Students showcase creativity while off-campus

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Amidst the chaos of the pandemic, students have unleashed their creative sides through opportunities outside of school. Juniors Sam Akumalla, Cece Labowe and senior Halley Chang have used art to express themselves by dedicating time to pursue and develop their interests after school.

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Sam Akumalla painted “Beauty of Nature”, “Gracious Great-Grandmother”, “Wonders Of nature” and “Swirls of Color”.
Photos published with permission from Sam Akumalla.

Winner of John Wayne Airport’s Student Art Contest in 2019 and art student at Irvine High, Akumalla has been pursuing her passion for art since she was eight. She expresses herself through sketches and painting while continuing to send her artwork for additional contests during summer and breaks.
“I first identify what my perspective is on the topic and then I illustrate it later,” Akumalla said. “Then, I use my skills and unique abilities to perfect that piece.”

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Photos published with permission from Halley Chang.

Chang expresses her creativity through painting, drawing and digital art. She has aspired to be an artist since elementary school and is planning to attend college as an art major. Chang accommodates time after school to perfecting her art as well as her art portfolio for college applications.
“Quarantine has allotted a lot more time for me to work on projects, especially since being at home, a place of comfort for me, has been helpful in my creative process,” Chang said. “Being stuck at home and seeing all this chaos unfold I have used my time to create commentary artwork based on those experiences.”

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Cece Labowe performs in musicals through the Musical Theater Academy of Orange County.
Photos published with permission from Cece Labowe.

Theater enthusiast Labowe has used performing arts as a medium to showcase her creativity. Her zeal for the arts is evident for she was in the Freaky Friday musical last year, is currently preparing for the Little Women Musical, and is in choir. Furthermore, she does two shows a year through the Musical Theater Academy of Orange County since the age of eleven.

“I like performing because it allows me to make new connections with people and I am happier because I have a creative outlet to express myself through,” Labowe said. “It has its own flow and it is a lot easier and better for me when I’m performing.”
These artists have utilized the extra time the pandemic granted to deepen their interest and find a sense of normalcy amidst the uncertainty. However, visual and performing arts are not the only creative outlets as creativity comes from individuality and imagination.
“Everyone is creative in their own way,” Akumalla said. “The first step would be to find how one wants to show their creativity and what original ideas they have. Creativity comes from thinking outside the box.”