Category Archives: Alumni News

NEWS: Alumnus Jynette Tigner Wins First Place in The Paper Magician Art Contest!

To view this article and Jynette’s prizes in its entirety, please visit –


NEWS: Cassidy Demkov Designs for American Crafts!

VAD alumnus, Cassidy Demkov has created a variety of wonderful pieces as a designer for American Crafts. American Crafts is known for fresh, clean product design and friendly, personalized customer service. Products feature bright, vibrant colors and a contemporary feel, inspiring crafters to record their memories in a fun, sophisticated, and stylish way. Here are some of her favorites!









NEWS: Esther Longmore Invited to The Beehive Bazaar

To view this blog and other news from Esther, please visit –

Exciting news! I was accepted to my first craft fair!!! I’ll have a booth at The Beehive Bazaar from April 30 – May 2. For those who are unfamiliar, The Beehive Bazaar is an indoor craft fair held in Provo, UT for 2 weekends each spring and winter. I’ll post more information as it comes, and hopefully some behind the scene tidbits too!

Also, in case you missed it, Shibumi Home launched this week! 6 of my patterns are available exclusively from Shibumi Home as throw pillows, tablecloths, table runners, and cloth napkins. Surface design has been a dream of mine for so many years, it’s almost embarrassing how long it’s taken me. I’ve worked long and hard to get to this point and still have a long way to go, but having my first taste of that dream is oh-so-sweet!

I announced my interview with Work Your Art on my Facebook page, but forgot to do so here on the blog. Oops. I was reminded of that fact when my alma mater’s design club, INK, blogged news of the interview. Ironically, INK posted it on a day when I genuinely wanted to give up and then I had my own advice to follow. (You’ll know what I’m referring to when you read the interview.)

I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s important that you know I’m human too. I have many disappointments, but I’m generally private about them. That said, you may know that last year I applied for several opportunities that I wasn’t accepted for. Being selected as a designer for Shibumi Home was my saving grace and one of my biggest highlights of 2014. While disappointments can feel bitter for a while, they make victories all the more sweet.

I appreciate each of you for being part of this sometimes bumpy journey with me. I couldn’t do this without you! As a special thank you for your support and to celebrate good things happening, I’m offering 10% off all orders through March 7th! Use code SUPPORT10 at checkout.

NEWS: Alumnus Derek Ballard shows 3 poster designs in this San Francisco exhibit from Spoke Editions

Derek Ballard Posters

To view or purchase Derek’s prints, please visit –

On October 30th alumnus Derek Ballard was featured in the “Bad Dads”, Wes Anderson tribute show that opened at the new Lopo Gallery in San Francisco. This new gallery is located via the Space Gallery on Polk Street. Curated by Ken Harman (Hi Fructose, Arrested Motion) this group show featured work from over 70 artists such as Dave MacDowell, Caia Koopman, Ana Bagayan, Serge Gay Jr, Rich Pellegrino, Sandi Calistro and many more.

NEWS: Alumnus Esther Longmore featured on


To view this article in its entirety, please visit:

Alumnus Esther Longmore was interviewed and featured on, conversing from everything to personal design style to the marketing tactics for her company. In her interview she states the following when asked what her number one tip to creatives was…

You’re going to have days when you feel like you’re not good enough and days you want to give up. No matter what, keep pushing yourself, be eager to learn, and pick yourself up when you fall. Many of your successes will be small and a few may even be huge, but there’s no substitute for the feeling you get when they come to fruition.

Check out her interview using the link above – thanks for the words of wisdom Esther!

NEWS: Obake Style featured in Gavin’s Underground / Culture


To view this article and interview in its entirety, please visit –

One of the standout local names from the last Comic Con was Obake Style, featuring prints and jewelry themed around monsters and Japanese culture, with an array of other items as they’ve branched out into pop-culture. Today we chat with Nick Burke and Magen Mitchell, the married duo behind the artistic company, about how they got started and where they intend to take their works.

NEWS: Alumnus Kickstarter Onomatopoeia an Alphabet Book by Sound

To view this project on kickstarter, please visit –

In choosing this word to base my book off of, I wanted to make sure that each page was full of bright and colorful illustrations that would encourage kids to have fun while learning. From the words of Dallas Clayton, my favorite author and illustrator: “Find something that makes you happy and use it to make others happy.”  I hope that my book will make you and your children happy and that you can help me fulfill my dream to have this book in the hands of little children around the world.

NEWS: Hilary Spillane featured in Steamboat Magazine


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Local portrait photographer Hilary Spillane fell in love with Steamboat Springs’ beautiful landscape and tight-knit community after moving here in 2007. Married to former Olympian and world champion Nordic Combined skier Johnny Spillane, this Utah-born mother of two runs Spillane Creative. Knowing the significance of capturing a photographic record of vacation memories, she has advice to share.

Photographer Hilary Spillane knows how to capture the perfect winter family portrait.

When is the best time of day to take pictures during the winter months?
 My favorite time of day is always in the evening just before sunset when the light is glowing. If it’s overcast, I like to shoot earlier in the day when there is more light and it’s typically warmer.

Any advice for a bright snowy day when trying to capture active moments on the mountain?
 If you have a camera with manual settings,
try using a faster shutter speed to more easily capture skiers or riders on the mountain or tubers at Howelsen Hill. There is a lot of light, which means you’ll catch
all the action, but white balance can cause problems because of sun and white snow. On automatic settings, the camera tends to lean more to a cool hue, so you may need to manually compensate. Try photographing the action with the sun behind your subject and expose for their face. This will lessen the shadows and help with squinting.