Jess Draper starts every week at The Nugget with a blank slate. That's both the challenge and the pleasure of working as a production designer for a weekly newspaper.

Draper, who started working at The Nugget in 2005, puts the whole thing together each week - the news stories, the ads, the photos - and presents a cohesive, attractive, useful package.

"I collect the pieces and present it," she said. "I enjoy the challenge of making it all fit and bringing it in an attractive form to the readers."

"It's Jess' design work that really makes The Nugget come alive," said Editor in Chief Jim Cornelius. "She enhances the way we tell Sisters' story every week. Every week when I stack the paper on a rack I'm proud of it - and that's because Jess makes it look so good."

In addition to producing the paper, Draper also designs ads for clients (and sells them when needed), handles The Nugget's IT needs and does web design - an area where she hopes to devote more energy this year.

"I have lots of plans for updating our web presence," she said.

Draper wears a lot of hats - and her colleagues say she wears them well.

"She's crazy good at everything," said Nugget bookkeeper Erin Bordonaro.

Newspaper work wasn't the career Draper initially envisioned for herself.

"I went to school to be a computer animator," she recalled. "I decided I didn't want to live in L.A. and do the video game thing."

She settled down in Central Oregon, where she worked in web design and served a stint at The Bulletin.

She was drawn to The Nugget because she liked the idea of living and working in a small town, and the job offered a variety of tasks and challenges instead of one set function.

"News is exciting! And the variety in every week keeps it interesting," she said.

And she values the role of The Nugget in the community.

"It's worth reading every week. There's interesting stories. It's exciting and important to me that it's a common thread that we all have here in Sisters," she said.

The perishable nature of newspaper work is both disconcerting and fun for those who put it together. You put in the effort to create something interesting and useful - knowing that after a week's life, it's essentially gone.

"My husband lights the fire with it," Jess says with a smile.

But that means that every week is a new project, a fresh start, a place to express creativity, and a new opportunity to serve readers and advertising clients. It's never dull.

Draper's creativity extends well outside the office.

"Recently I got the paints back out and I've been watercolor painting with my daughter," she said.

Draper has three children: Daisy (11), Dugan (9) and Daphne (1).

"I enjoy doing a variety of arts and crafts with the kids," she said. "The projects I do with my son, Dugan, aren't as pretty as what Daisy and I do - but cardboard boxes and duct tape make cool stuff, too!"

She also enjoys time with her family exploring Sisters and "engaging the kids with the beauty that God has surrounded us with."