Meet Lorena

posted on January 16, 2018 by
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Lorena, an eighteen-year-old senior at Monterey High, has been a YACster for the past four years. She describes herself as “positive, kind, and hard-working,” although anyone who knows her would agree that’s an understatement. Engaged and responsible, she is a multi-talented artist who regularly helps out at our TAG (Teaching Across Generations) program. For Lorena, YAC is a place that is “freeing, happy, and inclusive.”

Lorena’s first memory of making art was in kindergarten, when her teacher gave the class a free art day. Lorena drew a classic theater stage – red curtains, wooden seats, and all - and a Barbie logo as the main attraction. She remembers with a laugh that she didn’t even know how to spell “Barbie.” These days Lorena works mostly in colored pencil, and loves drawing women and patterns in bold colors. She characterizes her art as “colorful, realistic, and feminine,” and she says her subject matter comes naturally because it’s simply whatever she finds beautiful or striking.

Lorena draws inspiration for her art from her friends at YAC, the vibrance and life of San Francisco, the ocean, and different world cultures. When she needs encouragement, she can always find it looking back at her old art and journals, or by means of her Upward Bound program - through the sense of self worth they help her find. Her other passions include studying, reading, outdoor activities (mainly biking and walking), and organization!

Growing up, Lorena says art was never the main focus in her family, and was always considered more of a hobby than a professional pursuit. In contrast, YAC is a place where her artwork is the priority. Lorena talks about how YAC has provided a space for her to create and explore her art in a caring community of artists (and without the pressure of selling). She remembers how amazing it felt showing at her first art opening here, and how impressed she was by all of the community support. Lorena says that YAC helped expand her view of the world – unveiling a myriad of art forms she had been unaware of, and that it’s also given her the opportunity to get to know so many different types of people from such varied backgrounds.

Looking forward, Lorena hopes to one day learn oil painting, and to explore assemblage-type sculptural projects as well as jewelry making. As far as her artwork is concerned, Lorena’s goals are to be well-known, and also to have patrons of her work. In ten years she would love to be teaching English in a vibrant Latin American country, or getting to work in her very own studio space in a bustling city.

Find Lorena’s magnificent and vivid art on Instagram @art_bylhr

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