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Meet Athena Aquino

Today we’d like to introduce you to Athena Aquino.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I currently attend ArtCenter College of Design with a BFA in Graphic Design. I discovered my passion for design growing up in a small town in rural Michigan. From there, I realized the limitations of my environment and sought to explore the world beyond the medical, lawyer and maker man mentality. I started my endeavor into the creative world by starting my own photography business. Not only was I able to create and conceptualize my own photoshoots, but provide an unforgettable memorable experience for the subject themselves. I found this feeling of creating something for the experience of others was something I treasured and made it a goal to find a career doing so. My sister also pursued a creative career, unlike most of my medical relatives, and persuaded me to move to Los Angeles to refine my craft as not only a designer but an artist.

Please tell us about your art.
My art is themed around the experience. I work in motion and interaction design, which revolves around telling a story and taking a user through an experience. Motion is an underrated weapon in design. You are able to bring life and personality to a brand that would otherwise live two dimensionally. You can animate the transitions of pages on a screen. You can create graphics that animate as someone speaks.

And the stories you can tell by adding animation to a design makes us all feel a little more connected to each other. If everything was still and sterile, we wouldn’t be able to tell the emotion of the design. That emotion is something I seek to add in my personal artwork, branding, and animations.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I believe artists are essential to forming perspective. Without artists, we wouldn’t be able to resonate and understand people not similar to us. Being from Michigan, I saw a handful of artists from lower income groups rise in places like Flint and Detroit, creating art to have their voice heard. I believe art is not for just the elite, but for everyone who needs a little more understanding of the world. With the saturation of artists on social media, it’s hard to find the artists that truly embody that strong message. But cities like Los Angeles can shine a light on these upcoming artists from lower income groups and give them an opportunity for their voice to be heard.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is on my website and on my Instagram @tengakino.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Credits to Athena Aquino and Wesley Chen

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