Hi Patricia, thanks for taking the time to chat with us before graduation. We were all excited when you shared that you’ll be attending RISD in the fall. Before I ask you about art, I am curious: what brought you to Sora?
The path that eventually led me to Sora started with the pandemic. I had originally gone to another online school, but then that school decided to go back in person. And my mom was just searching around for other online schools because I didn’t want to go back to in-person school. I kind of just got over it. And then she found Sora. She looked into it and thought it was really good, so she told me a look into it. And I really, really liked it. I liked how project-based it was, and you kind of just do your work, and then you get credit for your work. I just really liked the concept of it. After that, we just decided to have a meeting. And I really liked the interaction I had with Anthony, who was really nice.
I’m guessing that a lot of your projects intersected a lot with your art. Can you tell us about your art? When did you start, and what medium do you use?
I do painting and drawing and a bunch of other stuff. I don’t really try to do one type of art form. I’ve always been drawing since I was really young. And then I started taking art classes in our old town, in a historical district of our town. They had an art studio there and I started taking classes there at six years old. And I just kind of really, really liked it. And then at 13, I started interning at the Art Studio, and I just learned more about it. And so yeah, I’ve always been involved in some type of art.
I really enjoy being able to create things that you see in your mind. It’s really exciting when I have something I am envisioning and I know exactly what I want to make. And then I’m able to recreate that on whatever – on paper, canvas. So I guess just being able to bring things that don’t exist into reality.
My art is inspired by a lot of things. There are people on YouTube that I watch that I really admire. And Mika on TikTok. I also take inspiration from nature. And from my family and friends. I like to draw my friends a lot. Also, all my friends that I went to high school with are artists. So they’re always like, really supportive. And it’s nice to have that small group of friends who are also into art and understand what I’m trying to do.
I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s really important to be around people who inspire you. Community is really important too – whenever I want to try something new for the first time I go and I look for the communities of people who are already doing it. How have you been able to use art in your projects at Sora? Was it often?
Pretty often because I’m in the classical arts track. I think the first project I did was also an art project. It was a great project. We listened to a song and, in a very meta move, I created artwork that showed two of us creating artwork to the song. Another person in the class recorded and did a cover of the song. And then we played all these responses to the song in a slideshow. Another project I did was where I developed my own film pictures. I would take old film and take pictures on a film camera and then use chemicals in my bathroom as a dark room to develop it. I took some photos when I was visiting my aunt in Florida, and another time I took pictures in my old town. Some of it is at Walmart. And then of course I took pictures with my dog.
What was the classical arts track like?
Okay, we had regular meetings either weekly or biweekly. At the beginning of the track, we declared what our project would be. And as the meetings went on, we had to set goals and meet them. And in each meeting, we would present on our progress from the last meeting. We would also just kind of discuss any issues we’re running into or anything we weren’t able to do but we still want to do or if we have to change course. And then you also get to like ask your peers for advice and like review the work that you have at the moment. And a lot of people are into digital drawing. I wasn’t actually that into digital drawing. But after seeing everybody doing digital drawings, I wanted to try it. And then, of course, I had a bunch of people I could ask if I wanted advice as to how to do something.
When it came time to apply for college, first of all, did you always know that you wanted to do college immediately after high school?
So yeah, I kind of knew I was always gonna go to art school afterward. I applied to a bunch of art schools, and actually, I was able to get my RISD application in because they created a grace period for portfolio submissions. When I went to go visit RISD, I fell in love with it. I applied under “painting,” but even at the open house, they were saying many people change their major. And you can be undeclared when you come here, but they have a lot of opportunities for investigation in different areas. So even though people come here for, like architecture, they might decide that they really wanted to do industrial design instead. Or if they go for illustration, they might decide to do film, because of the different intensives that they have access to and they don’t realize that they’re into different things.
I’m still painting but the first year is more like an introduction year. So I’m gonna do a bunch of different things that are focused on my major but a bunch of other things that are not. So if something else catches my attention, or I find I’m more passionate about something else, I might change, but right now I want to do painting.
We spend a lot of time at Sora talking about how exploration is so important at the grade school level, and I’m glad you’ll be continuing that in college. Colleges really get the exploration part right. Okay, I have a two-part question for you. You’re graduating soon, so what are some top memories from your time at Sora? And what are you looking forward to at RISD?
Okay, my favorite memories all revolve around my Spanish teacher, Maryah. Well, first of all, she’s super nice. But at the beginning of each meeting, she tells us these interesting stories that happened to her over the weekend. And I don’t know, it’s just really interesting and really funny to hear. So I always enjoy hearing what her family was up to. She lives in the Dominican Republic and is moving to the U.S. soon, and I love hearing about her life.
As far as RISD goes, I’m really excited to be around a bunch of people that are also into what I want to do. And also just having so many resources for everything I want to investigate or experiment with. Like even just, we went there for a tour, and it was just like artist heaven, it was everything you could ever need as an artist. They have their own art store and they have their own bookstore that is student-run, so you can get a job there or something. And it’s like, right on campus. I’m pretty sure it’s like cheaper than going to an actual store. But beyond that, they have an entire nature lab with like— I don’t even remember how many thousands of specimens of plants, animals, skeletons, water life and like, a bunch of different things. They have live examples. They have living animals like a snake, a turtle, and some little bunny thing that’s not actually a bunny. Fish, seahorses. All of it. It’s really cool.
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