Rebecca Byrd

E.A.S.T. photo courtesy of Pam Booton

Rebecca Byrd Arthur



As far back as my memory can take me, I have been drawing and creating... My quest for knowledge never ends. 

Everything I do informs my vision.

My parents encouraged me, even from the age of two. Mom sat down with me—to protect her walls, likely!—and we would spend hours with paper and color.

I collected paper and color and textured objects. Actually I still do; I can't help but think they are beautiful. I am a very tactile, introverted,  nerd of an artist, who doesn't mind a bit of mathematics. But that isn't how I started out.

I began formal art lessons at St. Vincent's convent when I was six, with Sister Sophia. Memories of her studio and doing all kinds of art there are still very much with me. We even carved giant bars of Ivory soap into Bas Relief.

My academic and fine art education has been centered around art, letter forms, history, and world cultures. I have always attended private schools—eventually returning to St. Vincent's Academy—the school my mother and grandmother attended—to graduate in 1978. Sister Joan opened my eyes to so many of the arts including engraving, calligraphy, pastels, pottery, and of course, drawing.

I did study so many things, though I graduated with a Commercial Art degree in 1981, and went right to work. The study of print design and typography are very interesting to me, and I spent some time as Head of Typography at UpState Magazine in Shreveport, Louisiana, where Creative Extraordinaire Jay Covington was in charge of Production. 

Still, I was not satisfied with my knowledge. Now I wanted to know how did the alphabet come into use? What about the glyphs that were used to communicate before that?

I returned to my studies, and have met some patient, talented and inspirational scholars. My new knowledge informed my design work as a marketing designer for Holt, Rinehart and Winston, a textbook publisher—especially working on designs and advertising campaigns for Foreign Language, Social Studies, Language Arts and the Sciences. 

I've enjoyed a graphic design career spanning over thirty years, and have developed concepts for malls, fine hotels, spas, even clowns. But I love books. And I wanted to design book covers.

In 2006, I took a position at Morgan Printing, in Austin, Texas, and in 2010 at Ginny's Printing, where authors came to self-publish their books.  It was during these years I learned so much of the technical know-how I use when designing covers. Meeting with Authors to hear them describe their stories brings the visuals I need to present them back in print... and that is how a book cover is born.

To date, I have created covers for clients, through printing companies and agencies, and as an independent designer. Clients include SafePlace of Austin, the Library of Congress, and numerous self-publishing authors. I began to design interior pages for books... and find it a very Zen experience!

Awards for  fine art and technical design expertise, including a First Place for cover design in the New York Book Show, a Clarion Award First Place awarded by Women in Communication, a crystal award for Publishing Excellence from Holt, Rinehart and Winston, and a Texas Graphic Excellence Award for Brochure Design.

I have studied portrait painting under the tuteledge of artist Robert
Hurst of A Damn Fine, the official portraitist for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. I have been priviledged to be invited by Mr. Aubrery Parker to display my art in Seadrift, Texas, at the Art Boat Gallery; Quality Frames and Art Gallery in Westlake, and invited by Fine Artist and Glass Studio guru Reji Thomas to show my work at Pine Street Station during the East Austin Studio Tour.

Today I have paintings hanging in private homes and corporate offices across the south and on the east coast.