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Paige Vickers

This summer, Paige Vickers ’12 found herself at the Pencil Factory in the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where she interned with illustrator Josh Cochran. In describing her experience, Vickers said, “I didn’t just do tasks you’d associate with working in an office. I met tons of illustrators and learned how a multi-artist studio is run successfully.”

During her time at the Pencil Factory, Vickers assisted illustrator, printmaker, and author Mike Perry with an art sale and helped Jessica Hische from The Arm Letterpress Studio with a letterpress series. Vickers said that a large part of the experience was developing the ability to interact with the studio’s illustrators and designers, and taking opportunities to ask real-life questions about surviving in the art world.

“I gained a feel for how to think in terms of a long-term career of creating work,” said Vickers. “It was eye-opening to learn what it’s like to live in New York City and be so close to amazing and often free museums and galleries,” she added.

She was also named the 2011 Zankel Scholar by The Society of Illustrators. This prestigious award is given annually to an outstanding junior for support in their senior year of college. Nominees for the award are submitted by illustration departments nationwide, with four finalists selected to compete for the $20,000 scholarship.

“I think a lot of the reason I won was the combination of my interview with my portfolio,” Vickers said. “At MICA, a lot of emphasis is placed on professionalism and confidence in your work and path. I felt comfortable talking truthfully about the career I desire because I’ve had access to really open conversations about the ‘real world’ of freelance illustration.”