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Concord commuter converts her daily BART ride into art therapy session

<i>KPIX via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Joanna Sokua takes BART every day to get to work.
KPIX via CNN Newsource
Joanna Sokua takes BART every day to get to work. "I work for a bank and I help small business owners with their ventures

By Andrea Nakano

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    CONCORD, California (KPIX) — If you ride BART, you might have been the subject of an artist’s creation and may not know it. For almost 10 years, a Concord woman has been creating “BARToons,” taking people she sees and placing them into a pop-culture scene.

Joanna Sokua takes BART every day to get to work. “I work for a bank and I help small business owners with their ventures,” Sokua said.

When she’s not crunching numbers, she uses her 37-minute BART ride into San Francisco to do what she loves — creating art.

“Something catches my eye, I’ll be like ‘Oh my God! That’s really interesting,'” she said. “I know exactly what I want to draw at that point.”

She has transformed her fellow BART riders into Scooby Doo characters, Vincent Van Gogh, Superman and Spiderman. Sokua’s version of Doc Brown was one of many to comment on her Instagram page.

“I’m the guy in the white jump suit,” she reads. “I love your work. It’s so much fun. You can take my picture in BART anytime. In real life, I’m not really interesting as the character you made me into. Keep up the great work.”

While Sokua’s 9-to-5 banking job pays the bills, drawing is something she’s loved to do since she was a child.

“It’s like my creative outlet,” she said. “My break from that daily routine, you know?”

She never knows when an idea will pop into her mind. Sokua just people-watches and lets the ideas come to her.

“I think the beauty of taking BART is that you see people from all walks of life,” she said. “It’s amazing.”

Sokua hopes to keep doing this for years to come so don’t be surprised to see her snapping pictures of you on BART.

“I don’t mean to offend anyone, it’s just more for fun,” she said. “If I can make someone laugh or smile for just a minute or two, you know, I’ll keep doing it.”

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