Freshly Laundered 004 / Cameron Sandage


Designer Cameron Sandage recently moved from Portland, OR to Austin, TX to join the team at IBM Design. Over the past seven months he’s had five shirts for sale on our site, two of them successfully going to print. Cam is never one to shy away from ambition, which became evident during our interview. More after the jump!

CB: Hey Cam! You recently moved to Austin, TX. What's the transition been like?

CS: The transition from Portland to Austin has not been that bad, it was the journey to get here that was kind of crazy but I guess when you get in a car for four days it’s a little taxing. Overall, of what I can see, both are very similar in a lot of ways. They are both quirky, love food trucks, great beer and you can rock a beard with no shame. My only complaint thus far is the heat and humidity. But Austin does have breakfast tacos, which are awesome. Torchy’s is probably my favorite as of right now.

But all in all it’s been good, different and similar at the same time but good none the less. One thing I have noticed is both cities have a keep it weird slogan / battle of who is weirder. It’s no longer a contest, I'm sorry Portland, but Austin wins. I grew up in Portland but I’ve seen some things in Austin already…

Once I finish up with “camp” at my new job I am hoping to dip my feet into the creative scene a bit more and start meeting people like Ryan who you just interviewed and also just moved to Austin. And just figure out the creative community here in general. Coming from Portland, I had a pretty nice network so I am looking to gain something similar here.


CB: Austin is definitely the Queen of “keeping it weird” - glad to hear you’ve found great breakfast tacos already! We’ve found our local Creative Mornings branch a great place to meet new creative peeps and network with like-minded folks. Will you seek out groups like that to get connected with your new community? Or will it be more organic?

CS: Yeah there is someone in the studio that is on the committee for Austin's CreativeMornings, I only went to a few in Portland. They’re fun but the tickets go quick and also with the schedule I am currently working I will have to pass on CM for the time being. Hopefully in the future I’ll get to check them out…

But to find like-minded creative people I will probably do a lot of what I did when I was still at student at Portland State looking to wedge myself into that creative community. Basically this means tapping into my local AIGA chapter, in Portland I was apart of the communication team. Also Austin has a AD2, we tried (and failed) to set up a group in Portland so I am excited to check out the organization and to develop connections with some marketing / advertising people. Also, probably what I am most stoked on, is going to one of the (or many) Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness events ran by the talented UnderConsideration team.

That’s the more detailed version of how I am going to try and get myself more ingrained into the Austin creative community. But I also am one of 78 new hires to the studio so I also have that network I can tap and the other designers already working in the studio also. Hopefully I won’t have problems making new friends and finding new ways to be creative in Austin.

Lastly I am also a fan of doing different kinds of art / design based shows, anything from ArtCrank to a Timbers Army inspired show called ArtTakeover, to a skateboard show I am currently working on, to building a LED birdhouse for a show in Portland last summer with a friend. I like to break out of the day to day and see how I can push myself. This is also why I started to do shirts on Cotton Bureau. I’ve got to meet some awesome people from these shows / projects (both digitally and IRL), developed my network in Portland as well as abroad, and I am hoping to continue to do that in Austin once I get out of camp.


CB: Sounds like you’re going to have a great network of friends and peers in no time. Tell us more about the Skateboard show you’re working on - that sounds awesome!

CS: The show is kind of interesting in the sense that it’s a traveling show, initially started in Portland before I left. It will collect more decks and land in Chicago at the end of August. The show is called ArtDeckCo, I found out about it via my buddy who was in the Portland show and just asked the organizers if I could be a part of it. But with the move I have not had a lot of time to focus on my board art, I had a pretty interesting idea on how to do a halftone graphic that would be CNC’d etched into the board on top of a gradient color fill. Kind of hard to explain via words only, but basically the tech to do it isn’t feasible at this time I guess so I’ve got to come up with another idea. May try my hand at doing a wheat paste if I can come up with a compelling idea, but really it’s just an excuse to get away from the digital world and see how I can try something new.


CB: That sounds really cool! Thanks for chatting with us Cameron. Make sure you send us a picture of the finished product - we’d love to see what you come up with!

To keep up with Cam on his new adventure (or take him out for tacos) follow him on twitter.