Howdy! My name is Duke Stebbins.
For emailing: d.r.stebbins [at] gmail [dot] com
I also instagram: @duke_makes
My body lives in Portland, Oregon, while my mind sometimes finds itself in the clouds above it. I'm a designer and creative person who finds fulfillment in making good things with real purpose—but I also enjoy making things for no reason at all.
I'm looking for a new job!
I've been designing kids books and everything else at A Kids Co. since March of 2020. Before that, I did freelance branding and illustration work, (much of it with a partner, under the moniker Design By Goats) for 7-ish years. I'm currently looking to join a team that insists on originality and excellence (because I think the world needs better stuff, not more stuff), leveraging creativity in the service of good (i.e. social justice, environmentalism), and joy (otherwise what's the point?).
Brag, brag, brag...
I'm a published author and illustrator. My name was in Forbes once. I designed and illustrated a book by LeVar Burton. Oprah really likes a handful of books I designed (they were some of her “favorite things” in 2020). I have a degree in architecture. I was a licensed contractor for a hot minute. I spent my college summers working on ocean-going tugboats where I would be out to sea for months at a time. I play drums in a band and sing in another. I've produced and directed the sound/music for short films that have been screened internationally. I’m technically an international male model. My city-league basketball team once won Portland's D-Division championship and I’ve also gone to USAU (ultimate frisbee) club nationals where my team got last place (but barely). 
Oh, you're still reading?
An origin story then. 

I graduated with an architecture degree in 2009. I loved architecture. I loved the idea that each project could have a deep and wide breadth of impact: from environmental to socio-economic to simply sparking someone’s joy in the moment. I also loved the challenge of the intricate and balanced design process. What I didn’t love was the challenge of finding meaningful work during a devastating recession with only one summer of firm experience. Sure I picked up some work here and there over a few years, but it was mostly an unenjoyable grind. During those kinda dark times I dabbled in a number of creative pursuits to fill the artistic hole inside of me and slowly realized that what I was actually in love with was the design process itself. I just wanted to make rad shit.
Graphic design was something I thought I could already do (lol) and it was an easily accessible outlet. Around this time I met a wonderful woman who I eventually married (who actually studied graphic design) and we started collaborating on projects together for family, friends, and fun. This habit grew until we were brash enough to start a little creative studio that we ran for about 7 years (though it’s hard to count exactly because it was a gradual build).

While my graphic design chops may have left a bit to be desired in those early days, architecture did teach me about the design process. I would describe myself as a reactive creative person—my process starts and ends with context. In architecture context is almost everything: the earth on which a building is grounded, climate conditions, neighborhood social needs, client needs, etc. My approach to any kind of design is much the same: how is this thing going to be used? Where and how is it going to be encountered? What should the user get from that encounter and how can their life be enriched by it?
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