Artist Statement

Emma Akins

            In my practice I am interested in imagery and dialogue working together to create a story.  In general my work is very abstract and nonrepresentational. My goal in my work is to create comics, paintings, or illustrations that tell a story that my audience can connect with. My goal is to use comedy to transform sad or tragic content, into relatable, humorous art.

            I often like to take note of funny moments or comments  I experience  in my daily life and use them to create gag cartoons or abstract illustrations. I want my audience to look at my abstract illustrations at first as meaningless and only visually appealing, but then realize that in it’s meaningless there is profundity and emotion that they can relate deeply to.

I get a lot of influence through other people’s sadness or problems by trying to comfort them through telling their story through a light, comedic approach that helps others understand their situation and show that many experience the same things.

I get a lot of my influences through my own experiences with the death of my father and the mourning process. Along with this part of my life, the idea of what kind of father he was when he was in my life continues to be questioned. His morals and my memories of him often are portrayed through my stories. I also ask my friends and other artists their experiences with their parental figures or fathers. I use the relationship between a child and a father a lot to show the importance of having a loving parent to have a prosperous childhood.

            The materials I use the most in my practice would be ink, prismacolor markers, pastels, oil paint, and adobe illustrator. My process usually starts with an idea or experience from my own life or others. I write a script or poem to express my idea. Then I explore my thoughts in gestural drawing and finally thumbnail out what my comic or illustration will look like. I then create the final piece after carefully dissecting my intention and visual decisions. I work with a very bright, colorful palette. I really enjoy deep saturation and cartoon representation.

I’ve been exploring the human figure a lot lately to improve my graphic novel skills and to portray my figures in the most realistic ways as possible. I take as many figure drawing and painting classes as I can. I also have been exploring with comic narrative and how to get my point across as clear and concise as possible. By playing around with word choice, image placement, and panel design I hope to create artwork that people enjoy and continue to want to read.