Four drawings by student artist Shenuka Corea. Top left, a pieced called

Shenuka Corea, an NYU Abu Dhabi student artist who is from Sri Lanka, draws inspiration for her comics from her experiences, the natural world, and her friends. “A lot of the art I make I think of as gifts for people,” she says. “It helps me really commit to making a good piece.” Because so many different things influence her work, she chose to study at a university where she could explore and find plenty of inspiration. “At a liberal arts college like NYU Abu Dhabi, you can try everything before deciding what you want to do,” she explains. And she did. In addition to her Art and Art History major, she also added minors in Interactive Media, Theatre, and Literature.

Shenuka plans to pursue a career in comic books and children’s book illustration. In fact, some of the pieces on this page are characters she hopes to use in future work. But here, you’ll see a comic she drew especially for Meet NYU about a campus cat. Like many cities, Abu Dhabi has a sizable population of stray and abandoned cats. In their wanderings, some find their way to NYU Abu Dhabi. Various campus organizations take charge of neutering and vaccinating the cats. Then they are allowed to freely roam the campus, where there is plenty of food and fresh water left out for them. These unofficial NYU Abu Dhabi mascots are friendly sources of support, especially during stressful times.

A comic drawn by student artist Shenuka Corea. Panel one: A female NYU Abu Dhabi student wearing a head scarf sits on the grass surrounded by her books and backpack. A cat sits nearby. Panel two: The cat remembers fishing through dumpsters looking for food. Panel three: The student remembers studying and feeling stressed out. Panel four: The cat remembers getting into a fight with another cat. Panel five: The student remembers people partying in her dorm and making it hard for her to focus. Panel five: The cat sees the girl. Panel six: The girl sees the cat. Panel seven: The cat sits in the girl's lap as she sits on the grass. They both feel much less stressed out.

Cat has been telling NYU stories for nearly 10 years with NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications and is constantly inspired by what the people of this community make real. She’s also a proud alum of the NYU MFA program in creative writing, and runs a literary magazine in her free time. When she needs to get away from words, she does work in her neighborhood gardens and parks.