

As head roaster at Greater Goods Coffee Co. (@gg_roasting), Sara’s job is to help every coffee bean become its best self. She sources coffee from around the world and creates individualized recipes to bring out ideal levels of sweetness, acidity, and body in each batch. She has Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certifications in roasting, sensory skills, and green coffee. She’s also a mom to two humans, one cat, and five fish.

Jess Moss

Jess Moss is an Experience Designer in Austin, TX, building digital products at Projekt202. Beyond UX, Jess is a passionate crafter that finds potential in found objects, breathing new life into abandoned obscurities by combining them into quirky assemblages.

Marisol Ortega

Marisol is a first generation Mexican-American designer/illustrator currently residing outside of Seattle, WA. She’s inspired by nature, working with her hands and the many colors of our planet. Her work reflects an exploration of nature, her cultures with a bright color palette.

Mercedez Rex

Mercedez Rex is an Austin based artist and creativity enthusiast who favors processes that allow for chance, unpredictability and play. She began experimenting with surface design in textiles in 2013 and shortly thereafter founded her eponymous collection of accessories and home goods. In 2018, after discovering the magic of water marbling, her focus shifted from dyes on textiles to pigments mono-printed on paper and silk. Believing that everyone has creative potential and that cultivating creativity is a worthwhile pursuit, Mercedez offers marbling workshops and private DIY experiential art sessions as a means to reconnect people with their inherent creativity.

Yama Ploskonka

Again facing unemployment in late 2015, Yama attempts, again, to imitate ancient woodblock prints but just couldn’t afford paper that felt right. “I can make my own paper!” was the epiphany this time. However, the general absence in Austin, Texas, of 15th century thick-wool sheep, or workers that rejoice in sixpence pay for 16-hour days complicates replicating Middle Ages materials…

Hacking together post-modern tools and equipment designed for something else entirely, being quite a mutt (“eclectic”) as to skills, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Prof.Mtro. Yamandu Zavish Ploskonka y Rivas, DSLL, nowadays can press print on good sustainable paper where the laid pattern mimicks incunable-era wire moulds, the surface the mediæval curly coarse felts.

Yet, as it turns out, as nice or era-accurate those may be, the product or tools are not what matters. Meeting the wabi-sabi of this silent and unseen sidekick to civilization, paper delivers some undefinable quality in its making. Handmade paper, with naturally distinctive deckle edges, texture, signatures of individual Creation, becomes support for further human creativity and uniqueness. As quiet as store-bought, but alive.

Judy Schulz

Judy is Austin’s resident paper enthusiast. A veteran in the industry for the past 30+ years, her career has taken her from print design, the paper mill to paper distribution. Judy is the Brand Ambassador for Olmsted-Kirk, the friendliest and oldest paper company in Texas. She was named an AIGA Fellow in 2015 and her paper story was published in Uppercase Magazine. Judy consults with creatives regularly on their printing and paper choices. She’s a card-carrying member of AIGA.

Edgar Vergara and Armando Flores

Edgar Vergara has been a scale model car artist since 2015. He has shown his work in model car shows and presentations across California, and he is currently the host of the Scale Riders Model Car Culture Podcast. Armando Flores has been a scale model car artist for over 30 years. Throughout the 1990s he was featured in Lowrider Bicycle Magazine, the publication credited for popularizing the craft of scale model car art. He has shown his work at museums and car shows throughout California and Japan.

Brad Woodard

Brad is the co-founder of the design and illustration studio, Brave the Woods. His love for creating and experimenting leads him to working in all different types of art projects, mediums and styles. In order to justify all his hobbies, he loves teaching everything he knows via workshops, online courses and a YouTube channel. Aside from being an artist, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with his wife and kids.