Morgan Gruer joined us again this year for the monumental task of processing Region-at-Large submissions. Having previous years under her belt, she know what she was getting in to, and it was great to work with her again! An artist from a young age, Morgan is now studying in New York City and making her mark as a young emerging artist.
“I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at Pratt Institute studying Communications Design with a concentration in Advertising and Art Direction. Before Pratt, I spent the last two years studying Studio Art at Skidmore College. I am passionate about both design and the fine arts – really, I love anything creative.”
Read on to hear more about Morgan’s time at the Alliance!

SAWA: Do you have an educator or mentor who continues to support you?
MG: I do not have one single mentor, but many of my professors at Pratt continue to inspire me on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to study directly under such talented professionals is incredibly inspirational and drives me to continually push myself harder. One noteworthy professor is Tim O’Brien, a phenomenal Illustrator who has actually done work for Scholastic in the past. Tim was the professor who first introduced me to the work of many Illustrators I admire and even gave me the opportunity to meet some of them in person, most memorably, Christoph Niemann.
SAWA: I’m sure working in the Alliance office brings back memories of winning your Awards. Is that an experience you look back to often?

MG: Working at the Alliance is a constant reminder of all the hard work that goes into the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. When I initially won an Award in High School, I had no idea the extent and outreach that these Awards open up. They have opened the door for me for a pre-college summer art program at NYU, job opportunities, and connections with other creative individuals. At the time I won an Award, I was ecstatic, but I did not foresee the impact it would have on future years to come.

SAWA: Tell us about your time working with us during submission season! Do you think your time with us last year helped prepare you for the process for the 2015 Awards?

MG: This winter was my third year working at the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Working here multiple years in a row has definitely benefited my workflow and assisted me in creating a more efficient work environment. Additionally, it is reassuring and warming to see familiar faces year after year, including full-time employees and fellow interns.

SAWA: What advice do you have for young artists and writers submitting to the Awards?

MG: My advice to future artists and writers submitting to the Awards would be to submit as much as possible! You never know what will be chosen. Oftentimes, the work you like the least is the work that someone else will like the most! The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are not an empty award; the Alliance provides continual support and opportunities to alumni and winning one has been an extreme honor.

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