“Art is Everything”

Emily Louka performing her RA duties. Photo by Hannah Wigandt.

After moving to America her senior year of high school from Cyprus Greece, Emily Louka had a very hard time in her classes. In Cyprus she was the best in her class at math and science and had no aspirations of pursuing any kind of art career at all. After coming to America though her interest in math and science started to wan. The guidance department of Howell High School mistakenly put her in an art class for a semester but she didn’t mind because she loved to doodle in class anyway so she wouldn’t get in trouble for doodling there. It was only when her art teacher saw her talents in art and told her that she should consider looking into a career in art did Emily realize she wanted just that. From a very young age Louka presented talents in the arts. At age five Louka mastered the typical family drawing and enjoyed drawing animals.

“When we had a project or an assignment the other children from my class would come up to me to ask me to draw their things,” said Louka. “I did, and they were apparently very good for a five year old.”

The animation major, who by nature is very friendly and quircky, did not delve into art though. Growing up in Cyprus, art was always around her and she never really thought about a career in it.

“In Cyprus, they had many opportunities for us to be creative and encouraged us to be artistic but they didn’t really expect or want any of us to actually pursue it as a career,” said Louka.

After coming to America and having her art teacher praise her skills she was sent to work on the set design of the high schools production of The Producers. She painted an eagle on the back wall.

When it came time to decide on a college and a major Louka already knew that she wanted to be an animator. At this point in her life she loved Disney passionately and typically drew cartoons and faces more than anything else. She likes to sit in a crowded room and pick out the most interesting people and draw them.

Picture of Louka’s women. Photo by Hannah Wigandt.

Now being apart of the animation department for three years she has definitely learned a lot. Her dream is to animate for Disney or illustrate for children’s books.

Reflecting back on her experience with art in both her schools she is grateful that she was able to have an opportunity to explore art in any form. Both her schools encouraged artistic abilities, and she learned that art is truly everywhere you go and without it there would be no culture.

“That is why Cyprus, specifically, took art so seriously,” said Louka. “I think European countries as a whole take art seriously because you don’t go to Rome or Madrid for nothing you go to see the art, the buildings the sculptures. It is there culture.”

With the new administration pondering the idea of dropping the funding to the arts in schools, there are a lot of scared people, including Louka.

“Art is everywhere. If you take art away from these students then what else is left?” said Louka. “Everything else would not exist. No books, no movies. Children need a outlet to express themselves in any way possible, not just the arts but in any subject.”

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