Jessica Neuman Beck 2 February 2008
Designer, writer, crafter, geek
Jessica Neuman Beck lives in Portland, OR with her husband (“husband”), two neurotic cats (“beasts”), and a very short person (“baby”). By day, she designs websites for couldbe studios, wrangles the baby, and feeds her serious, as-yet untreated RSS habit by compulsively clicking on Google Reader. By night…she does pretty much the same thing, only on a laptop. In her “free” time, she makes creepy freak toys she refers to affectionately as Cranky Pals and volunteers as Assistant Managing Editor at Digital Web Magazine.
Jessica has a solid background in design, illustration, and writing (both creative and the other kind). An unapologetic geek and pop-culture junkie, Jessica justifies much of the time she spends perusing gossip blogs as research for her latest novel, which she plans to finish before the end of the year. She suspects that this might be a challenge, but in her old life she wrote for Metro Santa Cruz newspaper and never, ever missed a deadline. Sure, she wasn’t running a company and contending with a toddler who has suddenly decided to boycott naps, but that’s the fun part, right?
Jessica married Matthew Neuman Beck in a historic Santa Cruz movie theater in 2003. Having fallen in love with Portland on a previous vacation, they decided to flee the Bay Area’s exorbitant housing prices and unreasonably mild weather and relocated to the Pacific Northwest, where they lived happily ever after. She and her husband started couldbe studios in 2006. They also have the cutest kid ever, even if he has hit his terrible twos.
What are you up to?
I’m in the middle of a fun design project (for a tiny clothing company based in L.A.) and just hitting my stride with the novel-writing, which is always entertaining. And I have a craft fair coming up at the end of the month so I have been sewing like a mad fiend while files upload and suchlike. My office looks like a Muppet explosion.
What are you into?
I’m a huge graphic design nerd. I’m also very into gadgets, and loving the idea of the mobile web. I have a BlackBerry Pearl that I absolutely adore. I love all things Apple and am currently coveting (from afar) the MacBook Air.
What do you like most about Portland?
It’s so green! And the people are so nice! There are all sorts of charter schools, which is lovely to see, especially since we have a kid who will one day need to learn things. Also: Stumptown Coffee. All other forms of caffeination are inferior and dead to me.
What does couldbe studios do?
We provide design services for small, micro and home-based businesses – in other words, people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford to hire a designer. We like to think that we’re making the world a little bit prettier, one website at a time. Good design should be accessible to everyone.
Is it true that you never learned how to drive a car?
While technically true, I prefer to think of it as a personal choice. As in, I personally choose to utilize public transit to hide the shame of my deep and abiding fear of merging. Also, that thing about things in the mirror being closer than they appear? True.