Natural born artist

Senior Anna Aquino hopes to turn her passion for art into a career


Annie Burdiak, Staff Writer

As a child, art was an escape for senior Anna Aquino and her siblings. They dabbled in coloring books, oil pastels, and watercolors.

While it may have started as a hobby, now she can’t imagine her life without it. Whether it’s music or graphic design, Aquino has nearly done it all.

Her interest in art was sparked by an elementary art teacher, Mrs. Falamous, who ran an art club. Aquino was “curious to try different things;” however, it wasn’t until her high school years that she realized her art could be more than just a hobby.

“So I was sitting in SAT prep class, and just an idea came into my mind for the prom design, and then I sketched it out,” she said. Both the 2017 and 2018 LFHS prom designs were created by Aquino.

Aquino is always evolving and developing new designs. Whether it’s for her AP Studio Art class or just for fun, she’s always on the move.

“She doesn’t really rest on her laurels. She constantly pushes herself in some way, shape, or form with her art or her music. She knows that the success that comes from skill can also come from hard work,” said her older brother and Director of Theatre at LFHS Joe Aquino.

He said he admires her ability to tell a message with her art.

“I think she punches way above her weight class in terms of her innate capability and also her ability to manipulate her creative space to convey a message. She’s really, really good at distilling her message into something that is graspable but also creative,” he said.

Art hasn’t just changed her hobbies or interests, it has completely changed who she is and who she wants to be in the future. She has been able to use her art to see the world through a different lens.

“I feel like I see things not always as they are. The system is working fine now, but how could it be better? With art, I say this is how it is now, but how can I implement it through my mediums, through the stuff that I do otherwise,” she said.

Aquino’s passion for all sorts of art has been both a blessing and a curse for her. Towards the beginning of her art career, Aquino had to adjust to the normal criticism that an artist might receive. She said that art itself has both built and disrupted her relationships with other people.

She uses her art to express her emotions, and “in disregarding my emotions, (people) are disregarding my art, which I worked very hard on.. Not everyone is going to like what you make.”

She also worries about one day “burning out.”

“I hope I never burn out. I don’t think it will happen. By burn out I mean totally out of ideas. I hope to have a big project that is physical. Like an installment of sorts,” she said.

Aquino is also a musician. She is first chair violin and president of the LFHS symphony orchestra.

She said that in a more concrete way than typography or graphic design, music has changed her.

“Music has definitely changed a lot for me even though, it’s less of a passion project for me than art. It’s more of a hobby and a way to ‘feel the spice of life’ because I like playing violin, but I love playing with my friends,” Aquino said.

And although she said that music and art exist in different pools in her head, everything is art to her.

“All my friends are art. Everyone has elements of superheroism. Everyone wants to be a good person, some people just have no idea how to do it. I think that’s art in itself,” she said. “If art makes you feel something, that’s great. If art makes you question something, that is exponentially better.”

One of Aquino’s best friends senior Kimie Han is a witness of Aquino’s artistic abilities in both art and music.

“She makes everything we do enjoyable. In a music class it’s just nice to have someone there who not only appreciated the things we do together, but also wants to do it. She genuinely enjoys playing music and being in orchestra and being a leader. So just being next to her, it inspires you to be better,” said Han.

Aquino’s original personality is expressed through her art and that itself, Han said, is one of the most admirable things about the young artist.

“I think she is very true to herself in her art and in her music. She knows how to give it her own flair and she has a very bright, strong personality that comes through in everything she does. I think you can see what type of person she is, what a great person she is in all of the stuff she does,” Han said.

Unsurprisingly, Aquino’s dream job revolves around art.

“Basically my dream is to have a coffee shop that I own and I sell art there, and other people can buy booths there and sell art the whole year. That’s not just art, but a design and entrepreneurship,” Aquino said.