Misty Tompoles launched her first publication — a hand-drawn tribute magazine to The Cars — as a 7-year-old in Indiana. Thanks to the kind of boldness and savvy that can’t be taught, her post as editor of her grad school literary review unfolded into a position at a local magazine. There she fell in love with graphic design and voraciously mastered the art before launching a one-woman graphic design shop.
In 2006, kismet and a childhood enchantment brought dance presenters Walter Jaffe and Paul King of White Bird Dance to Misty’s fledgling venture, and their partnership inspired a rebranding as PlaybillsNW. The business model was the antithesis of the traditional playbill. The books would be beautiful. The finances would work in favor of the artistry. With four clients in its first year and her brother on board to sell advertising, PlaybillsNW published 27 playbills with a circulation of 98,000. The company’s meteoric rise among a performing arts community that was experiencing an explosion of creation and appreciation, brought a transformation to Artslandia in 2008 and an expanded mission to innovate ways to connect those who create music, dance, theater with those who partake of it and financially support it.
Artslandia’s influence in the Pacific Northwest media landscape has helped shape the region’s national reputation as an independent, innovative incubator for creative entrepreneurship. Misty herself is a fearless entrepreneur and a tenacious advocate for the art and artists that formed the heart and soul of her longtime hometown of Portland, Oregon.