Odra Dorante: Portrait of a Young, Wanderlust-Filled Artist

Name: Odra Dorante

Age: 19

Year: Freshman

Major: History

Hometown: Wellington, FL

Relationship Status: Single

HerCampus (HC): Personally knowing you, you’ve always had a love for history. What made you decide to major in it?

Odra Dorante (OD): From day one I’ve always loved just knowing things. My grandfather escaped World War 2 from Italy; he then came to Venezuela on a military ship. He never taught my mom and family Italian when they were growing up. He kind of kept his life in Italy secret from us. I’ve always wanted to know about that though, and knowing where I came from. Because of this, I’ve developed a love for finding the history behind things.

HC: So have you ever been to Italy?

OD: Yes! The first time I went to Europe was to Italy, and it lasted around two weeks. We travelled around all of Italy starting from Rome and going to the town where my grandfather is from, Flumeri. It’s a really small town and it was actually emotional when we arrived there because I met family who I’d never seen before. What was really special though was that my mom’s godmother lived in this town, and they were literally a street down from where we staying. It was an amazing moment when we finally got to meet them, especially for my mom.

Photo courtesy of Odra. Location: Salzburg, Austria

HC: So, you also told me that you’ve travelled quite a bit. What are some other places you’ve been and what is your favorite place?

OD: I would say Austria Is my favorite! It definitely has to be because of the nature aspect of the country. Everything is so fresh there, and the country itself is very clean. The people are also sweet. Vienna was an elegant city and you can tell it’s a city that is moved by the arts. Museums and monuments are everywhere. Besides that, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic are other places I’ve visited.

Photo courtesy of Odra. Location: Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

HC: What made you decide on London for after college?

OD: Well, first of all I’ve never been there. I’ve also been interested in the accents, I’m not going to lie! Really, it stems from my love of British music, especially the Beatles. Somehow I just gravitated towards British bands. The fashion aspect is definitely another reason. My dad has also been there and has told me nothing but good things. Another reason would have to be because of the weather; I absolutely love it. I’m not a person that loves the beach, so it works out well. Eventually, I know I’ll find out whether I like the city when I’m there.

HC: Do you plan on attending a university there?

OD: Yes, I’m not entirely sure which one though. It will have to do with fashion and the arts though.

HC: What are some of your hobbies?

OD: Photography, haha. Reading and watching documentaries also. I like to learn through watching historical movies. Blogging about my vegan lifestyle is also becoming an avid hobby.

HC: I saw some of your photographs recently, and they’re really good! Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers, or even those who take it up as an amateur hobby?

OD: Yes I do, I would definitely say just go for it. Grab a camera and just take photos. Personally, I’ve never taken classes, I just picked up a camera and did my thing. You become inspired by everything around you. Eventually you develop a style and start recreating things that are special to you, like nature. I would just suggest taking lots of photos and you’ll find a common thing to focus on. If I were to say anything, it’s that it’s not all about the camera, price doesn’t matter. You need to learn to use what you have. Then, you can invest. Also, don’t be afraid, because that will hold you back from experimenting.

HC: Are you involved in any activities on campus?

OD: I’m going to start becoming more involved with Vensa (Venezuelan Student Association). It’s an important cause to me so I’m starting to attend more meetings. Also, I’m going to try becoming involved with a fashion magazine on campus. Networking is also a huge thing for me, and is key, in my opinion. I believe everything goes back to networking and knowing people. It also could help me with my future career.