Alisa Neugroschl ’20S, who is pursuing a degree in Studio Art at Stern College for Women, has had the good fortune to work with the Yeshiva University Museum to design this year’s holiday cards for the well-respected institution.
It could also be said that the Museum has had the good fortune to work with Neugroschl, who has not only worked on the holiday cards but also produced the digital and print fliers for the Museum’s ongoing music concert series through a contact established by Traci Tullius, associate professor of art and head of the Studio Art program.
“I have honestly enjoyed art from as far back as I can remember,” said Neugroschl, who grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey, “working with fine arts, such as drawing, painting, pastels and so on. I have always been interested in trying new art forms and widening my artistic skills across the board.”
She feels privileged to have had the chance to intern in many different areas over the years, and it was in 2017, on one such internship, that she was introduced to graphic design. “I had a summer internship at Julie Farkas Graphic Design. In addition to technical skills, I was personally mentored and learned what the industry actually entailed, which encouraged me to take more courses in the field.”
Now that she knows that a design career is what she wants, “I love working on interdisciplinary projects where I get to use both hand-crafted and digital elements.” She is currently taking two textile design courses as part of the joint Stern College-Fashion Institute of Technology program, “one of them focuses on hand-painted designs while the other one is a computer-aided design course mainly focusing on Adobe programs.” She finds a great deal of joy in seeing “how these two approaches can be used together and how versatile your options are as a textile designer.”
She doesn’t follow any strict theory or have one aesthetic when it comes to her work. “In general, my artwork tends to be precise and clean because I am so detail-oriented,” she observed, “but I think that my style is dependent on the piece I am working on and what that particular work needs.”
She also notes that being at YU has also helped spur her artistic growth. “I always wanted to go to Yeshiva University because I was really drawn to the fact that I could immerse myself in a Jewish community while still getting a strong secular education and the opportunities to further my career in the arts.” She also finds that broad sense of community in the art department as well, which she describes as “a tightknit and supportive group, where the Studio Art majors try to build up their peers and encourage each other. Every student has the opportunity to create close relationships with the teachers, department heads and each other.”
When she thinks about her future as a designer, she has one clear definitive goal: “I see myself doing it all.” Skills learned in the field of design can be transferred to all disciplines within the arts, “and the beautiful thing about a degree as versatile as this is that I am not pigeonholed into one career path. I can take my career anywhere and everywhere that I’d like, and if I decide to switch it up, I am not starting at square one with the need for a new degree.”
Ultimately, she would like to run her own business (“or businesses,” she adds) as a creative director, but for right now, “I would love to enter into the textile design industry. I have been gathering so much experience and picking up on skills in different fields of design throughout the years and am so excited to see what is next for me.”
“I have so many dreams and big plans for my future as a designer,” and there is little doubt that she will achieve exactly what she sets out to do with great fanfare and success.