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The New Yorker: dream job for an illustrator

01/26/2012

Nick Vokey '04 loved his time as an art student at Connecticut College.

Today he's putting what he learned to good use at an iconic publication with a reputation for its illustrations: The New Yorker.

Vokey focused on design and sculpture while in college and learned about a position at The New Yorker through a job posting on campus. He began in the production department, where he worked with publishing software, and eventually became the deputy art director. He is responsible for designing layouts, creating digital interfaces, assigning artwork and working on various special projects. 

This past year, Vokey returned to creating art of his own, which has led to three commissions from The New Yorker. After his first commission from the magazine in January of this year, he reached out to other publications, which resulted in an additional illustration in the Diner Journal, a food magazine based in Brooklyn.

“Though there's a regular group of artists we work with at The New Yorker, we also try to keep the magazine looking fresh, so we're always looking for new talent. In terms of how difficult it is to get published, I would say that it's a highly competitive field,” Vokey said.

His most influential professors were Andrea Wollensak and Greg Bailey, both in the art department. Vokey found them to be insightful, demanding and inspiring.

“From my first day on the job I’ve depended on the design and artistic-process skills I learned at Connecticut College,” Vokey said. “I loved my time there.”

Wollensak remembers Vokey as an “original thinker” whose work is still displayed in her office and used as an example in her 200-level course titled Design Studies. 

“Working for a major publication means constant pressure to produce world-class work, and often in a short amount of time,” Vokey said. “It can be hectic, but it's also quite satisfying to get a copy of the magazine on Monday morning and see what we've put together.”

Vokey is proud to be a part of a magazine with such a storied reputation. He has no doubt about his career plans.

“Ideally, I’d like to be a full-time artist,” Vokey said, adding that he knows the competition is tough. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”

He’s off to a strong start.

--Meredith Boyle '13



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