Lara founded Optimum Design & Consulting in 1992 after completing a BS Degree in Graphic Communications Management and Technology and working toward a Masters in Magazine Publication Management from New York University (NYU).
Since 1992, Lara has been an active member of the New York Chapters of both the Graphic Artists Guild and the National Association of Woman Business Owners. She was Chapter President of each organization in the early 2000’s, and has been on the National Board of the Guild since 1998, most recently as Vice President from 2013-2016.
Lara held a seat on the Advisory Board of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) for five years and teaches a hands-on workshop called How to Start a Graphic Design Business for a variety of local colleges and organizations. She has also spoken at NYU on the challenges of keeping a business alive in troubled times and is a frequent guest lecturer at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.
Linda Secondari is the Creative Director and Principal at Studiolo Secondari, a design firm in NYC focusing on Publication Design, Branding, and Design Operations and Strategy. Prior to establishing Studiolo, she was Creative Director at Oxford University Press where she managed a large international design team (New York, Toronto, Oxford, and Delhi) with a yearly title output of 3,000+ titles. Before OUP, she was the Creative Director in charge of Manufacturing and Technology at Columbia University Press. She started her Design career as a Junior Art Director at Russek Advertising where she was Lead Creative on projects such as Shakespeare in the Park, and John Leguizamo’s “Spic-o-rama.” She graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in Communications Design.
Linda’s work has been recognized by the AIGA, NY Book Show, Stiftung Buchkunst Competition of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show.
She lives in New York City with her family and writes literary fiction in her spare time.
A transplanted yankee in the Pacific Northwest, Bill Morse has been drawing since he has been able to walk, loving it as a way to make his imagination a reality.
A graduate of Rhode Island College, he has spent his career as an illustrator, graphic artist, and cartoonist. He has been balancing his career between contracting for such companies as Boeing and Microsoft and his freelance business, W.P. Morse: Cartoons and Illustrations as well as working his online comic strip, Rhapsodies.
An active Guild member since 2004, Bill, served for several years as the Secretary for the Seattle Chapter before deciding to give the National stage a try.
In his spare time he enjoys, biking, long hikes in the woods, movies and reading.
Haydn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University. Along with being an alumnus, he is also faculty in the department from which he graduated—the School of Web Design + New Media. In addition, he runs his own design company, Nautilus Designs, located in Marin County, California. Haydn is also a professional wine critic and author.
Rebecca works, sleeps, eats, and lives as Design Director at Optimum Design & Consulting, a small designer firm in mid-town Manhattan. There she oversees the creation of a wide range of print and Web projects, including marketing materials, logos and corporate ID, website interfaces, and publications. In between cajoling demanding clients and consuming a steady stream of coffee, she volunteers as the Guild’s Advocacy Liasion.
Having graduated from college with a degree completely unrelated to the visual arts, Rebecca transitioned to a design career by attending the Continuing Education Department at the School of Visual Arts. Her first act upon changing careers was to join the Graphic Artists Guild, where she met a community of supportive and sensible mentors and colleagues. She became active on the local level, serving in various positions on the New York Chapter board, including Chapter President, before moving up to the National Board.
Photo © Caroline Kessler
Todd is a graphic designer and design educator. A Graphic Artists Guild member for over 12 years, he has served on the National Board’s Executive Committee as well as the Advocacy, Communications, and Education Committees. Todd is also a member of AIGA, and is the Education Director for the AIGA-CT chapter.
Todd earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design from Westfield State University and has worked in graphic design and marketing since 1989. He is currently the Art Director at Westfield, after teaching various graphic design classes at the University for over a decade.
Todd is truly passionate about graphic design, wholly believing in the power of design to communicate and shape brands and in its ability to inform and educate the masses. He has won numerous local, regional, and national awards for his innovative and inspiring design work, as well as having his designs published in several books in the course of his career.
Dawn Mitchell has been in the design industry since 1994 when she worked for a couple of sign companies while she was in college studying Computer Science and Visual Communications. From there, she worked at a magazine publishing company as a Production Designer and Traffic Manager. She then landed a position at a small advertising agency as Graphic Designer and eventually Art Director where she stayed for nearly a decade.
When she moved to North Carolina from Florida in 2005, she began freelancing while searching for a new full-time position and quickly filled up her schedule with freelance clients. She then decided to stop her job search and become a full-time freelancer. Over a decade later, she’s still a very busy freelancer with several clients that have been with her for 10+ years.
Her passion is helping small- to medium-sized businesses grow and mentoring design students. She’s also active with different activities with The Graphic Artists Guild. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, hiking, traveling, and playing with her “furkids.”
Yanique DaCosta is familiar to Southern Region members, having served for the past two years as the Southern Region Representative. She has also served for the past year as the Guild’s representative to ico-D, the International Council of Design. DaCosta is a passionate painter, educator, and entrepreneur, leading brand development projects that result in print, web and online, and motion graphic deliverables. Her clientele include Norwegian Cruise Lines, HBO, Atlantic Records, and Clear Channel.
DaCosta was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and came to the United States to pursue her education. She received an Associate Degree in Graphic Design, a Bachelors Degree in Studio Arts, and a Masters Degree in Media Design.
Rose Lowry has a long history with the Guild, having served on the Boston Chapter board from 2001 to 2003, as Boston Chapter President from 2003 to 2004, and on the National Board 2004 to 2005. During that time she also served as National Website Chair, helping to maintain the Guild’s first-ever website. Lowry is an accomplished designer, managing with her business partner the design firm, Beechleaf Design in Temple, New Hampshire. Their clientele consists of both small businesses and agencies, as well as in-house art departments, such as Brookstone and Eastern Mountain Sports, and local municipalities, organizations, and non-profits.
Lowry is an accomplished illustrator, specializing in animal portraits and horse illustrations. She is comfortable in a range of styles and media, both traditional and digital. Her realistic style lends itself to medical illustration, product drawing, technical illustrations, and diagrams.
Paula Hinkle has worked in the Graphic Arts field since receiving her degree from the University of Akron many years ago. Her experience has been in various capacities; as a production artist, a print shop supervisor/manager & designer and as a business owner. She enjoys learning new things and makes it a priority.
Paula joined the Graphic Artists Guild in 2001, working as a volunteer for the At-Large Chapter for five years prior to working as a Chapter Administrator then a Regional Administrator for the Guild. She has served as assistant webinar coordinator since 2011 and maintained and updated the Chapter/Regional sites & weekly e-communications from 2003 – 2016 and the National web site from 2006-2016.
Paula began working as Administrative Director for the Graphic Artists Guild in January 2017.
After graduation from Pratt Institute with a BFA/Honors in Painting, Katy (Katherine Marshall) worked in the design industry for a variety of agencies. She established Craneco. Studio in 2000, where she had the opportunity to assist a diverse group of clients in establishing and growing their brands. Craneco. Studio enjoyed a 10-years long relationship with jeweler Judith Ripka and functioned as the sole provider of design for Columbia University’s Interactive Services Department. Katy has also had the pleasure of establishing branding for Columbia University’s School of General Studies Dual Global BA Degrees. Her work has been recognized and honored by the New Jersey Advertising Club’s Annual Jersey Awards.
Katy is currently a Creative Director for Medallion Retail in New York City and has been a member of the Graphic Artist’s Guild for over a year. She has also been a member of the NY Art Director’s Club, the NJ AD Club and has been a member of Ceres Gallery, a women’s art collective in SoHo.
Katy lives with her husband, 3 children and 6 cats in a house designed in 1905 by George Mitchell, a well-known Art Director, Painter, and Illustrator.
James Bratten started doing freelance design in 2006 while working toward his BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration at Southeast Missouri State University. Upon graduating in 2008, he expanded his silent base to all corners of the US and relocated for a short while to Chicago before moving back to Missouri and settling in the Columbia area. Since graduation he has worked for clients in just about every corner of the design world imaginable, doing everything from children’s book illustration to concert poster design and screen printing. In addition to freelance, he has also worked as creative director for a sign shop and t-shirt printing company. He’s a new join to the Guild and is eager to help grow its presence in the Midwest.
Currently, James works as lead graphic designer for Bucket Media in Columbia, MO, as well as pursuing his freelance career as SkinnyD Creative Studio, where he specialized in print design and operates a screen printing studio out of his basement with the assistance of his wife of 10 years, his 8 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and a plethora of small animals. When not working on something creative, he enjoys tabletop roleplaying games, reading novels, and playing video games with his kids.
Liz DiFiore is a freelance illustrator specializing in children’s picture book illustration, though she also creates middle grade illustration, video and board games, and other commissions. Liz’s favorite stories to work on are personal and emotionally impacting, displaying kids and/or adults dealing with big emotions (like anxiety or empathy) and interpersonal relationships (like kids and their parents, family members, or friends).
Liz is also an active streamer on Twitch with a lovely, growing community of fellow creatives. She hopes the live creation of her art is as delighting as the finished product. Visit her Twitch page at lizziebydesign for her current stream schedule.
When not life drawing in some local coffee shop, Liz loves exploring the New England area, looking for new places to adventure with friends. She’s still new to New England (originally hailing from Western New York) and loves incorporating these explorations into her art.
Liz is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is the Regional Representative for the New England Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild.
Hello, my name is Tammy Fluech and I am the founder of Typebird Creative. Typebird Creative is a design studio that focuses on branding, graphic design, and illustration. We focus on working clients who are passionate about their small businesses. From mom and pop shops to international clients technology assists us in creating unique brands and design for anyone, anywhere. With over 17 years of experience in the design field and 10 years of owning my own business myself I always feel I bring a creative perspective to any project that is set in front of my clients and myself.
I am very interested in learning more about the Graphic Artists Guild and what better way than to submerse yourself in the region. I would love to learn all I can about the three pillars advocacy, creative and the business resources that this guild provides. I am looking forward to meeting others in this field because I think we probably have a lot in common. I think no matter how you managed to end up in this field we all have a great story to tell with a unique twist, I hope I get to hear yours!
James is a graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for community involvement and outreach. He founded James Stowe Illustration in 2012 after spending twenty years as an in-house illustrator, designer and creative director.
James graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1998 as one of the first recipients of their Sequential Arts bachelor degree programs. Since then his work has been showcased in over a hundred publications, games, novels and comics. In 2008 he co-founded the CLAW Artists Guild, an organization that supports cartoonists and students seeking further arts education in the Pacific Northwest. James hosts a weekly social hour for creative professionals in his adoptive home in Tacoma, WA. He is currently also an active member of Tacoma’s Art Commission.
James is new to the Graphic Artists Guild but looks forward to serving as the Guild’s West representative.