October Member Spotlight: Clare Vivas

Clare Vivas Lucas (vivaslucas.com) is a recent transplant to Charlotte from New York City, where she was formerly a Senior Designer of Creative Services for the national celebrity news publication, PEOPLE magazine. Currently, she is a freelance art director and teaches graphic design courses as an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Charlotte. Clare has been an AIGA member since 2004. (Photo Credit: Chuck Eaton)

Where are you from?

I am product of New York State, having lived or worked in both Upstate and Downstate. However, the area I am most fond of is my old stomping ground, a picturesque little town along the Hudson River called Nyack.

A couple fun facts about Nyack:

1) It is 19 miles northwest of the border to Manhattan.

2) It is the birthplace of American realist painter, Edward Hopper.

What attracted you to the design profession? Did you have particular mentors or experiences that opened the door to the profession for you?

Why design? To me design represented the intersection of all my interests: business, psychology, art, culture, and technology. As a young child, art was always a fun and comforting friend. Eventually, art led me to design. The more I grew to understand design, the more I fell in love with it. Even after twelve years as a design professional, I am still enamored. The creative process and challenge of solving problems by way of creating visual solutions with a message and a purpose fuel me. My professional life has been an awesome journey; one where I would not dare change a thing. Each twist and turn not only carved my work ethic and character but also deepened my knowledge and passion for design.

Along the way I have been fortunate to encounter great mentors and have fantastic experiences. I credit my first job as a juried design show coordinator and my professors at Pratt Institute for opening my eyes to the design world. But in particular, I attribute my undergraduate thesis advisor, Cynthia Clabough at the State University of New York at Oswego, for initiating the spark. I am also thankful to Su Mathews Hale for hiring me as an intern at Pentagram Design in New York City and credit her for opening a major door. Lastly, I am grateful to my directors at PEOPLE magazine, Lisa Anselmo, Marybeth Kearns, and Andy Steigmeier, for their tough critiques that refined my skills.

How and why did you get involved with AIGA? Approximately how long have you been involved with the organization?

I joined AIGA in 2004 because it was and still is a great resource for any young designer. Today, nearly 10 years later, although I am no longer a young designer, I still can attest to AIGA being invaluable. Having recently moved to Charlotte from NYC, I was eager to find a community that valued design. Within the few short months that I have been active in the Charlotte chapter, I have started to create a network, gather information and even unearth freelance projects.

What is your favorite word?


What’s one goal (professional or personal) you have for the future?

My belief is that if you put your goals out there, then the universe will hold you to them and not allow you to renege. So here goes! I’ll toss not one, but two goals out there in the hopes that enough people will hold me accountable. That way, someday soon, I will be able to cross these off my bucket list.

Professional: To one day be a design entrepreneur (or at the very least open a shop on Etsy.com)

Personal: To compete in and complete the New York City Marathon.

Each month, AIGA Charlotte strives to highlight one of its members. If you have any ideas for our next spotlight, please contact Mark Iafrate at miafrate@charlotte.aiga.org.

By aigacharlotte
Published October 28, 2013