Six winners named in library district’s card-design contest

Six Las Vegas artists have had their work selected to decorate new Las Vegas-Clark County Library District cards as part of the district’s inaugural #GetCarded contest.

The designs of two children, two teens and two adults were selected from 700 entries submitted in September. The illustrations will appear on cards in February to celebrate National Library Lovers’ Month.

The winners are Mehaliye Abate, 10, Robia Grasmick, 10, Catelyn Kaufman, 17, Katelynn Day, 17, Kenneth Lamug, 38, and Lisette Nunez, 25.

Day, a graphic-design student at Southeast Career Technical Academy, found out about the contest through her teacher, Tony Kyriacou. Her teacher often assigns projects that can be entered into competitions, like the Las Vegas Natural History Museum’s Southern Nevada During the Pleistocene art contest. Day didn’t win, but she was a finalist, she said.

Day’s design features three dogs reading a book, with a thought bubble full of toy bones. She created the image in Adobe Illustrator and finished coloring it in Photoshop.

Day has been drawing most of her life and grew up watching her dad at his tattoo shop, Freak’s Tattoo Emporium, in Henderson.

“It’s been a big inspiration,” she said of her dad’s work.

As a young kid, Day thought of becoming a veterinarian or a marine biologist and even considered video game design.

As junior in high school, she’s working on building a portfolio of graphic-design work to help attract clientele. She’ll attend college if she can get a scholarship to pursue design, she said.

Kaufman, a senior at West Career and Technology Academy, plans to attend UNLV next year to study kinesiology. Growing up, Kaufman’s favorite genre of literature was fantasy, she said.

Her experience reading books like “Eragon” inspired her image, which features dragons flying among clouds, as well as a seated girl reading a book. The freedom she felt reading books was an inspiration, she said.

“I really like the different worlds and magic and secret abilities that aren’t possible in real life,” Kaufman said.

Lamug, 38, works in website design for commercial real estate, but recently started working on the side as an author and illustrator. He has published several books including “The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca,” “The Stumps of Flattop Hill” and “A Box Story.”

Lamug’s design shows three children reaching for a book on a background of letters, numbers and shapes.

Lamug never had formal training; he started out drawing as a kid “like everybody else,” he said.

He stopped drawing when he moved with his family to Las Vegas from the Philippines in 1996 because he wanted to create “a stable lifestyle here in the United States.” But by the 2000s, he started to get into photography and filmmaking.

Illustration took over as Lamug began raising a family. He has three sons, ages 7, 8 and 13, who he encourages to draw and enter competitions.

Nunez, a 2014 graphic-design graduate of The Art Institute of Las Vegas, took her design in a different direction by working with typography. The words “read,” “focus,” “adventure,” “community” and “adventure” help to weave her design together.

Nunez’s nearest branch, Windmill Library, is where she goes to focus on freelance work and get away from distractions at home. Sometimes she brings her young nephew.

“I asked myself what the library means to me,” Nunez said. “It’s been a quiet spot … I’ve concentrated there. I’ve focused there.”

She talked to friends, family members and co-workers for more ideas. They told her of performances they had seen, workshops they had attended and art galleries they visited at libraries.

“The words just kept on coming in,” Nunez said.

Contact Madelyn Reese at or 702-383-0497. Follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter.

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