Artist’s Corner: Maya Cohler

Emma Stroh, Reporter, Photographer

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Self-taught until her junior year of high school, senior Maya Cohler has always had a love for art. “I just thought going to an art class would be boring,” Cohler said. “However, Art Fundamentals here was actually really helpful and helped me improve way faster.” Since taking this class Cohler has seen her artwork evolve from graphite portraits into complicated works of pop art and realism, as seen in the portrait above.

When creating artwork, inspiration is never far. “I’m very inspired by the music I listen to,” Cohler said. “Sometimes I’ll draw something based off the lyrics.” In the beginning of her artistic career another source of inspiration was pictures in graphic novels and comic books. “I observed the artwork I saw in my readings and wanted to put it together into my own style.”

As an artist, Cohler enjoys the freedom in creating various forms of art. The art program specifically has allowed her to work with acrylic paints, a tool she had never worked with before but now enjoys. “We’re given a lot of creative freedom, just like U-High in general,” Cohler said. “You get to choose the subjects you’re going to paint and what you’re going to
work with.”

After dealing with bullying and mental health issues, Cohler attributes art to helping her cope. “It started out as a way to express what was in my head and open up a way of talking,” Cohler said. In one of her favorite pieces she uses a variety of colors to express emotion and the ways in which we express ourselves. “At first it [art], started out as just a distraction, but now it’s definitely become something deeper to help me express myself.”

High school art classes will definitely not be the end of Cohler’s art career as she plans to pursue a career in animation. Creating animation for Disney or Pixar, or even cartoons on TV is a dream for Cohler. However, she can also envision herself as an art teacher, as it’s always been about her passion for art. No matter the path she takes Cohler is adamant that her goal will be to inspire others. “I want to inspire people to create their own art, whether it be artwork of music,” Cohler said. “Art is such a powerful tool.”

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