Portland Illustrator Carla Bartow

on July 1, 2015
Photo by Mercy McNab

Photo by Mercy McNab

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. Post grad I lived in Rochester, NY for five years before moving to Portland for bikes and art.

Art by Carla Bartow

Art by Carla Bartow

What is your education, if any in the art field?
I spent about seven years in undergrad. The first three were unfocused at SUNY Purchase and abroad (doing a lot of arty stuff and printmaking), moving on to an associates in Fine Art from a Community College, and finishing out with a BFA in Illustration from RIT.

Creative influences?
Oh boy! I just watched a Terry Gilliam movie and I’m obsessed with weird angles. Tomer Hanuka for his use of color and sexy line quality. My illustration contemporaries from college, they’re all doing such fun stuff now!

Art by Carla Bartow

Art by Carla Bartow

Most used medium within your work?
Digitally layered linoleum block prints.

Favorite artist?
Egon Schile, Stormin’ Norman Rockwell, Edward Gorey, and JC Leyendecker.

Best thing about being an artist in PDX?
I’ve found Portland to be such a welcoming and encouraging community to be a part of! I feel that a broader spectrum of people are interested in supporting artists and art, and I feel a sense of camaraderie amongst the artists rather than a competition.

How do you pay the rent?
I work at an awesome local art supply store, Collage. I paint murals. I freelance.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be? (Living or dead)
Edward Gorey or Ralph Steadman for some drawing hangs.

Upcoming projects?
Oh boy! This summer is going to be crazy! Right now I’m wrapping up a poster for the Destiny City Film Festival in Tacoma, WA. I’m working on the cover to the event guide for Interbike in September. I’m working on my first outdoor mural on Alberta through Alberta Art Works which will be on the BUFOR building, telling the history of the Alberta neighborhood. I’m continuing some indoor murals at Collage.

This past winter I won a contest with Nutcase Helmets to have my art on one of their artist series helmets! Along with seeing my art printed on a helmet, I’ll be traveling with them to Germany for Eurobike and Las Vegas for Interbike to do live painting during the trade shows. »
Find this artist online at

Art by Carla Bartow

Art by Carla Bartow

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