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Alumni Spotlight: Lara Mccormick

I currently work as Head of Design at CreativeLive. It’s an online education start up in San Francisco, so I get to combine my love of teaching with Design. My role is content strategy for design, developing curriculum, and recruiting instructors. I also teach Visual Design at General Assembly, for their 8 week immersive program. And, I wrote a book called Playing with Type published by Rockport Press.
When I enrolled in MFAD I expressed my desire to teach, and was able to TA an undergraduate class with Richard Mehl (who is amazing!). After graduating I rolled into a full time instructor position at SVA, the opportunity of a lifetime for me! I simultaneously freelanced for a number of NYC-based clients on projects from branding to web-based.
At the end of my thesis year I applied for the Sappi ‘Ideas that Matter’ Grant, and got a big chunk of money to bring the project to life. It was amazing to see my thesis out in the world, printed and distributed, being used. My Thesis was a redesign of Recovery for addicts and alcoholics. I aligned myself with the non-profit NCADD (National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency), and released a campaign to make recovery feel more contemporary for a younger demographic. The campaign included a series of posters and brochures, which were distributed nation-wide to their offices in major cities! My thesis became a real thing, and that was the best feeling ever.
The SVA MFA Design program gave me confidence in myself and my abilities as a designer. I learned from the best, and was challenged by classmates who were some of the most talented bunch I’ve ever met. I feel unstoppable and capable of anything I put my heart into.
Graduating from SVA MFA Design also gives you a bit of street cred. Last month I judged the Communication Arts Typography Annual Competition. When I first got the invitation email I thought ‘Who, me?’. But when I  met the other judges, I realized that we’re all just people making stuff that we are passionate about. You can pimp yourself out online, put your work in all the right places, get a fancy headshot and bio, but at the end of the day we design because we can’t do anything else. That commonality is something I first felt at MFAD and now have the opportunity to constantly feel in spurts, when I’m open to it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that going to MFAD changed my life in the best way ever and I treasure the experience.
I definitely approach projects with a broad vision in terms of what I’m capable of. I’m not afraid to get my feet wet in areas that are new to me. If I don’t know how to do something I ask for help and figure it out.
My advice to current student at MFAD? Enjoy every single minute. Give it your all and it will pay off ten fold.
You can see more of Lara's work on her website.