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Jim Trumbull is just the right man for car-boat poster

STAFF PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Jim Trumbull really knows how to get the message across with his posters for the Oswego Heritage Council Collector Car and Classic Boat Show with his long experience and great talent.

For many people, their first encounter with the Oswego Heritage Council’s Collector Car and Classic Boat Show is a poster that hangs on walls all over town.

Thus, it is necessary for a poster to have the maximum impact upon just one look. It takes an artist with a deep background in the world of vintage cars and boats, with photography chops of the highest degree.

Someone like Jim Trumbull. The Lake Oswego commercial artist is sort of the Rembrandt of car-boat posters, and he did it again with his awesome poster for 2016. No less was expected of him.

“Jim is a wizard with photography,” said Scott Havens, former president of the Oswego Heritage Council, who hired Trumbull as the organization’s poster artist three years ago. “He has so much talent. He can look at anything and make it interesting.”

When you can combine passion for photography with a lifelong passion for collector cars and classic boats, you’ve got something; an enormous source of inspiration on which Trumbull really thrives. With his talent and accomplishments, Trumbull might be expected to have an enormous ego. Instead, his attitude is one of gratitude.

“I can’t say ‘no’ to such a great organization as the Heritage Council,” Trumbull said. “It’s not just Bonnie (his wife and member of the OHC board) and Scott. I love the fact that these events are promoting Lake Oswego. I’m shooting boats, cars and architecture; the things I was drawn to early in my life.”

It was hard getting the Trumbulls back to the Northwest, even though they are both graduates of Oregon State University. As a young married couple, they moved to Southern California, and Trumbull’s talent and training immediately enabled him to work on subjects he found to be vital for prestigious companies. An interest in boats was a given because the Trumbulls have been a seagoing family for 11 generations. It’s possible a Trumbull ancestor was with John Paul Jones when he sunk the Serapis in the American Revolutionary War. Trumbull has engaged in more peaceful pursuits, with rising success in water sport magazines such as Sea, Lakeland Boating, Rudder, Road & Track and Cycle World. When not promoting the sea, he was on land designing publications for big-time Southern Cal real estate companies.

It was a good life, and doubtless many artists in his field would have chosen to remain just where they were. But Trumbull was an Oregon guy, and he was sure he could make his good life better by moving away from the hurly-burly of Southern Cal. He established a successful studio in Portland, then moved it to Lake Oswego a few years ago. Life is sweeter than ever. His clients include some of the largest home builders in the country, healthcare companies, technology firms, environmentalists and even a surfing magazine.

Trumbull has such a golden reputation that nonprofits make non-stop efforts to enlist his talents.

“I get asked a lot,” he said. “I have to choose my battles.”

Fortunately for the OHC, doing posters for the event that is their biggest fundraiser of the year was something Trumbull could not say ‘no’ to.

“When I do a poster, I deliver a simple, direct message that is memorable,” Trumbull said. “This year, it was the 356 Porsche being the show’s focus.

“I still love the process. I still love to create.”

Trumbull still looks youthful and is extremely fit. He looks a lot like he did just after graduating from Oregon State. But he has been in his business for 35 years, and his friends wonder if the end is in sight.

“People ask me, ‘When are you retiring?’” Trumbull said. “That’s not happening.”

For more about the art and commerce of Jim Trumbull, go to his website at jim-trumbull.squarespace.com/about.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..