About

Karen Wang

Hi there! Here's a little more about me...

The idea that one could make a living with typography, color, and images kind of blew my 14-year old mind, but I was drawn to it and had an art teacher who believed in me. I studied visual communication design at Art Center College of Design and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). I was offered the first job I applied for out of school, then learned how different and challenging graphic design is in the real world.

Years later, I was working as an Art Director for a well-funded start-up incubator when the dot com crash changed everything. I decided to build my own design business and had the privilege to design and consult for companies both large and small, including those in entertainment, retail, sports & recreation, energy, technology, transportation, real estate, environment, hospitality, and health & beauty.

During that time, I also taught classes in graphic design and color theory at my high school alma mater, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. As a brand ambassador for Nike, I lead and managed a grass-roots running program throughout the greater LA area, which attracted over 1000 runners per week. I brought my dog to work and toasted with ad mavens around the company surfboard bar during a stint at TBWA\Chiat\Day, the agency that created the landmark 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial. While LA is full of culture and opportunity, I felt the constant sunshine and gridlock traffic were suffocating me. I needed clouds, rain, and open green spaces.

After relocating to Portland in 2006, I got to know the city pretty well by exploring the neighborhoods and shops, and writing over fifty editorial reviews as a contributing writer for Portland Picks, a weekly online publication. I savored the difference of really good coffee, spent a lot of money eating my way through the culinary landscape, tore out the front lawn to grow my own food, discovered salt water float tanks and became an ultrarunner.

Most days are filled with a combination of designing stuff at the computer, filling my head with random-but-useful information, thinking about food, curating a penguin collection and sometimes resisting the urge to take off for the trails with my husky pup and running partner, Indi.

Discipline is the difference between a goal and an achievement.