PromaxBDA: The Conference 2010
July 10th, 2010

Living Arts College’s annual trip to the PromaxBDA conference concluded on June 25, 2010. This year’s trip was one of the best! PromaxBDA, the association for promotional and design professionals, just wrapped on its 55th annual conference in Los Angeles June 24 with an incredible turnout, drastically higher than previous years. In attendance from LAC were School President Roger Klietz, Vice-President and Campus Director Debra Hooper, Assistant Campus Director Matthew Kelly, Interactive Media Arts Program Coordinator Vincent Gardner, and several LAC students and alumni along with four LAC students who were chosen to serve as PromaxBDA Interns for this year’s conference.

“The interns are rockin’ it!” said Jonathan Block-Verk, President and CEO, PromaxBDA.

The conference was kicked off by a speech by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with an introduction by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. Top design and marketing awards went to Fox Broadcasting Co., bpg Advertising, CTV Creative Agency, Syfy, Showtime, and FX. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Hugh Hefner, who was present for an exciting interview by Larry King.

The conference also introduced the Creative Educator’s Forum, a professional development event for creative educators. The forum’s board is made up of a small, select group of nationwide creative education leaders. Living Arts College’s own Vice-President and Campus Director, Debra Hooper was among this elite group.

This year’s conference had some real treats in store for creative professionals and students. Sessions were held by industry leaders such as David Carson, Jakob Trollback, Brett Ashy, Gordon Ho, Stefan Sagmeister, Seth Berkowitz, Patrick Burgoyne, Michael Walsh, Lee Hunt, Graeme Newell, Timmy Fisher, Garson Yu, Mark Kudsi and Will Travis – to name just a few!

When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, staff and students had a difficult time deciding. One thing common with everyone’s excitement about the event was all the national and international industry professionals and celebrities that attendees had the privilege to meet.

“Ryan Stout and Norm MacDonald were hilarious at the awards events – and a perfect way to wrap up en exciting day of meeting professionals and networking” said TJ Piper, LAC student.

“I met Larry King!” said LAC student, Shannon Chapman.

“I’ve met many big names in the creative arts in my career, but meeting David Carson and Stefan Sagmesiter all within a 30 minute window had to be the highlight for me!” said LAC Assistant Campus Director, Matthew Kelly. “This year PromaxBDA has done a perfect job of giving all the folks at the conference on both the business and creative side of things exactly what they wanted!”




2010 AIGA Raleigh: Student Portfolio Review
April 7th, 2010

Saturday, March 27, students from regional schools all over North Carolina converged at Durham ad agency, McKinney to meet local design leaders and endure the equivalent of four 30 minute mock interviews.

2010 AIGA Raleigh

2010 AIGA Raleigh

“This is where the local interactive media arts and design industry is at.” reported Vincent Gardner, Living Arts College (LAC) Senior Instructor and AIGA Raleigh Education Director.

2010 AIGA Raleigh

“The event was a great success.” stated LAC AIGA Raleigh Student Group representative Chelae Cummings. Chelae volunteered along with over 15 students from local student groups to help coordinate the event. Chelae has been a force of creative excellence at the College and influential in keeping the LAC AIGA Raleigh Student Group active and involved.

Seating was limited as over 10 local schools participated with 39 total desks being available. Living Arts College had four student desks: Nathan Wellman, Kirstin Wiltjer, Maria Hartman and Gerri Fernandez all seemed energized by the end of the afternoon and could not stop talking about what their reviewers told them.

Tiffany Johnson and Shako Oteko, additional LAC students, participated as volunteers.

“It was great!” reported student Shako Oteko.

2010 AIGA Raleigh

2010 AIGA Raleigh

College staff and creative professionals from across the country work together to help students develop their portfolios and to prepare them for job interviews. Overall, LAC students were more than prepared for this event.

The event helps students not only develop their body of work, but also (and perhaps just as importantly) in developing their network of contacts.

“When students go to events like this they see what can make them stand apart from the crowd.” stated Chelae Cummings.

2010 AIGA Raleigh

At LAC, students are exposed to an intense curriculum of professional development, including creative, professional, business and technical know-how.

“This special focus makes the difference for students when interviewing!” reported Review Panelist and LAC Assistant Campus Director, Matthew Kelly.




LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership Summit – Advertising Tunes up in Rough Times
December 9th, 2009

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitWithout question, the economy and current global events have caused us to re-examine the world we live in from several different aspects. Industry professionals from Ogilvy, Howard Merrell & Partners, McKinney, Capstrat and Craig Jackson & Partners bring to us the inside story on advertising discussing traditional media, recession, strategy, branding and understanding cultural trends held at the AAF RDU Leadership Summit on Wednesday, November 18. Living Arts College – School of Communication Arts joins in with 18 students to hear from top advertising executives in the triangle. The main presentation was filled with lively, relevant discussion on advertising. LAC Instructor, Vince Gardner and School Director, Debra Hooper asked very poignant questions about how these companies are differentiating and parsing the new social media landscape.

“Newspapers are not dead, they are more customized.” – Kathy Pepper, Ogilvy

Is traditional media important given the major web trends in marketing and advertising? Kathy Pepper from Ogilvy discusses newspapers and their place in modern and digital media. Though newspapers appear to be a more primitive outlet for the news her opinion is it will remain, yet will be more customized.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitManaging a recession in advertising requires strategy. Some key points the panel discussion board provided include: Investigate how you are investing; Acquire new accounts and tap into new industries; Build your business and reinvent your brand; Ensure clear communication and team morale. As for instance, are you sticking with the trends going “Green”? How does your target market consume media?

“Clients all want more for less.” – Donna Mercer, Howard Merrell & Partners

Clients will always want more for less in a struggling economy. Donna Mercer from Howard Merrell & Partners suggests diversifying a department to accommodate a Clients’ need and, in turn, business grows. You have a unique opportunity to get them to give you a try. Know your Client, and design your advertising to appeal to them.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitSimplifying complexity, a good reputation, innovations, strategy, marketing, teamwork and execution are all important aspects to consider when choosing an agency which is why branding is important as well as a diverse portfolio. Focus on all aspects of your business not just cash flow.

“The concept of “flat” organizational business structures and professionals being agile, flexible and versatile were other key points of discussion. The upcoming BA program in Interactive Media Arts is designed to meet the challenge of training students to be “business creative social marketers” in today’s ever-changing digital landscape! ” – Matthew Kelly – Assistant Director of Education.

Now let’s talk about creative and media strategy for the recession! Mobile social marketing is not only a current and “big idea” trend it has had a great impact with corporations. Students entering into advertising should have working knowledge in digital media, good work ethics, and real world experience, write well and integrate this into every day life to stand out in the crowd.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership Summit“I thought the Summit was very interesting and informative. It was a great networking opportunity and a great chance for anyone looking to break into the industry.” – Holly Rowland, Current LAC Student

All presenters could not stress enough the importance of new professionals being digitally savvy and having a passion for their trade. Virtually most businesses can make it in a thriving economy, but only the best businesses make it during the tough ones. Success happens when we focus on managing our assets, ourselves, employees, clients as well as keeping up with the trends.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Distinguished Advertising Creative to Deliver Graduation Address at Living Arts College
December 9th, 2009

Michael WinslowMichael Winslow, Creative Director/Brand Visualizer will deliver the graduation address at Living Arts College’s fall commencement Thursday, December 17.

The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the College’s Stars Theatre. Following the ceremony will be the viewing of graduate work and demo reels.

Mr. Winslow has been a Creative Director and Art Director for 30 years. He has won numerous national and international awards, including Gold and Silver Pencils from the One Show, Art Directors Club of New York Gold Medals, New York Film Festival Awards and the Steven E. Kelly Award for the best magazine campaign in an international competition. His work has been recognized by the One Show, CA Annuals, Clios, Graphis Magazine, ADWEEK, AD AGE and PRINT.

Mr. Winslow began his career at McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, NC as the agency emerged to become one of the early national and international powerhouses of creativity outside of New York. While at the agency, he helped build strong branding campaigns for North Carolina Travel and Tourism, Piedmont Airlines, Benihana, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Fannie Mae and GoodMark Foods.

Michael WinslowMr. Winslow was a partner and Creative Director for Rockett Burkhead & Winslow (RBW) where he developed differentiating and successful brand stories for Duke, GSK, Volvo Trucks and CORT. During this time, RBW became the largest independent agency in the Southeast.

As an Art Director, Mr. Winslow was named one of the top 100 young people in advertising by AD AGE MAGAZINE, twice named to the ADWEEK All Creative Team and recognized for outstanding creative by the London International Awards.

Mr. Winslow is a graduate of East Carolina University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

Admission to this special session is by invitation to anyone interested in working in the design arena that might benefit from high level input. Families of the graduates of the School have an automatic invitation. Others may simply phone the School at 919.488.8504 to reserve an invitation.

Red Carpet Seminars feature some of the world’s leading professionals in filmmaking, digital imaging, audio production, game development and interior design. Seminars announced as schedules permit.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




How a Designer Communicates
August 14th, 2009

Storyteller & Former Walt Disney Imagineer Defines Story Telling at Living Arts College

Kenneth Penkowski

The moral of the story, “We as designers must make ourselves accountable for results. Elevate the expectation of what design can do and in the end satisfy the requirements we are asked to fulfill.”

Kenneth Penkowski, partner and executive brand director for local advertising agency, Ulanguzi visited the College and told stories to the students.

In addition, he showed the Ulanguzi’s 2009 demo reel which displayed projects for highly respected clients and current ongoing projects.

Kenneth told the students three stories about his life in the design arena…the titles were quite catchy.

  1. “It All Started with a Mouse” – Kenneth told the story of how he became a Disney Imagineer and how he uses what he learned from that experience in his work daily.
  2. “For Rent” – Ulanguzi was referred to a development company to market their apartment complex. This wasn’t your ordinary apartment complex. These apartments were part of the wave for the “Go Green” revolution. He shared his challenges and accomplishments with the project.
  3. “Come Fly with Me” – A Las Vegas helicopter tour company came to Ulanguzi in need of a new marketing technique or strategy. They had no problem selling the helicopter tours, they just wanted an easier way for customers to purchase the tour tickets. He shared Ulanguzi’s unique answer to the marketing dilemma.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




BDA/Promax Conference
August 3rd, 2009

BDA/Promax Conference

Students got an eyeful of design ideas and a pocket full of business contacts!

BDA/Promax is the world’s largest broadcast design conference and for a group of Living Arts College students it bridged the gap between longevity and futuretainment.

From the honoring of Robert Redford for the Lifetime Achievement Award to the rapidly shifting world of broadcast design, this year’s conference hosted presenters that shared their insight and upcoming trends.

Living Arts College graduate, Matt Habit- “Robert Redford, WOW! Remembering his life and his involvement in film, was incredible!”

At the conference the buzz word was “Viral”. Viral is widespread popularity through the process of internet sharing. All eyes turned to the rapidly shifting world of broadcast design, motion graphics and the convergence of a new way of branding. In one of the sessions “Contagious” gave a profound presentation called “What is Advertising?” The session made the audience think about the “art” of getting people to forget they are watching an ad.

Students had many opportunities to mix with various professionals in the broadcast design community and to see samples of their great work.

Student – Kirsten Wiltjer- “It was fun; the work they showed was amazing!”

Student – Elisabeth Rauch- “I loved the Cartoon Network presentation! They demonstrated the logo process from start to finish!”

Through lively panels, exhibits, sessions, screenings and networking, the BDA/Promax conference provided three exciting days of dialog, discussion and displays of some incredible work.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus




Congratulations Alex Centeno-Rodriquez
June 3rd, 2009

Robert F. Lauterborn Advertising Scholarship Winner

Alex Centeno-Rodriquez
Alex Centeno-Rodriquez

School of Communication Arts salutes Advertising Design student, Alex Centeno-Rodriquez for being the recipient of the prestigious Robert F. Lauterborn Scholarship. The scholarship is presented each spring at the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Awards ceremony.

Alex is bilingual and calls Costa Rica his home country. Success is a characteristic that Alex is very familiar with. He earned his MBA from the University of Science and Technology in San Jose, Costa Rica and opened his design company, Merkados Interactive Partners in Raleigh, NC several years ago. Merkados designs and maintains bilingual websites and provides consulting services in Internet marketing.

It was not a surprise to the faculty and staff at the School when Alex won the scholarship. He has won two Best of Category awards at Gallery competition since beginning his studies at SCA. Alex picked up his first award at Fall 2008 Gallery Show for Stamp Collection Design and most recently at Winter 2009 Gallery Show for Illustration Design.

Stay posted…I’m sure we will hear more from Alex in the future.

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Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts @ Digital Circus