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Meet Anya Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anya Martin.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Anya. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in the Bay Area, surrounded by a family of accountants. However, I have always been interested in art and comics since I was in elementary school, and didn’t think that was something I could pursue. In high school, I realized other subjects didn’t give me the same satisfaction and freedom that art did. When I expressed my interest, my art teacher helped me look into art schools. I found out about CalArts and visited the school, and something just clicked for me. I loved the campus, and the interactions between the different programs, and knew I had to go there. In the end, I wasn’t accepted on my first try. There was so much I still had to learn. I decided to take a year off to work on my portfolio, attend community college, and try again the next year.

At the beginning of community college, it was very hard for me to adjust because many of my friends moved away for college. It was very lonely at first, but I slowly became more comfortable with myself and finding everyday little things meaningful. I took some animation and story classes to improve my skills, but some of the most beneficial moments I had that year was when I would be alone sketching out story ideas. That year taught me so much about myself and where my interest leaned towards.

After lots of practice and dedication, I applied to CalArts for a second time and was accepted. I am now going into my fourth year at CalArts. I have learned so much from my program and my amazing peers. I’ve learned a lot from classes, but my friends are what makes the experience all the more amazing. We have done a handful of films together and are constantly working on new things. This summer, we worked on an animation podcast called “Onion Skins Podcast,” as well as a short film. I have grown substantially since my first year at CalArts, but I am constantly learning and growing.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I struggle with comparing myself to others and feeling lost. When I got into CalArts, I was constantly second-guessing myself on whether or not I was good enough to be there. Being surrounded by many talented people made me self-conscious about my work, which still happens at times. However, I am reminded by my wonderful friends that we are all here because we showed the potential for more. Another worry of mine is that I will fall behind. Many of my friends know what career path they want to take, but I am still trying to figure out mine. The uncertainty is scary, but I am slowly getting there and learning more about myself and what I want. It will take some time, but I have to respect the process and go at my own pace.

Please tell us more about your art.
I’ve been focusing on figuring how to express the kinds of stories I want to tell. I love stories that come from my childhood, and relating it to things I have learned now. I want to branch out into different mediums such as poetry or video games. I find it fascinating how each of these mediums has different means of telling a story and how personal they can be. I think a story that can capture a nostalgic personal feeling is the kind of story that means the most to me and makes me feel more connected to the characters and creators. I would love to make something like that in the future.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I cherish most of my memories from my childhood. There are many moments that I love, but one of my favorite memories is from middle school when my friends and I biked home together. I didn’t bike to school but everyone else did so I’d hop on the back of one of their bikes. I’d sit on this little attachment on the back and we’d all bike together like a flock of geese. I loved going down the wide streets and cracking jokes as we rode. One time it was raining and I thought it would be too dangerous if I sat on the back so I told my friend to hold our backpacks and I ran after them. I got completely drenched on the way back home, but I loved breathing in the wet cement smell. Not caring about anything at the moment was amazing. These memories remind me of how I’ve grown and who I am. It helps me appreciate what I’ve been through and learn more about myself. I adore those moments.

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Image Credit:
Minha Song

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