I am a primarily self-taught artist - I have been creating illustrations, character designs, graphic art, and comic-style art since I was eight. My mediums are focused on ink pen and digital art, initially utilizing GIMP in my teens, but I've now gravitated to Procreate (1 year) and Canva (3 years). I am also a self-taught art director focusing on minority-inclusive, unconventional activist artworks. I've developed character designs, logos, poster art, solo illustration, and comic projects over the years.
“I’m Proud of Who I Am!” & Kimball Jenkins School of Art, in Concord, NH
At age 11 in 2011, I was accepted into Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord, NH, on full scholarship and took adult human figure, sketching watercolor, and acrylic classes from 11-16. I was mentored by watercolor painter and retired graphic designer Sylvia Brofos and took human figure classes led by local artist Ian Torney and various other local artists. My first initial course with him was "Intensive Class For Technical Aspects Of The Human Figure." I also studied illustration with Australian fine artist Kim Roth, who sadly passed away a few years ago, and comic artist Sara Costello.
Between the ages of 13-16, after years of facing racism and bullying in American public schools after returning from Japan, I created a solo anti-bullying moving art show series titled "I'm Proud of Who I Am!" which showcased digital and ink artworks I made while recovering from bullying. This was in collaboration with my Mom, Claire Jones, alongside an adult student artist and classmate from Kimball Jenkins. While attending the virtual charter school VLACS as part of my healing from bullying, I took a custom Career Exploration Course focused on comic art & illustration and a Digital Imaging course on GIMP.
Comic Art, Illustration & Graphic Design
At age 17, I interned with Ataraxia Studios, a virtual indie comic studio, and helped develop character designs and comic concepts for fantasy and sci-fi stories. During that period, I created a logo for Seedling In The Wind MicroFarm, a farm based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, which was my first paid gig.
Between 12 and 18, I won gold and silver Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for comic art, illustration, and character designs. At age 18, I won a Gold Key for my comic character, Emo Bunny, a bunny girl with an anxiety disorder featured in a comic titled "Emo Bunny: Anxiety Monster," and a Silver Portfolio Key for my project, "Hidden Demons of Anxiety," inspired by my childhood in Japan and my experiences with trauma and my anxiety disorder. In winter 2021, "Hidden Demons" was showcased in a Boston gallery, Unbound Visual Arts, in an art show titled "Invisible Disabilities."
My current work is focused chiefly on self-taught graphic design for Sista Creatives Rising, a project Co-founded by my Mom and me. We develop a virtual charitable art and film event, "Art & Mind," which helps creative folk who are marginalized women and marginalized genders gain "accessibility and visibility in the arts to facilitate personal healing." For this project and the Art & Mind events, where we curate and showcase documentaries about marginalized artists, I create poster art, graphics, logos, icons, YouTube thumbnails, and concept art. For our second Art & Mind event, "Journeys of Women of Color & Femme-Expressing Creatives," on October 5th, 2023, I led 15 people over 11 months with a core Art Direction Team of four. This included my Assistant Graphic Designer, Nabila Nugroho, and my Assistant Art Director, Linlin Yu. We created concepts and artwork for the documentaries.
At this time, I am a member of Socially Distant Art, a virtual residency focusing on disabled artists and allies, which teaches artists how to make their art more accessible to the disabled community. I also focus on creating graphics for Sista Creatives Rising videos and virtual workshops. Our first workshop was in August 2023, hosted virtually by Boston Public Library. This was a workshop about my Mom's cancer journey, titled "A 50% Chance of Paralysis: How I Utilized Journaling As Self-Reflection During Cancer Treatment."
Additional Self-Taught Skills
I was accepted into SCAD in 2019. However, I was unable to attend due to my disabilities and lack of funds. As an alternative, I focused on creating virtual art shows that are disability accessible. In 2020, I worked with ARTivism Initiative, a small, now disbanded, grassroots project in Massachusetts, and was the Art Coordinator and lead on graphic design for their BLM art show, "This is a Movement, Not a Moment," creating their open call graphic for the event. I also made graphics and artwork showcased by The Painted Brain, a mental health-focused organization in Los Angeles, for their virtual disability art show, "Discovering a Place For Us." "Emo Bunny" was featured in a voice-acted comic showcase called "Emo Bunny: Anxiety Monster - in "Anomie." In addition, an artwork series in collaboration with my Mom, titled "Curls and Curves," highlighting plus-sized dark-skinned Black women and the beauty of natural hair, was featured in a dance project led by Tab & Kait Productions at this event. Another series, "Surviving in Isolation: The Black Mental Health Experience," illustrates how Black people continuously face discrimination in mental healthcare and was showcased at this event.