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October 14th, 2021

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Set up Your Design Business For Success in 90 Days​
Half-time Check-in Call For Attendees
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Ivy Slater

Ivy Slater is the CEO of Slater Success, a boutique training, consulting and coaching company focused on growth strategies and leadership development for high-level, service-based businesses. Ivy is a professionally certified business coach, speaker, internationally bestselling author and podcast host. She’s scaled her own two businesses to multiple 6-figures and speaks nationwide on the topics of leadership, sustainable growth and the value of relationships. In 2020, she was a recipient of a Power Women of New York and of Long Island award, presented by Schneps Media.

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Justine Clay

Justine Clay is a speaker, writer, and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Using her actionable Profitable by Design framework, Justine helps established creative professionals, and business owners identify and articulate their unique value, position themselves to high-quality, well-paying clients, and build a fulfilling, efficient and profitable creative business. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and get Paid What You’re Worth and start making monumental changes in your business today!

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Jody Sutter

Jody Sutter started The Sutter Company after more than two decades of running business development teams for agencies large and small, and spanning a diverse list of disciplines. They’ve included R/GA, Carbone Smolan, Havas Media, and The VIA Agency. Her book, A Small Agency’s Guide to Winning New Business: 8 Steps to Winning More of the Right Kinds of Clients, is now available on

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Craig Brimm

Craig Brimm is a Haircare Brand Strategist. He leads teams in creating brand strategies and execution for the haircare market. Over the past 20 years, his work has included various size companies.

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Michael Oberther

Every business leader needs to solve the accounting problems that are slowing their growth and draining their profit. Michael Oberther is an outsourced service sales leader who has dedicated 20 years to helping business people choose awesome outsourced partners. As Director of Business Development at Supporting Strategies NYC, he enables leaders like you to optimize your decision process through bespoke bookkeeping data.

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Gary J. Nix

Gary J. Nix is an award-winning brand and marketing strategist who earned his stripes as a disruptor, innovator, and predictor in the entertainment, magazine publishing, and advertising industries. One of the characteristics he’s best known for in his 26-year career is merging traditional marketing principles with modern marketing techniques to create, build, and evolve compelling, successful brands and businesses.

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Nupur Shah

Nupur Shah is a business and intellectual property law attorney in New York. She focuses on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs lay a solid legal foundation so they can feel secure in their business.

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Steve Guberman

Steve Guberman launched his creative agency from the spare bedroom in his home with an infant in his arms and another one on the way, back in 2006. He took his agency full time in May of 2006 when he moved with his family to northwest NJ. Over the next decade, Steve grew his agency to as many as 12 full-time employees and another dozen freelancers and strategic partners. In October of 2015, Steve sold his creative agency to a public relations firm and joined their team to help convert a 30-year old PR powerhouse into a full-service strategic communications agency. He helped build out a creative and digital team and expanded nearly all of the agency’s client relationships to include a more diversified set of strategically led services. Along the way, Steve and his teams earned dozens of industry awards and a few organizations honored Steve with such awards as Top Marketer Under 40, and 40 Under 40 Business People in NJ. Steve now helps agency owners run their businesses more efficiently as a growth consultant under his consultancy, Agency Outsight.

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Simone Sloan

Simone is an accomplished business strategist and coach with a career in senior roles at Fortune 500 companies across marketing, communications, medical affairs, sales, and global business strategy. Her tenure includes successfully launching and leading products and services, implementing programs for key stakeholders across the globe, and developing and training sales,
medical, and technical teams.

Simone’s mantra is “Voice, Power, Confidence.” As an emotional intelligence executive coach, she changes the way leaders, and their businesses engage their employees and clients. Simone emphasizes the human element with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Simone is a keynote speaker and has been featured as a thought leader in articles for Huffington Post, Forbes, and Pharmacy Times. She is an active member of the Tri-State Diversity Council and advocates for women, LGBTQI, BIPOC, people with disabilities, and cross-generations.

Simone holds a BS in Pharmacy and an MBA from Howard University. She is co-author of the book Achieving Results, and is certified in DISC, Emotional Intelligence (EQI) 2.0, IDI Cultural Competence, BlockChain, Behavior Design, and is also accredited through the International Coaching Federation.

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Elizabeth Eiss

Elizabeth Eiss helps others get work done well. She’s a strategic thinker, creator, systems designer, and an expert on today’s “Gig Economy.”

Elizabeth is the Founder/CEO of ResultsResourcing®, an online talent curation platform Elizabeth designed and co-developed. ResultsResourcing is THE freelance job platform that comes with your own recruiter. ResultsResourcing curates contract talent to help organizations scale. She is passionate about empowering the purpose of others through win/win solutions for buyers and sellers in today’s fluid talent market.

An accomplished, innovative leader, Elizabeth has successfully led multi-billion dollar organizations as well as start-up ventures in technology and staffing.

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Joe Rojas
Joe Rojas

Joe Rojas is on a mission to create a world where all entrepreneurs can thrive. He is passionate about business building, and business builders.

Founder and CEO of Red Sapiens, he has helped dozens of entrepreneurs create million-dollar businesses and then see explosive growth from there. As a coach and technology evangelist, he will help you design a business that will succeed for you and help you run it. He is always in your corner and always finding solutions.

Joe is the author of How Entrepreneurs Thrive and has been a speaker at the SAGE summit and on PTI stages nationally.

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Deb Boulanger
Deb Boulanger

Deb Boulanger is CEO of The Great Do-Over, Inc., founder of the Launch Lab for Women Entrepreneurs, and host of the Life After Corporate podcast. She helps smart, accomplished women leaders make the leap from corporate leader to entrepreneur and replace their six-figure salaries.

Over the last 20 years, Deb has launched dozens of services that generated hundreds of millions in revenue for her clients and launched and grew an executive advisory program from 0 to $32 Million in 30 months. She has taught and advised hundreds of new and aspiring women entrepreneurs to use these same proven strategies to test their business ideas and validate their money-making model.

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Danielle Hughes
Danielle Hughes

Danielle Hughes is the Chief Personality Officer of More Than Words Marketing. She helps individuals and organizations to develop their Genuine Personality Brand, creating content that sounds like you and gives you the space to truly be yourself in your messaging. Danielle’s client list includes brands like Google, eBay, Discovery Channel, Gap, TD Bank, SEO, The Jed Foundation, and more.

And while she can’t pull a rabbit out of her hat, she can hone your brand message, engage your audience, and deadlift you or your employees, but not at the same time. That’s just irresponsible. (Note: Danielle is available for office party tricks and accepts payment in bottles of Bordeaux.)

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Yanique DaCosta
Yanique DaCosta

“I am a creative with an obsession for producing amazing brand visuals that turn cold audiences into real customers.”
-Yanique DaCosta, MFA, LCAM

Yanique DaCosta was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and came to the United States to pursue her education in 2006. DaCosta graduated from Florida Atlantic University and Full Sail University with BA in Fine Arts and MFA in Media Design respectively. With 12+ years of design experience, the United States Department of Labor recognized Yanique as an expert in Brand Development and Graphic Design by engaging her as a consultant for the federal O*Net program.

Currently, DaCosta is a passionate painter, educator, and entrepreneur, leading brand development projects that result in print, web, online, and motion graphic deliverables. Her clientele includes Marriott, Norwegian Cruise Lines, HBO, Atlantic Records, and Clear Channel.

DaCosta’s interests expand beyond creating to influencing the culture and ever-changing nature of the visual world through activism and advocacy. She currently sits on the Executive Board of the Graphic Artists Guild, where she was elected National Treasurer by the organization’s membership. She is also the Guild’s delegate to the International Council of Design, representing the Guild and teaching graphic artists at varying international conferences and meetups. DaCosta is also an acknowledged contributor to the 15th and 16th editions of the Graphic Artists Guild’s Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, a national reference book for professional graphic artists and agencies.

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Lara Kisielewska
Lara Kisielewska

Lara Kisielewska founded Optimum Design & Consulting in 1992 after completing a B.S. in Graphic Communications Management and Technology at New York University. Lara has been an active member of the Graphic Artists Guild since 1992, has been on the National Board since 1998, and just completed five years as National President. She has also been a member of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO-NYC) since 1992, including Chapter President from 2004 to 2005, and she currently sits on the Board as a non-voting advisor. Lara has won multiple awards for her volunteer work from both entities.

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This is the conference for designers looking to become entrepreneurs, and for design entrepreneurs looking to become better businesspeople. You have studied design at the university level, you understand design principles, and you’ve learned all the design tools the world of tech has to offer. Now you are ready to find financial success!

If you don’t need consistent clients in your pipeline, clients who always pay their bills, then close this window now! This conference isn’t for you.
If you are tired of having all the design skills but not being able to pay the bills, grab your ticket.
If you are a one-man-band and you need to grow your team with quality designers, stick around! Better yet, snatch a ticket.

  • 12 Sessions with a Guild-vetted professional (value $420)
  • Guild-published eBook on How to Start a Communication Design Business (value $25)
  • One-on-One breakout sessions with 15 Guild vetted professionals (value $250)
  • BONUS: Business Plan Guide (value $1,000)
  • BONUS: Pricing Game Live (value $45)
  • BONUS: Half-time Check In accountability call 45 days afterwards (value $100)

This $1,840 value can be yours for the price of a $75-$250 ticket.
We guarantee you will get value, or we will provide a full refund!

All registered attendees get a FREE copy of the newly revised digital guide,
How to Start Your Own Graphic Design Business.
The Starving Artist is a Myth

Get the cheat codes! Learn from the people who have made the mistakes, so you don’t have to. With some elbow grease, you can create a profitable design business that provides for you and your family.


Understand your craft and find your niche

Wow, this is some really good stuff…. Transitioning from student to freelancer was a huge jump. The Guild really helped fill in the blanks.” — Kevin Baculi, Graphic Designer, NV

Find the best business structure for you

“The Guild serves as my champion.”Vicki Morgan, Artists Rep, NY

Take your business from idea to reality

“I’ve been a proud member for over 35 years and can say without hesitation that whatever I’ve given to the Guild has come back to me in ways too numerous to mention.” — Lou Brooks, Illustrator, NY

Learn how to earn and keep your money

“I feel as though I have not only found my community, but that it has empowered me as a professional and a creative. That is really difficult to find in the same organization” — Crisy Meschieri, Graphic Designer, AL

Build lasting and valuable relationships with clients and team members

“I became a better businessman because of the Guild, and therefore a better artist.” — Sam Viviano, Illustrator, NY

If you don’t believe in the starving artists myth and you are ready to learn how to start a profitable design business in 90 days or less, grab your tickets NOW!


Ready to strike out on your own with a stable, predictable design business? This conference is for you! We’ll turn designers into entrepreneurs, and we’ll help design entrepreneurs to become the best creative businesspeople in the United States.

Sue Jenkins
“I had zero clue about anything related to copyright and copyright infringement. Through my participation in the Guild, I learned about those things. Now as a professor, I’m able to share that information with my students, my colleagues, and anyone I might hire to work with me to make sure that we’re all doing exactly what we need to be doing to protect our rights and support protecting the rights of others.” Sue Jenkins, Graphic Designer & Professor, PA
If you don’t need consistent clients in your pipeline, clients who always pay their bills, then close this window now!
This conference isn’t for you.
If you are tired of having all the design skills but not being able to pay the bills, grab your ticket.
If you are a one-man-band and you need to grow your team with quality designers, stick around!
Better yet, snatch a ticket.
“The Guild has proven itself to be an indispensable tool for our industry on so many different levels… For me, the Guild has helped to provide health insurance, educated me about how to conduct business, provided templates for contracts and — most importantly — provided me with a sense of community, connecting me with like-minded creatives across the country at a time I needed it most.” — Michael Doret, Graphic Designer & Illustrator, CA
Graphic Designer, NV

Graphic Designer, NV

“I was honestly lost. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say to people. I didn’t know how to approach them. I was absolute garbage. After I joined the Guild, I started connecting with people. I realized so much that I had to learn. The Guild gave me a better sense of direction and a better idea of what I need to be and what I need to do to become successful.”

— Kevin Baculi 

Creative Director, CA

Creative Director, CA

“Learning how to price local brand packages and brand strategies according to proper market standards is my biggest professional win with the Guild.”

— Denise Coke

Web Designer, GA

Web Designer, GA

“Before the Guild, it was really just me working alone in my office. After joining the Guild I had a team of colleagues to bounce ideas off of. I had a larger network of colleagues to work with.”

— Haydn Adams

Graphic Designer, CA

Graphic Designer, CA

“It’s really upped my game in terms of professionalism.”

— Hoshi Hana

Graphic Designer, WV

Graphic Designer, WV

“I was constantly having to Google everything that I needed to know for pricing. So often the Guild publishes webinars that pop up and I think “I was totally going to be looking that up anyway. Cool. Now I could just go and learn that there.” If I can actually connect and talk to anyone who knows way more about this subject, then I do. The Guild makes that a lot easier.”

— Leanne Bowers

Imagine a Life Where…

Imagine a new reality where you don’t have to worry about how you are going to pay your bills and you can focus on being truly creative and solving real communication problems. You can go to bed at a reasonable time and still find time to hang out with friends. Clients notice the extra care and attention you give to your projects and pick you out of the sea of designers banging at their door.

Instead of spending years learning how to do this on your own, click the button below and get a ticket to this life-changing conference now!

30 minutes

Opening Keynote:

How to Develop a Business Owner Mindset

Presented by Ivy Slater

Be a Visionary Leader: Embracing a Business Owner Mindset

Presented by Ivy Slater, CEO, Slater Success

This keynote is all about Big thinking, Big actions and Big results. Developing a strong vision and executing consistent actions helps leaders build, grow, and scale. Both new and experienced leaders will benefit from discovering the three secrets that impact long-term success.

You will learn:

  • The Power of your Golden Ticket
  • The Right Lane: Where You Shine/li>
  • The Bank: No Money Left On The Table

30 minutes

How to Find the Right Niche

Presented by Craig Brimm

How To Do Less Design and Make More Money

Presented by Craig Brimm, Founder/Creative Director, Culture A.D.

Learn how specialization and positioning yourself as an expert can increase your bottom line. In this talk, I will detail my own journey and share pitfalls and practices that can help designers breakthrough similar barriers in order to create a more enjoyable and profitable career. Although it seems counter-intuitive, specializing actually opens up far more creative opportunities than you may think, while simultaneously curtailing the need to reinvent the wheel for every project.

30 minutes

How to Develop a Design Business Brand

Presented by Danielle Hughes

Why You Need a Genuine Personality Brand: How Your Business Can Stand Out in a Sea of Sameness and a World Full of Duplicates

Presented by Danielle Hughes, Chief Personality Officer of More Than Words Marketing

We’ve all heard the expression, “you are your biggest asset.” So why do so many of us feel reluctant to let our personality shine in business? Maybe it’s because we don’t know how. Or worse, we fear showing too much of ourselves will alienate potential clients. Surprise! It’s actually the opposite. People are hungry for personality. That’s what drives connection.

In this presentation, I’ll help attendees learn how to develop their own Personality Brand in business order to attract the right clients and repel the wrong ones!

You will learn:

  • How to lean into who you are to create die-hard fans
  • How to create content and messaging that positions your business and your services to be distinct from everyone else
  • How to highlight your uniqueness in a genuine and relatable way
  • How to not be afraid to go big or go home (or at least go bigger)

30 minutes

How to Launch a Design Business

Presented by Deb Boulanger

How To Launch Your Graphic Design Business Without Burning Out or Going Broke

Presented by Deb Boulanger, CEO, The Great Do-Over and Founder, The Launch Lab for Women Entrepreneurs

In this session you will learn the three steps to getting new clients quickly and easily when you first start out (even if you hate selling), including how to:

  • Identify the customer gap and own your category
  • Cultivate a powerful ecosystem of referrals
  • Build leverage into your business from the start

30 minutes

How to Be and Stay Profitable

Presented by Steve Guberman

Profitability: More Than Just the Leftovers

Presented by Steve Guberman, Agency Growth Consultant, Agency Outsight

People often think that profit is just the money left over at the end of each month. But what if the profit that you can plan for, and actually realize, was more than that? This talk will dig into what profit really is, and how you can achieve it and make it a sustainable business practice. You’ll take away actionable steps that you can implement to plan for profit from the start, as well as learn how else you can realize different types of profit from starting and running your own agency. Warning: this session may require math.

30 minutes

How to Develop Business Relationships

Presented by Jody Sutter

Never Make a Cold Call Again: How to Encourage Client Referrals & Testimonials for More New Business

Presented by Jody Sutter, Business Development Expert and Owner, The Sutter Company

Wouldn’t it be great to assign new business responsibilities to your clients? That’s exactly what you’re doing when you have strong strategies in place for referrals and testimonials.

Client testimonials offer valuable social proof that you’re excellent at what you do. But many creative firms lack a solid process for securing them. And referrals are a highly effective way to connect with new prequalified clients, but referral requests often fall short because they’re missing simple but crucial ingredients.

In this talk, you’ll learn how to get testimonials consistently and successfully from your clients. Plus, you’ll discover how to make it easy for your clients and others in your network to refer you to prospects who need what you do.

Key take-aways:

  • Why referrals and testimonials work harder for you than almost every other business development technique
  • The most consistently cited methods clients use to discover new agencies
  • When to ask your client for a testimonial (it’s earlier than you might think)
  • The wrong way and the right way to ask for referrals

45 minutes


How to Find the Right Talent: Building a Diverse Team

Panelists: Elizabeth Eiss, Gary Nix, Simone Sloan
Moderated by Lara Kisielewska

20 minutes

How to Put the Right Documents Together

Presented by Nupur Shah

Important Legal Documents for a Design Business

Presented by Nupur Shah, Founder, Nupur Shah Law

Starting a business can be overwhelming and intimidating. While a general plan of attack and a formal business plan are required to launch a business, there are a few legal steps every business owner should take to fully protect themselves and their business:

  1. Set up a legal structure: Setting up a legal structure separates the business owner’s personal and business assets and liabilities and protects the business owner from the liabilities of the business. Small business owners have the choice to be a sole proprietor, corporation, limited liability company, or a partnership.
  2. Create a Client Service Agreement: While handshake deals may seem easy and hassle free, they just don’t cut it in the business world. A written contract conveys to the client exactly what service they can expect to get, sets a timeline for delivery of the work product, gives clear payment details, sets forth ownership rights, and expectations of the client.
  3. Copyright Registration and Ownership: Creative works are generally protected under copyright law. Copyrights automatically attach as soon as a work is created. Getting copyright registration over creative works has some benefits – enforcement of rights against people who steal or copy the work, the creation of licensing opportunities, and a public record of the work. While working with clients, copyright ownership in the works created is dictated by the contractual relationship between the creator and the client.

20 minutes

How to Write a Business Plan

Presented by Joe Rojas

How to Write a Business Plan

Presented by Joe Rojas, CEO at RedSapiens

In this talk, you’ll learn how to build your business from the future.

We’ll pick a destination out there in the future and design what it’s going to look like, and then we will work our way backwards to tomorrow morning.

We’re going to give you the tools and templates so that you can create an actionable plan that will take you where you want to go. What you will need to be prepared to do is move out at a very fast pace. We will be covering a lot of ground in a very short period of time. Make sure that you’re ready to take notes, that your pencils are sharpened, and you’re ready to rock. Make sure you have a notebook with you. You will also have some handouts that you’ll be able to use at the event and afterwards.

I’m really looking forward to connecting with you and building a future together.

30 minutes

How to Set Up Your Books and Prepare for Tax Season

Presented by Michael Oberther

4 Bookkeeping Skills That Build 8-Figure Businesses

Presented by Michael Oberther, Director of Business Development Supporting Strategies NYC – Outsourced Bookkeepers and Controllers

The goal of this presentation is to help you grow your income and shrink the amount you pay the IRS. We will share best practices for creative companies, and help you: help your CPA cut your taxes, make the most money on every project, get your clients to pay you early, and make sure your business never runs out of cash. With these 4 skills, your business will thrive!

30 minutes

How to Price Your Work

Presented by Yanique DaCosta

Pricing & Ethical Guidelines for Graphic Designers

Presented by Yanique DaCosta, Creative Director at YKMD and Treasurer, Graphic Artists Guild

Questions about money can cause quite a bit of angst in the design industry. The conversation is even more jarring for new design business owners. By sharing the basics of industry pricing and ethical guidelines, this session will help ease any anxiety around the “money conversation.” It’s time you get paid appropriately for the value that your designs deliver.

30 minutes

Closing Keynote:

How to Use What You Learned Today

Presented by Justine Clay

Change Your Business Game

Presented by Justine Clay, Business Coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers and founder of

Have you ever walked out of a creative conference full of inspiration and ideas only to have your frantically scribbled notes remain in your notebook, unfulfilled? There’s no shame in this game — we’ve all been there! But there’s ONE thing that can change your business game: a plan.

Without a clear framework for where to focus in your creative business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the things you could and should be doing, and you either revert to the same ways of doing things (which get the same results), or you become paralyzed and do nothing at all. If this is the year you’re going to build a consistently profitable creative business, you need a different mindset, approach, and plan of action. Now is the PERFECT time to create that plan.

Join business coach Justine Clay for the closing keynote talk, Change Your Business Game, where she will share more than 15 years of experience working with creative business owners and professionals, and show you where to focus your attention and energy to discern which actions are right for you, and implement what you’ve learned today.

Here’s what she’ll be covering:

  • The 3 things you need to know about your business
  • How to set goals that inspire you and STICK
  • How and where to focus your attention to thrive Let’s make a plan and take some laser-focused action to accelerate your business!


For 50+ years The Graphic Artists Guild has promoted and empowered commercial artists by developing professional resources, providing a creative community, and fighting for their rights.

It all started in Detroit, Michigan in 1967 where Illustrators and designers, unhappy with their compensation and representation within the automobile industry, banded together to form a union. 113 artists signed the first constitution, founding the Graphic Artists Guild.

The Guild offers a robust collection of resources that support members throughout their creative careers. Live monthly webinars led by industry experts showcase techniques and share valuable professional learning. Over 100 webinars are available for download, some with accompanying worksheets.

An extensive knowledge base of online tools and resources is available, where you can find 500+ articles and white papers on everything from copyright law or negotiating a contract to the best steps to take to protect your artwork.

The Guild’s creative community spans many disciplines, from graphic design and illustration to cartooning, animation, surface design, and typography. As a community, we pride ourselves on working together to share best practices and resources, and help improve conditions for all working artists.

The Guild meets with Congressional staff to educate them on legislation that will protect creatives. We respond to Copyright Office notices, providing the creator’s perspective on proposed changes to copyright registration. We support amicus briefs that inform the court on how their rulings on fair use and copyright infringements will impact the visual artists community. We work collegially with associations around the world. And we work to educate and empower the next generation of advocates.

Today the Guild is at the forefront of the creative industry, providing resources for working artists in multiple creative industries, promoting its members, and advocating on Capitol Hill.


Webpage content © 2021 Graphic Artists Guild.

Conference image © Getty Images. Starving artist image © BongkarnThanyakij, iStockphoto. All images used with permission.