Journal welcomes new staff

Shane Watson has joined the Journal as the lead graphic artist for all three island newspapers. Watson says of himself:

I draw stuff.

And design stuff.

I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. I’m mostly self-taught, but have been fortunate enough to have been mentored by fantasy illustrator Todd Lockwood and renowned children’s illustrator and author E.B. Lewis. I’ve done work for Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games, Malfador Machination, and various private clients, including many independent authors. I also do fine art work, with pieces most recently on display at Crow Valley Pottery.

I moved to Orcas with my family in 2002. I’ve worked for the Islands’ Sounder in the past, but I took a few years off to pursue other interests. When I’m not at work, I’m drawing or painting. I also like to go on the occasional hike in Moran or up Turtleback Mountain. I enjoy living on Orcas and am happy to be back with the Journal crew.

The Journal also welcomes Mandi Johnson as its new reporter and graphic artist for the Journal. She says:

Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, I took the midnight train going anywhere. No, wait, that’s a Journey song.

Well, I am legally Amanda, but I go by Mandi. Mandi Lou if I’m feeling southern. I am “from” southern Oregon, Grants Pass to be exact. I use “from” in quotes because I’m really an Army brat who has lived in six states (including Washington). I graduated from Southern Oregon University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in communication with an emphasis in photojournalism. The “science” part of the degree stems from my passion for all things geology. I’ve spent much of the past four and a half years in a variety of customer service positions, while searching for a newspaper to give me the opportunity to show off my mad skills. I also have a year and a half experience in graphic design.

On a more personal note, I’m a geek. I love going to comic conventions, and my favorite movie is “Labyrinth.” I love a large variety of music (no, seriously, I know everyone says that, but I mean it). I also have a weekly comic strip I color called “Yuki the Destroyer.” I love animals, especially my two cats, Mistie and Mika, and wolves. I love to travel, go to concerts and play video games on my Super Nintendo, N64, and original PlayStation.

I look forward to getting to know everyone!