Instagram Competition Judges
Helga, originally from Honduras, graduated from ACU in 2012 with a major in Business Administration and Art minor. After working at ACU for a year in different marketing departments, she went to Lipscomb University to obtain her MBA as part of a select group of international scholars. After working in different marketing and design roles for Mission Lazarus and Epic Life Creative, both based in Tennessee, she moved back to her hometown, Tegucigalpa.
Since then she’s established her art practice focusing in abstract art, having shown her work in both solo and group shows in all the major cultural centers of Honduras, as well as showing her work abroad. Helga currently creates art in her art studio in Tegucigalpa, and since 2019 created here independent branding strategy and design studio Halser Co.
Leanne graduated from ACU in 2013 with a major in Graphic Design. A few weeks after graduation, she moved to San Francisco, CA. While there, she worked on branding and packaging at Turner Duckworth with clients such as Coca-Cola, Metallica, and Visa. Soon after, she found her way into the UI/UX field and now works with tech startups to create seamless user experiences. In the past few years, Leanne relocated to Austin, TX, was a Sr. Product Designer at Favor Delivery (owned by H-E-B) and is now the Founding Designer at an early-stage EdTech startup.
Denver graduated from ACU in 2018 with a major in Graphic Design Fine Arts. After graduating he moved to Austin, where he’s worked on branding, packaging, and illustration projects at Canales & Co for nearly 3 years. His studio and freelance work includes clients such as NFL athletes, Grain Theory, Academy, Whole Foods, Costa Del Mar, Oakley, and Tecovas. In addition to design, Denver is passionate about sports, art, videography, Star Wars, and Chick-Fil-A #2 Spicy Chicken Sandwich combos.
Nathan Driskell is a documentary filmmaker and designer who since 2012 has served as staff filmmaker and creative lead for the AT&T Learning Studio at ACU. His film work has taken him across the U.S., Europe, the UK and the Middle East, and his 2018 film “Where is Palestine?” explores the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank, Jordan and the U.S. Nathan is a 2007 graduate of ACU.
Sergio studied graphic design and fine art from 2013-2017. During his time at ACU he became the curator for the art department and still hangs all the shows that aren’t student shows. After leaving ACU, he worked for the Grace Museum where he created and curated all the content for their venue social media page called Gracespaces.
He recently resigned from that position this June. And is now the Assistant Curator & Events Coordinator at the AAAP Maker Studio where he is currently hosting figure drawing sessions!
I present to your our 71st judge Lana Dimassi!!! Aka Dancing Banana Girl!!!! Lana graduated ACU in December 2019 with a BFA in graphic design. She is currently working at Jadelynn-Brooke where she designs apparel, gifts, and more! In her free time she loves to hand letter for her small business DBG Designs!
Andrew graduated in 2016 from ACU with a major in Christian Ministry and a minor in Graphic Design. Since graduation, he served as the Worship Pastor at Radiant Life Church in Abilene. He now lives in Dallas where he works as a Graphic Designer at The Infinite Agency. He works on brands like Gold’s Gym, Varidesk, Gateway Church, and Carter Bloodcare. Andrew recently got married to the love of his life, Tevah, and now they are designing their future together.
Ryan graduated from ACU in the fall of 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design with emphasis on photography. Post graduation he worked creating branding and collateral as a freelance designer in various retail spaces. Now Ryan lives and works in Washington State, teaching elementary.
Hilary graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Advertising. She has since worked as a freelancer with clients including Boston University, Geneva School of Bowen’s, Google Fiber, Orderup Restaurant, and Fetch MD. She now works full time for the H.E. Butt Foundation as their sole designer, designing for and managing a brand with six sub-brands and designing a quarterly magazine!
A native Texan, Stephanie Fink currently resides near Atlanta GA. She graduated from ACU in 2015 with a BFA in Fine Art, and just completed her MFA in Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she has collaborated with the school for companies such as Coca Cola, Atlanta Magazine, Southbound Magazine, the CDC, and Peachtree Publishers. Nature, history, design, and storytelling are her passions, and she specializes in children’s books and licensing work.
Trey graduation from ACU in December of 2017 with a BS in Graphic Design/ Advertising. Currently, Trey is Director of Creative Services at Rice University in Houston, TX.
Carli graduated from ACU in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. She completed her internship at Droese Raney Architecture in Dallas. Upon graduation she moved to Nashville, Tennessee and is now the Lead Interior Designer for Nine12 Architects, where she works primarily on the interiors + interior architecture for historic residential additions, custom new builds, and local developers. She is also the Owner of Carli Nicole Studio, providing interior styling and interior photography services
Savannah graduated from ACU in the spring of 2017 with a BFA in Art Education. She now teaches at her alma mater, Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, Texas.
Carlos Mejia graduated in 2016 with degrees in Interior Design and Architecture. He was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he currently lives and works at the local architecture firm Clima Development. Carlos has been a part of a variety of projects in the healthcare, hospitality and residential industries.
Alicia Gregory graduated from ACU in 2017 with a major in Interior Design and a minor in Art. Originally form Boerne, TX, Alicia now lives in the Dallas area, working at Thiel & Thiel, a Hospitality and Multifamily design firm in Colleyville, TX. At Thiel and Thiel, she has been a part of numerous projects throughout the country and has been blessed with the opportunity to travel to multiple new places due to her work. In addition to living out her passion of designing Interiors, her favorite aspect about her job are the people she works with, as they have quickly become her work family. A part from work, Alicia is involved with Northway church in Dallas, TX and co-leads a women’s home group through the church which has been a fulfilling and life giving experience. She is constantly learning a growing from her job, as well as her church family.
Brynner graduated from ACU in 2017 and moved to Dallas with glitter in his hair and fire in his eyes. He was quickly hired as an art director at Tracylocke and works on the VisitDallas account. When asked about what he wants to see from this competition, he responded with the iconic line from musical supergroup TLC: “I don’t want no scrub.” So, you know, y’all better werk!
Rachel “Cleo” Sansing
Rachel “Cleo” Sansing graduated from ACU in 2017 and went on to intern with the ad agency Belmont Icehouse in Deep Ellum, Dallas. With a background in studio art and a BFA in graphic design, Cleo continued her career working with ad and marketing agencies focusing on both print and digital. Now she is with the Dallas Museum of Art as a graphic designer, where she hopes to stay for a long time!
Taylor Mcdaniel, who graduated from ACU in 2016. She has plans to illustrate a sequel to “Joann and Jane” in the coming year, and highly recommends everyone make a visit to the Monet exhibit currently showing at the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth.
Paige Aronson is a newlywed and 2014 graduate. Whilst in school, she studied Vocational Missions and 2D Design finding her passion in figure painting. Originally from Houston Texas, she now paints from her home studio in Roswell, New Mexico. She enjoys donating her time to local ministries providing graphic design and marketing services and seeing God use her background in art to take part in the work he is doing in the city of Roswell. You can find more about her work at PaigePaints.com Students
Morgan (Hudson ’13) Roden graduated from ACU with a BFA in Interior Design. After graduation she worked at Weatherl & Associates in Abilene, working on high end residential and historic preservation projects. Morgan, still lives in Abilene with her husband, Tyler, and is now a registered Interior Designer with Rebecca Gibbs Interior Design, working with clients on renovations and custom new homes.
Jill Crandall graduated from ACU with a bachelor in Interior Design and an Associates in Architecture in 2015. She works for Life Time as an Architectural Technician in Chanhassen, MN. She is looking forward to continuing her experience and becoming licensed in her field. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀
Kishya is a full-time Fort Worth graphic designer and owner of the Great Exhibition, an e-commerce packaging design studio. She has a passion for making design easily accessible to all and mentoring young designers.
Joseph graduated from ACU in 2017 with Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Graphic Design. He now works as a Web Designer for Keller Williams Realty International in Austin, Texas.
Amelia (Amie) Carnagey
Amelia (Amie) Carnagey graduated from ACU in 2014. After graduation she began teaching design, digital art, and sculpture courses collegiately at Texas State Technical College and Hardin Simmons University. Amelia is working towards an MFA in Illustration through Savannah College of Art and Design, and aspires to illustrate a series of children’s books based on the animals she paints. Amelia is currently working at a non-profit as their Marketer and has recently begun a degree in health care. “No clue where God is leading me, but I think it will be a great adventure!”
Jarred graduated from ACU in 2016 with a BS in Graphic Design & Advertising. He is now the Associate Art Director for The Bend Magazine, a local lifestyle publication in Corpus Christi, TX.
Julie graduated from ACU in 2016 with a BFA in Graphic Design. She is now working as the graphic designer and photographer for East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX.
Brandy graduated from ACU in 2014 with a BFA in Studio Art Education and in 2015 with her Masters in Education from ACU. She is now an elementary art school teacher at Greenbriar Elementary in Forth Worth ISD where she teaches Kindergarten through 5th grade art.
Ashlyn Stewart, who graduated from ACU in 2017. Ashlyn is now a Brand and Marketing designer for Dig Inn based in New York City.
Ray graduated from ACU; she started in graphic design, but made the switch to sculpture after falling in love with the class. She is currently in her second year of grad school as a theatrical set designer.
is an art teacher who graduated from ACU in 2014. Throughout her career, Riley has worked on several small art projects, but she has found the act of reviving creativity in her students to be her biggest motivation and accomplishment as an artist.
Bryana graduated from ACU in 2015 with an interior design degree. She started her career at Heritage Design Studio, a custom luxury residential architect firm. Shortly after, She started her business, Inside In Mind, and now does commercial consulting with builders and general contractors as well as residential decorating and design. Her most recent project is with KLZ Stone for their new showroom in Fort Worth, Texas
Simon is a freelance designer and custom letterer from Austin, Texas. He is known for his work with both Austin Eastciders and Modern Times Beer, and has worked with a variety of other clients including Nickelodeon, Target, author Brené Brown, actor and comedian Ed Helms, Penguin Books, and Pepsi
After graduating in 2013, David returned to Austin to intern with Foxtrot, then spent four years designing brands and packaging with the fine folks at Ptarmak, Inc. He currently lives in Denver where he’s a freelance designer focusing on visual problem-solving and design systems.
Gracie Conner (Ferreyro, maiden name) ggraduated from ACU in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Interior Design and Minor in Business. Two short weeks after graduation I started working at Thiel and Thiel, a full service Interior Design firm working in multifamily and country club rehabs and a few new build projects around the country.
Shortly after getting married and moving to Austin in 2016, I started to work at Sixthriver Architects, in their student housing studio as a lead designer. Currently, I’m working on new build student housing developments in Austin, Texas, Flagstaff, AZ, Phoenix, AZ, and Chicago , IL.”
Rebecca and her husband, Lucas, live in Abilene, Texas with their sons Brock and Grayson. Since beginning her design career in 2008, Rebecca has gained the reputation of being an insightful, fresh and down-to-earth interior designer. Travels to Europe, Asia and South America have also played a part in developing her appreciation and understanding of global influences on design.
After graduating in 2011 from ACU, Eric began working for production potters across Texas for 6 years. First for Bridget Hauser in Dripping Springs, and then as a resident artist at the Chicken Farm Art Center in San Angelo. Now he works independently, making his work and teaching in the Dallas area.
Hayden Walker is a graphic designer & illustrator who graduated from ACU in 2016. After graduation Hayden relocated with his wife Hannah to Portland, OR to pursue a career in design. Hayden is currently working with Blend Design Co. a multidisciplinary design studio who primarily works with Whole Foods creating environments and designing signage.
Rosemary Gutierrez graduated from ACU in 2007. She had the opportunity to intern and eventually work full-time for lifestyle brand Fossil Inc. after graduation. At Fossil, she worked on seasonal graphics displayed in all Fossil retail stores. She currently spends her days as a designer for the Dallas Museum of Art where she develops exhibition identities and print collateral.
Andrew Munoz is a User Interface and Experience designer who graduated from ACU in 2012. Since his graduation, he as had the opportunity to develop web and mobile experiences for brands such as PetSmart, Chipotle, Sony, LinkedIn, Southwest Airlines and Whole Foods. Currently, Andrew is working as a Senior Visual designer at VMware, where he supports the design for multiple applications on the iOS and Android platforms.
Bryan Couchman is a Senior Designer at Upperquad. He’s had the privilege of working with a wide variety of clients ranging from big companies like Google and Facebook to little boutique shops out of North Carolina. One project that he really enjoyed was for Google’s Santa Tracker. For the past 6 years or so, Upperquad has had a very close relationship with the Santa Tracker team designing and developing new games and experiences for users to enjoy. Another notable project was when Upperquad worked with Facebook on a renewable energy initiative helping corporations become green and reliant on clean energy.
Hance Taplin is a designer & photographer who graduated from ACU in 2005. After graduation, Hance pursued a career in the fashion industry working with Nike, Lululemon, 10 Deep NYC, The Dallas Cowboys and others related in the industry. Aside from work, Hance loves spending time with family and mentoring young designer/photographers.
Allen Smith is the Fine Arts Lead Instructor at Logos Charter School in his hometown, Medford, Oregon. After graduating in 2009, Allen pursued an MAT from Southern Oregon University and won the 2014 Rookie Oregon Art Educator of the Year award. He is highly involved in mentoring young artists and maintains a rigorous personal studio practice. He was recently awarded a competitive artist residency at the Morris Graves Foundation and was previously an artist in residence at the Contemporary Artists Center in Woodside, NY. His latest series of paintings, Noumenon, has been featured in two solo shows in the last six months. His work can be viewed at allensmithart.com.
Hannah Bruce graduated in 2015 with a degree in graphic design and moved to Austin to work for Ptarmak Inc., where she serves as a designer and illustrator. Ptarmak specializes in brand strategy, identity, and packaging systems for natural foods companies. Since being there, Hannah has had the opportunity to develop brands for companies like Kellogg, Ripe Craft Juice, and Cookie Chips.
Paige Baumgartner graduated in 2014 with a degree in Graphic Design, though fine arts was her first love. After graduating, she moved to San Francisco to pursue a job as an Interaction Designer at Favorite Medium. She has since moved to Dallas but continues to work remotely out of Common Desk. Paige enjoys the challenge of designing and building digital products for notable clients including the Smithsonian Institute, War Ink, UCSF, LA Clean Incubator, Steelcase and Facebook.
Leah Rama graduated from ACU in 2012, and majored in Two-Dimensional Design. Following graduation, she taught art classes though the NCCIL before moving to Atlanta, GA to complete an MFA in Fashion Design at SCAD. She has freelanced in several design capacities, worked on some extracurricular projects with Adobe, and is now a fashion designer for Michael Kors Women’s Collection in New York City where she loves bumping into other ACU alumni!
Danny graduated from ACU in 1991 with a degree in art. He has been with Zachary Associates, an advertising and marketing firm, for the past 24 years. Danny has been the Creative Director for the last 6 years. He also had a brief stint as a lavender farmer.
Shalis Stevens graduated from ACU in 2008 with a BFA in Graphic Design, and earned her MFA in painting from SCAD in 2013. She now works as an illustrator and theater charge artist in Dallas, Texas. She is most passionate about storytelling through art and is in the process of publishing her second coloring book for adults.
Randy is the VP of Design at Etsy. His team to builds web products and creates brand experiences online and off. In 2014, they won the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. Randy released the book, Product Design for the Web, in 2014, founded Citizen Scholar Inc. and co-founded the design studio, Supermarket. He also serves on the steering committee of NYCxDESIGN.
Ty Pownall, ’06 alumni, moved to LA to get his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. He currently teaches art full time at Pepperdine University in Malibu. He is primarily a sculptor that explores the connections between rigidity and fragility. Ty is preparing for upcoming exhibitions in the Netherlands, Mexico and Norway.
Erin graduated in 2007 with a degree in Two-Dimensional Studio Art. She moved to NYC in 2010 and now works as an art director for The Museum of Modern Art, where she has continued to glean inspiration for her personal art practice. Upcoming excitements include a MoMA performance with artist #JeromeBel in October, and a new exhibition of works opening in Spring 2017.
Matt Varner graduated in 2015 and began working at Canales & Co with fellow ACU alum in Austin doing branding and packaging. Recently, Matt moved to NYC and has landed a job working at Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy.
Alex York (’09) is lighting up Vancouver’s vibrant animation scene. After graduating, he completed a two-year commercial animation program at Capilano University, which he has followed up with a string of storyboarding work at Kickstart Entertainment, Bron Studios and EH-OKAY Productions. York’s most recent credits include the soon-to-be-released feature films Ratchet and Clank and Henchmen, as well as PBS’ just-premiered Ready Jet Go!.
Tanner Freeman is the Owner and Designer at Deuxsouth. Deuxsouth is a creative company in Waco that helps other companies discover their project and audience. Tanner has designed for several companies in the Waco area, such as Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits.
Joshua Schoemaker (’01) is an artist based in Dallas. His work is inspired from the purity and simplicity of zen painting, which uses brushwork and bold marks to convey spiritual awareness. Josh recently had an exhibition titled Adornment in Pohlenz gallery featuring of 15 pieces of his work!
Sarah English (‘01) earned her MFA in painting from UNT and currently works for JCPenney managing a team of textile designers. Sarah also uses her background in painting to create her own custom patterns. Her designs have been featured by retailers such as DENY Designs, Urban Outfitters, Nordstroms, and Bloomingdales! She was recently published in “Print and Pattern: Geometrics” and is kicking off a new project through Instagram, “50 patterns in 50 weeks.”
Zack Guerra is a graphic designer & illustrator who graduated from ACU in 2014. After graduation Zack joined fellow designer and ACU alumnus, Jose Canales, at Canales & Co. Since being there, Zack has been able to combine his love for drawing and design to develop brands such as YETI, Wild Acre Brewing Co., Independence Brewing Co., and CareerPlug.
Ben Hernandez lives in Dallas and is a Senior Product Designer at Dialexa. He has a background in fine art, music, film making and design. During his career, he’s had the privilege of working with several great companies, including: National Geographic, GameStop, Microsoft, Jones Lang LaSalle, and NBC-Universal.
Leriam Gonzalez is a New York City fashion photographer and our 15th Instagram competition judge! She is passionate about beauty, fashion, and being able to illustrate a story with her camera. Leriam’s work has been published worldwide in publications like Marie Claire, Nylon, and Tatler just to name a few.
Darren Le Gallo
Darren Le Gallo graduated from ACU in 1996 with a BA in painting and moved to Los Angeles recently after. He has shown in gallery exhibitions in Chelsea, NY, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. In addition, Darren has been heavily involved in the movie industry as an actor, set builder and storyboard artist.
Rolando Diaz is a Cuban-American artist who travels internationally and often uses his skills as a painter for fundraising efforts. A documentary film titled “Recapturing Cuba” about Diaz has won two awards at the Sundance File Festival. The film has been an inspiration to many! His work has even been exhibited in many places, including the Grace Museum here in Abilene!
After graduating from ACU, Leanne Kawahigashi moved to San Francisco for an internship with Turner Duckworth. There she worked on projects such as the Coke Zero Christmas packaging. Still living in San Francisco but with a recent opportunity to work from exotic locations like Thailand and Cambodia she currently designs for Expensify.
Sarah Stanley graduated from ACU with a degree in Graphic Design in 2006 and accepted a graphic design position at Fossil in 2008. Her outstanding work was recently recognized in the 33rd Annual Type Director’s Club.
Amanda Martinez graduated from ACU with a degree in Interior Design. She went on to Texas A&M to become an Architect. Amanda currently is a designer for Page Southerland Page, Inc. in Austin.
ACU alumni, Dawn Hearn is an interior designer residing in the Austin area. Her designs have been recognized locally and nationally in such publications as Texas Home & Living, Southern Rooms by Rockport Publishers and Southern Living Room-by-Room Makeovers.
Jordan Bell is a proud ACU alumni currently living in New York City. He has worked for Hoefler & Co as a type designer since 2014. After graduating from ACU, Jordan received a Master of Arts in Typeface Design from Reading University in England. He is the designer of a friendly typeface named, Odelay. Aside from his job in NYC, Jordan enjoys taking on graphic and type design projects for others.
Joshua Hale is a contemporary artist based out of Abilene. He graduated from ACU in 2008 and his work has been exhibited in numerous art shows. He does mostly 2D paintings and his most recent works explore themes of nature, society, and depolarization.
Jose Canales is a graphic designer based out of Austin, TX. In 2014, he left the advertising agency, McGarrah Jesse, and started his own company, Canales & Co. He found his passion in branding, packaging, and crafted design and has done work for Shiner beer, Stripes Candy, and Costa Del Mar.
Bobbie Scanio is an award winning graduate from ACU with a bachelor of science in Interior Design. She started working at Bella Villa Design Studio in 2005 and her creativity and thoroughness makes her an integral part of Bella Villa. She passed the NCIDQ and became a registered interior designer in 2011.
Brent Couchman is a graphic designer who leads his own branding and design studio, Moniker, in San Francisco, CA. Brent has previously done branding and illustration for Coca-Cola, Google, Facebook, Herman Miller and Fossil. His work has been recognized by groups such as AIGA, Art Directors Club and many more.
Nathan Spoor graduated from ACU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Nathan is from Dallas but currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. His paintings often deal with themes of transition and growth and have been featured in exhibitions across the country.
Kelly Mann is an interior designer from Houston, TX. After graduating from ACU with a degree in Interior Design and minor in Business Administration, Kelly started KMann Designs in November 2009. The company was originally created for graphic design, but is now primarily interior design. Kelly’s design style is a mix of modern and traditional.
Jeff Rogers is our first guest judge for the Instagram competition! Jeff, who graduated from ACU, lives in New York and has his own studio based out of Brooklyn. Jeff specializes in custom lettering and has done work for McDonalds, Abi-Haus, ACU Today, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Ace Hotel to name a few!