BFA Graphic Design, Middle Tennessee State University MA Illustration, Syracuse University MFA Illustration, Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford Nashville native Dan Brawner creates idea-based art that reaches a wide audience in print and multimedia—including character designs that have marched in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Through commissions from firms such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Hal Riney & Partners, McCann-Erickson, and Porter Novelli, Brawner’s clients have included: BASF, Bridgestone, Children’s TV Workshop, Coca-Cola, HCA, Kellogg’s, KFC, Simon & Schuster, Sonic, WGBH-Boston, and Zanies. Brawner’s published work has garnered awards from Advertising Age, American Ad Federation, American Illustration, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, Illustration West 45, Print, Society of Illustrators, and Society of Illustrators–Los Angeles. His book The Prayer of Jabez for Kids was honored by Publisher’s Weekly as the bestselling children’s book of 2002. Brawner’s work has been juried into American Illustration’s “Distribute,” Illustration 50 and 3×3’s “Annual #5.” In 2005, he won Best of Show at Huntsville Museum of Art’s Red Clay Survey. His recent exhibitions of drawings and books have appeared in venues such as Billy Shire’s Fine Art Gallery, Gallery Nucleus in Los Angeles, and IAGO’s El Libres de Artista Ilustrados in Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2010, Brawner was honored with a Graphis New Talent Annual Top Instructor Award.
Judith Sweeney O'Bryan
BFA Graphic Design, Parsons School of Design MAT, Belmont University Before moving to Nashville in 1987, Judith Sweeney O’Bryan spent 12 years working for advertising agencies in Manhattan. Her professional experience includes assistant art director at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample; art director at Kallir, Phillips & Ross; and senior art director at Sudler & Hennessey (the healthcare division of Young & Rubicam). Sweeney O’Bryan is the principle owner and creative director of Sweeney O’Bryan Design, a graphic design studio that provides brochures, annual reports, corporate identities, branding, and advertising for both regional and national clients.
A veteran of the music industry, Steve Wilkison has been designing and developing websites, e-cards, digital press kits, and other interactive media for two decades. He has worked with artists such as Willie Nelson, Keith Urban, June Carter Cash, Guy Clark, Nickel Creek, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chely Wright, and many more. Wilkison owns and operates Digital Vision Media, an award-winning website, interactive, and multimedia design and development company based in Nashville.
BFA Graphic Design (Illustration concentration), Watkins College of Art Aaron Johnson is the senior staff artist at Anderson Design Group where he creates retro posters and works with many large commercial clients including Macy’s, Miller Lite, Vince Gill, Igloo, and Ram Trucks.
BFA Illustration, Rhode Island School of Design Lauren Lowen’s art—which celebrates her love of pattern, color, and whimsical illustration—has been used for a variety of products, such as books, magazines, stationery, and children’s luggage. When not freelancing, she exhibits her work in galleries across the country. Lowen is represented by Jennifer Nelson Artists, and her clients include Scholastic Press, Hallmark, American Greetings, Workman Publishing, and KLUTZ books. Before coming to Watkins, Lowen taught at RISD and Montserrat College of Art.
BFA, Middle Tennessee State University
Simkin’s background includes art direction and design as a professional designer, including seven years as owner of Stone + Steel Creative. As a consultant and trainer for the Center for Nonprofit Management, Simkin has taught an annual branding workshop since 2014.