Ideas // July 8, 2015

JXTA Class of 2015: Meet Mai


Twelve apprentices at JXTA have reached that pivotal milestone in their lives: high school graduation. And we’re here to celebrate each one’s accomplishment. Learn more about Mai. #JXTAGraduates


Full name: Amairani Jonapa-Sanapria

JXTA Lab/Studio: Graphic Design Lab

How did you first hear about JXTA? 

I heard it because during my art clas at Washburn, Shelley came to talk to our class about it. I just got very interested in it at that time because I was looking for a job, and she said they train you and you get a little overview of everything an artist should know in the VALT program.

Whats the best thing about your lab?

I was a little bummed because I’m not familiar with computer and technology. But I told [my instructor] Ken, I’m willing to work hard and learn. I’m very open-minded so taking the whole experience in is the best part. And also working with the people here, they’re so funny and energetic and I just really love being around them. I think this is the best job I ever had – it’s so fun working with artists!

Experience at JXTA that you’re most proud of?

Getting my whole portfolio (from VALT) done in time. Because when I do something, I kind of feel like I take too much time on it because I want to get it perfect, but sometimes letting loose and just going with the flow is better than worrying about the little details. What I found is that if you don’t worry so much you can have something gorgeous that sometimes you don’t even see when you’re stressing out.

Advice for a potential VALT participant?

If you were to come, you will be willing to work and not complain because if you look at it, you are learning things someone else in the street might not know. Just taking those experiences in will be helpful for the future especially if you are into art, and that’s going to make you build and create anything you want.

Which color would you choose to sum up your experience at JXTA and why? 

I think my favorite color is green, but I can relate green to many things. Green is basically my ‘Go’ sign. And here at JXTA, green is telling me to never stop, and never stop trying, because I know that I’m an artist and this is what I want to do with my whole life.

You’re a high school graduate now! Where do you want to go or do next?

I always thought about this in three ways. I relate to my dad. We have a lot of stereotypes as Hispanics, like the women stay home and cook, and I know that’s not my future because I’m more of an outdoor person. So not only this year but a couple of years back, I started going out more, camping, and I love camping, I love being outside, working with people and bonding. I heard about Wilderness Inquiry and I got a little bit more information about them and I think that’s something I really want to do.

I also go and work in construction with my dad and I think that’s really fun because I get to make the blueprints and help him sketch out what he’s going to build because he remodels places and inside buildings.

The third thing that I’ve always wanted to do since I was little, is be a makeup artist. I love makeup and to me there’s different types of artists, there are tattoo artists – even people that work in construction, I think that’s art. For me, I feel like makeup is not to make you feel beautiful, because everyone is beautiful and sometimes we don’t see that in people. But I feel like make up is like a little touch of shimmer that can make you glow and remember how beautiful you are.

The most important thing about being an artist/designer/maker/creative is:

Being open minded and accepting all of the other work around you.

Read about another graduate!