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Meet Ana Dria in Denton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Dria.

Ana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Art has always been a huge part of my life and has only become more and more relevant since moving to Denton. I first picked up photography as a hobby at the age of 11 and never really stopped. I spent most of my adolescence taking photographs of my friends and making performative short films to express unresolved feelings I had – and still do have – about existence as a whole. With completing both a 365 day photo project my freshman year of high school, as well as a 52 week photo project the following year, creating photographs has become second nature. As I’ve gotten older, my work has become much more experimental and is focused on the concept of living in between reality and a dreamlike state of mind. Currently, I’m double majoring in both Photography and New Media, with a minor in Marketing and I plan to graduate spring of 2019!

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 struggled and still struggle with mental health issues, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and dissociative disorder. My escape has always been creating art, and I found my own voice that could visually portray the state of mind I was in. When I realized that my art could reach a wider audience that also faced the same struggles, I researched countless magazines and photographers that focused on similar themes as I did. I reached out to those I looked up to the most – even got the chance to meet and collaborate with a few – and submitted my work to any and every publication that caught my interest. If I’ve learned anything from my experience, it’s that persistence is the most important aspect to pursuing anything you’re passionate about.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ana Dria – what should we know?
My photography and video work is known for its surrealist themes and aesthetics. I shoot primarily with 35mm film which allows me to access a completely different atmosphere in my work that isn’t usually available in a digital format. I apply this in every collaboration I do, and learning what inspires others to make art also influences the way I shoot. As far as my video work, my portfolio consists of personal performative works as well as several music videos.

Visually, I pull inspiration from my favorite artists such as Edie Sunday, Neil Krug, and Dana Trippe. Music also plays an influential role on how I work, primarily consisting of 80s Japanese funk and other dreamy tunes that help me create a specific experience I’m portraying.

My ability to connect with as many people as I have through doing what I love is what I’m most proud of. The friends I’ve made through creating art together is something that I value immensely. Having fun and feeling free is the best part of making art, otherwise there’s no point!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
There are several qualities to the way I live and how I function as a person that have fueled me towards success. Learning how to be self-motivated from a young age and surrounding myself with other inspiring friends who are also passionate about their creative endeavors has allowed me to grow tremendously. Feeling free to create anything and everything in a safe and open environment among close friends is really what has helped me flourish and has continued to be a source of motivation and inspiration to continue making art.

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