WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Arts Council of Wichita Falls offers art classes of every genre, but it’s the art of anime that program coordinator Kristine Thueson said is taking everyone by storm.

“I can remember twenty years ago anime was this weird Japanese thing that people who were interested in Japanese culture or that specific kind of drawing, they knew what it was and they were familiar with it,” Thueson said.

Anime refers to a style of cartoon that is produced or inspired by Japanese animation. Its growing popularity is why Thueson said she knew they had to offer it.

“It’s very popular with the kids, and it’s a really good entry way for some of those students who may feel like art isn’t really their thing,” Thueson said.

The success of the anime class, Thueson said, is in large part to art instructor Kelly Land, a lover of everything anime.

“Teaching here at the Kemp Center, one of my friends approached me about teaching anime classes here, and I was like ‘Okay, that sounds like a dream come true’,” Land said.

Land gets to live out that dream every class that she spends with her students, like Lorelei Mitchell.

“Some number of years ago I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t sketch or anything,” Mitchell said. “I could kind of just draw stick figures and that was about it, and my mom signed me up to get into this, and that’s how I got here, and it feels great I can make stuff now.”

Seeing that progress is something these students and Land never get tired of seeing.

“The principles that I show them can continue past them being in class, and I tell my students that all the time,” Land said. “It’s one thing for me to teach you in class, but you have to take it home, practice it and keep it with you.”

The program has become one the council is immensely proud of.

“We can have kids right here in Wichita Falls who are able to interact with this art form that comes from a completely different culture; it’s wonderful,” Thueson said.

The Arts Council plans to continue teaching everyone to embrace this different, yet beautiful, form of art.

For details on how you can attend the next anime art class offered by the Arts Council, check out their website here.