Student Highlight: Why Aria Is Excited About Sora’s Design Track

Aria is a current Sora student and an artist aspiring for a future full of painting and digital design. She shares how Sora’s Design Track has opened up new opportunities to develop her craft.


John: Welcome, Aria. How did you first find out about Sora?

Aria: I found out about Sora through an article about online schools. Sora caught my eye because of what it offered. The article explained how the program worked: project-based learning, working at your own pace–you don’t have to worry about tests online. I wanted to focus on art, so that really caught my eye. Sora seemed like a great opportunity for me to try. 

John:  What was your schooling background before joining Sora?

Aria: I’ve gone to public school all my life. I was just ending eighth grade when the pandemic hit.

John: Tell us about your public school experience. What was that like for you?

Aria: It was honestly not bad. I was pretty social. I am shy, but I would put myself out there in different groups. I didn’t just stick to one. But I did notice myself sharing better during online school. 

John: What helped you share better during online school at Sora?

Aria: So I have social anxiety. It’s better online because I have my breakfast without stressing, go to my classes, and get my work done. When the pandemic started, I was faring way better, and I was more attentive than when I was in public school. I had little breaks, and I didn’t have to worry about other students.

John: So it’s helped you to focus more on your academics and studies. 

Aria: Yeah. 

John: When you first joined Sora, what was it like for you as a new student?

Aria: It was really friendly and welcoming. At first, I was really nervous about getting situated with the faculty, students, and classes. But they were all really friendly and helpful, so it was easy to integrate myself within the school. 

John: Would you like to share any highlights about how you’ve been able to connect with other people at Sora?

Aria: Yeah, the houses. It’s very exciting. With my house, we actually got close enough where we exchanged numbers. And we have this group chat where we talk outside of school and plan to meet up. That’s really helped.   

John: That’s great. Let’s get into your interest in art. How has Sora helped you develop as an artist?

Aria: When I first joined, I connected to the Mentor Network. One of my Mentors teaches at SCAD. I reached out to him about having artwork that I would like to show. I wanted to know what type of portfolio I would need. I emailed a photo of my artwork, and he sent me a video back going over each piece, telling me what I can improve and what he liked about them. That really helped me because I’ve never had that kind of one-on-one professional feedback before. 

For one particular piece, I wasn’t good at shading and texturizing at the time. So he went over it and told me what applications I could use: what brushes, how I could fit the coloring and the palette. 

One of Aria’s favorite projects implementing perspective and shadow.

John: What about the Design Track? What has that been like for you?

Aria: Sora’s Design Track has really helped me. It lets you pick a project based on design. So I usually base mine around painting and digital art. Also with Design Track, I have a group of like-minded individuals. Since they have similar interests, we collaborate. It’s really helped me with working with people. It also has helped me to branch out into other forms of art. 

One of my peers–she was one of my review partners. I was working on a perspective piece, and she was working on a similar project. During the process, we shared the knowledge we already had with each other. Collaborating with her actually helped me see how the process works for other people rather than for just myself. I was kind of scared to talk to someone else about art, but this helped me see that it can be really helpful to collaborate with someone else. 

John: How are these art projects that you’re doing at Sora different from what you did in public school?

Aria: [Before Sora], the last time I actually had an art class was elementary school. In middle school, I didn’t get the chance to do an art class even though I asked. 

John: Oh, this is huge for you then. You didn’t have the ability to take an art class and practice the main thing that you’re wanting to do. 

Aria: Yeah. 

John: I’m glad that Sora has given you access to quality education in a career you want to prepare for. Is there anything else you want to share for people considering Sora?

Aria: Yeah, just be yourself–especially if you decide to try the Open House. Feel free to ask questions. I’m part of the student panel, and I notice that people can be afraid to ask questions. Ask about questions from your personal interests or school-related things. The faculty and other students there are always willing to help.

Interested In Learning More?

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