Story by Tabatha Piper ‘15, public relations major
When Amanda Julca ’06 walked on Otterbein’s campus during a visit with her high school drawing teacher, she knew that this was the ideal place for her. Not only did the campus impress her but she fell in love with the art program.
Growing up, Julca was always involved in art classes and had an incredible group of art teachers who greatly impacted her. She felt that she could become an art teacher herself. She majored in fine arts with a concentration in computer art and painting. While student teaching and taking studio classes, however, she realized that teaching wasn’t her passion.
“It was a blessing that I went to Otterbein because I was able to learn early on that maybe I did not want to be an art teacher,” said Julca. “If I had gone to another school, I wouldn’t have found out for several years.”
Julca enjoyed the one-on-one conversations with her professors at Otterbein and felt that she had an incredible experience. Beyond the art department, Julca took some classes that provided her with memorable life lessons.
“I had some really great mentors and people that I could reach out to in the Otterbein community,” said Julca. “I know that I would have never gotten this if I would have gone to another school. With that being said and moving forward, I still stay in touch with them. They truly care about who you are as a person and you are not just another number.”
After graduating, Julca stayed in Columbus and became an art gallery director while also building a name for herself in photography. The economic recession five years later allowed her to shift gears and move to Miami, Fla. Miami has a thriving art scene, with a strong market of international buyers, and was less affected by the economic downturn. In Miami Julca became a full-time commercial and editorial photographer.
“I’m the type of person that if things start evolving, I let them happen,” said Julca. “If it feels right then I go for it. I never said no to digital photography and I have always felt that I can do everything that I want to as long as it happens.”
Ohio holds a special place in her heart but her work has taken her all over the world. She has been to places throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Rome and northern Spain. The UK and Greece are calling her this autumn.
Her advice to former students would be to build relationships with your professors and make the most out of those relationships. Professors have a lot to teach and to provide students, especially when embarking on a career path.
“Stay on campus and really get involved,” said Julca. “Be more present and be in more organizations. There are some really awesome people at Otterbein that I wish I could have connected with.”
Julca’s work can be found on her website: amandajulca.com