MCY BlogThe Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is full of creative people. From painters to novelists to sculptors to photographers, we’ve got a lot of amazing talent! We’re profiling the artists this week–check back next week to see what our writers have to say! Courtney Buckland, Associate Manager, Affiliate Services

“My artistic process is always evolving, but there are always constants that remain: I draw inspiration from my surroundings, I have a fascination with nature and the human form, and I make art in my bed. Living in New York City is a constant source of inspiring people, graffiti, language and architecture. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much energy! Full of diverse individuals, the nature that survives and thrives here is just as interesting and curious. At the end of a long day, there is nothing better than reflecting in bed and sketching out all of my ideas!”

Sazia AfrinAssistant Manager, Programs

“I create because it helps me to clear my head. Dedicating a few hours to create a drawing can be a meditative process. I’m lucky to be surrounded by very talented people, one of whom is my sister. Looking through her sketchbooks that are literally bursting at the seams inspire me. My drawings always begin with a few thumbnails, so that I can experiment with different compositions and color combinations before starting the actual drawing.”

Tommy DeYampert, Assistant, Desktop Publishing

“Sketching is everything. I sketch or doodle everyday (even if it’s only for five minutes) in order to get all of the ideas I can out onto a tangible surface. Once I come up with an idea I recompose it in 3-15 new cells that can breathe more concrete decisions about color and paint choices. I’ve also kept a library of my sketchbooks to refer back to over time.”

Antonio Pulgarin, Adjudication Manager

“When I take photographs, I don’t have a particular theme in mind. As I take more and more pictures, I start to notice themes and motifs and I concentrate on the ones that interest me. Then I curate those photos into a series.”

Timarie HarriganSenior Manager, Development and External Relations

“I think my interest in making comes from my Dad and my Grandmother on his side. They are both makers, creators, and builders. My grandmother would make great things out of little to no materials: dress-up boxes for kids in the neighborhood, puppets, fridges (yes, plural) full of baked goods, reupholstered furniture.

“My father was and still is in construction so there were frequent kids’ craft projects that he would make far more complicated than they needed to be. Think: homemade Easter basket using a jigsaw or a life-size plinko game for a sixth grader. This is where I learned to solder for stained-glass work, how to construct basic furniture, and probably where I got my desire to learn how everything is made.

“So now I’m on an uncertain, never-ending quest to learn how to make EVERYTHING. Hobbies include but are not limited to (of course. . .): lost wax carving, ceramics, glass-blowing, furniture making, re-upholstery, jewelry making, stained-glass, collage, weaving, and screen-printing.”

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