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Penn State Visual Art Spotlight: Llanakila

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It’s my pleasure to introduce to you Victoria, a budding artist here at Penn State. Those who are familiar with her artwork know her as Llanakila.

Onward State had the opportunity to meet up with the student/graffiti-style visual artist to check out the spectacular works of art she creates daily from the solitary environment of her dorm in Eastview Terrace.

Llanakila (pronounced la-na-key-la) is a Hawaiian name which means “victorious,” which was a name given to Victoria, a junior majoring in print making, when she attended a luau in Hawaii. The name stuck.

From looking at her artwork, you might notice that her designs resemble street graffiti. Llanakila loves street art, but doesn’t participate for fear of getting arrested, which makes sense to me. But the influence is present in her fat paint marker strokes and colors that pop from the canvas.

Llanakila’s art focuses on the emotions that spark her inspirations. Being a military child, she went through five high schools and found making new friends in new high schools to be difficult. During this time she had to herself, she expressed her emotions through artwork. Through intricate lines and hidden words within the pieces, she hopes that her work will evoke similar emotions in her audience.

She begins her daily creation of artwork with an emotion and goes right in. She’s not a huge fan of strict plans, and usually has no clear image of what the final piece will look like.

Although she knew she wanted to pursue art since the tenth grade, Llanakila didn’t major in art at first. Her Penn State career began as a business major, but you know how the saying goes: you can take the girl out of the art, but you can’t take the art out of the girl.

“I can’t force myself to do something I don’t love,” she now says as a student in the school of visual art. And though she has her doubts about the department, she hopes to make the art scene more visible on campus in her remaining years at Penn State.

Llanakila is focusing her future creativity into print making. Print making allows her to create multiple pieces of art from the same print that are not necessarily copies of each other. Think Andy Warhol, minus the bananas and Campbell’s soup cans.

Her artwork has been recognized by Rihanna, as well as Asher Roth. After making a piece depicting Rihanna, Llanakila received a favorite on Instagram from the singer. LLanakila, an avid fan of Asher Roth, made a print of the rapper, which he received and tweeted about after his show at the HUB last semester.

Now, the State College community can take home a piece of Llanakila’s art. Her pins are available for sale at Uncle Eli’s, with a price of $1 for the smaller pins and $3 for the larger ones. Check them out. Seriously, they’re awesome. For instance, I have a pin with an image of Spongebob, Squidward, and Gary getting high. And if you hit up Llanakila on one of her social media accounts, you can arrange to buy a print. 140 characters separates you from owning an original design from an artist that’s redefining art at Penn State.

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About the Author

Yuka Narisako

Yuka legally immigrated to the United States via airplane in 1996 from the small island nation of Japan. Since then she has migrated throughout the country and now identifies herself as a senior majoring in Architectural Engineering. The Shandygaff is her Happy Place, though she was once kicked out of the establishment after breaking her shoe and screaming “I LOVE DAY DRINKING. I’M HAVING FUN.” Yuka is overly enthusiastic about life in general, but especially Ja Rule, Halloween, and the puffy black vest she purchased from the Gap. You can reach her at [email protected], or through Twitter @yukahontass.


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