The Judges

Allison Davis

Photographer @ A.E. Davis Photography

A. E. Davis was born in a barn. Because that's the Korean word for palaces. But royalty wasn't her path, so she moved to America and adopted a family in Stockbridge, GA. Allison took the academic world by storm, studying everything from Creative Writing to Public Relations. After college, she single-handedly saved the economy in the southeast at a brokerage house. Just for fun. One day, she got a calling from on high to study photography at the Creative Circus and, naturally, she was exceedingly gifted. Her exuberance for every image she takes is only met by her exuberance for her oldest friend and muse, a goldfish named Randy. Her unique outlook on life and what is best described by her friends as quirkiness (and as weirdness by her haters) has translated into a highly innovative portfolio and work that stands out from the pack. She looks forward to her career in photography, or what the founders of this art call it, soul stealing. A. E. Davis is based in New York City and works as an in-house food and product photographer for the agency 1000heads whose client list includes Thomas' English Muffins, Google, Little Bites, and Microsoft. + Allison swears none of this was written by her. + Allison approves this message.


Ashley Bozeman

Art Director @ Mother

Ashley Bozeman is a multi-dimensional creative who has a background in comprehensive and traditional art. Currently, she’s Art Director at Mother, a Brooklyn based agency where she is one of the lead creatives on the Target Holiday campaign. Prior to Mother, she spent three and a half years at The Martin Agency in Richmond Virginia where she was the first Black woman to be hired in the history of the company’s creative department. Here she worked on brands like Geico, DoorDash, Old Navy and Oreo. In 2017, she graduated from The Creative Circus with a certificate in Art Direction and Graphic Design. Before that, she received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Hampton University in 2015. Outside of work, she is both an artist and graphic designer and most recently, she has tapped into directing and has directed two commercials this year in Richmond, VA. Ashley is very passionate in using her platform to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities through creativity, mentorship + various multimedia avenues in hopes to make the creative industry more diverse and accessible to all.


Christian Torres

Photographer @ West Elm


Dean Velez

Founder & Creative Director @ Anvel Studios

Dean Velez has been working as a Creative Director, Motion Designer, and Instructor since 1992. He has received 2 Emmy Awards, 7 Emmy Award nominations,2 Promax / BDA Silver awards, a New York One award and a Bronze Telly. And in 2018 was named one of the top 50 Creative Technologists for his work in immersive storytelling from Studio Daily. His client list includes Adobe, Zaxwerks, ABC, NBC, CBS, UPN, FOX, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Atlanta Braves, The Atlanta Falcons, The Washington Redskins, Toyota, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, CNN, The Georgia Aquarium, Univision Network, Adobe, Genarts, Chattahoochee Technical College, Art Institute, Portfolio Center, Magick Lantern, Toys R Us, McKesson, Georgia Pacific, Hasbro, Geico, Discovery and many others. He is currently working at his own immersive company ANVEL studios to push the boundaries of immersive storytelling and to bring it into the mainstream via mobile-enabled Virtual Reality.


Dian Holton

Senior Deputy Art Director @ AARP

Dian Holton is a senior deputy art director at AARP where she oversees creative for, and The Ethel. She routinely contributes designs to AARP The Magazine and specifically cover stories. Her background includes book design, branding, retail installation, styling and footwear design. Dian is a former AIGA Washington DC chapter board member and is serving as a mentor for several mentorship programs. Her passions include education, philanthropy, fashion and pop culture.


Gabrielle Blades

Owner @ Blades Creative

Gabrielle Blades started her career in design working with the city of Chattanooga, doing research design for a multimodal transportation study. During her time with the city, she worked with a nonprofit that supported local entrepreneurs finding that she loved the work, and some of the first (and most fulfilling brands) she created were for those wonderful humans and their businesses. Recognizing what branding and design unlocked for them, she also realized that, with her own business name and the projects she had taken on, she was in the same position as them — primed to start her own business. In 2015, Blades Creative launched. Today, the business is small-but-mighty and serves as an advocate and designer for creative, lifestyle, and wellness brands, bringing their purpose and potential out into the world.


Karina Bagdadi

Senior Copywriter @ Markham Yard

Karina Bagdadi is a senior copywriter at Miami-based branding agency, Markham Yard. She has written for a host of varied clients, including Porsche, Mercury Mari​ne, and Santa Margherita Wine Group. She has ​dual Italian and U.S. citizenship and in addition to her native English, is fluent in Spanish and conversational Hebrew. During her free time, she enjoys baking, listening to live music, and pushing the limits of her personal style.


Kevin Botfeld

Copywriter/Director/Creative Director @ Generation Next Project

I'm a copywriter by trade, but my story has taken many shapes over the past 20 years. Recently, I've led creative departments at 22squared and Trade School. I’ve also written, directed and edited for small, big, even Fortune 50 companies. I’m a super-hybrid maker and entrepreneurial brand storyteller with a passion for ideas, innovation, and mentorship. I'm also a dad & husband to three lovely ladies.


Marq Mervin

Design, Animation & Motion Graphics Professor | Partner by Design @ Florida State College | Adobe

Marq Mervin (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, activist, and lover of cartoons and video games. The Florida native studied animation at Jacksonville University and New York Institute of Technology. Marq’s career led him to design and animate for local startups, broadcast news, and non-profit organizations. His tenure in broadcast led to an Emmy Award-winning documentary. Currently, Marq teaches digital media at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He’s also an advocate of art and design education for marginalized and underrepresented youth. Some of his work includes: formerly serving as a Public Education Ambassador for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, speaking about equitable representation in arts education at TEDxFSCJ, and formerly leading the Education & Community Committee for AIGA’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Marq’s passion for art and design led to recognition from Revision Path’s 28 Days of the Web. Additionally, his work in Jacksonville led him to moderate VyStar’s International Artist Lecture Series Q&A with Disney legend Floyd Norman. Marq is also the author of “One Day, I Hope That…”, a collection of prose and poetry. When he’s not traveling for game tournaments or speaking engagements, he’s catching up on his favorite shows or performing poetry at open mic nights.


Phil Davies

Creative Director / Writer @ GSD&M


Shari Mapp

Creative Design Consultant @ Kaiser Permanente

Shari Mapp is a Creative Design Consultant for the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. Her work in health education reaches over 4.6 million members from San Diego to Antelope Valley. She also serves as a Volunteer Outreach Coordinator for Rescue-Only Dogs with the Los Angeles County Animal Care Center.


Susannah Sodergren

Writer/Art Director @ Blue Q


Tara Gorman

Art Director, Creative director and Consultant @ Self-employed


Tyler Smith

Photographer @ Tyler Smith Photography


Vicki Strull

Designer & Creative Director @ Vicki Strull Design

Vicki Strull has more than 25 years in the industry as a brand strategist, creative director, and packaging designer. Known for the energy she brings to graphic design, strategic thinking and brand positioning, Vicki advises top-tier and emerging brands on how to leverage the power of packaging to increase sales, create new revenue streams, and build brand loyalty. She has become an indispensable marketing and creative partner to top global brands such as Bayer, Coppertone, and Pizza Hut. Through keynotes, articles, and webinars, Vicki has presented to CMOs, marketers, and designers at international confer- ences for HP, the Design Management Institute, Printing United, and HOW Design.