We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Akpan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
My ultimate goal is to create art that is genuine and earnest. That has always been my goal with any project I’ve done. . I hate the idea of making something purely for the sake of popularity or something that is a watered down version of what I originally envisioned. I like drawing, making up characters and telling stories! Simple as that. And I feel that comics and animation are the coolest ways to do that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I draw! I do comics and illustrative work primarily, but I do fiddle in animation occasionally. I like to explore love, humor and nostalgia through my characters. Playing with the expectations you may have for different relationships has always intrigued me and I always seem to be drawn to that sort of stuff. A lot of my work deals with “love” or the grand, dramatic feelings a person may have for a person or a thing. Maria, a character of mine, is the epitome of someone with these wild expectations of true love. Having her begin to navigate the world with two, slightly older girls who are in many way the antithesis of this way of thinking has been a fun project that I’ve really enjoyed working on. I think in many ways it’s definitely me coming to terms with these opposing feelings with not only love, but relationships and a person’s coming of age. I attempt to approach all of this with an exaggerative style with an emphasis on color and expression. I want to bring a sense of whimsicality to my work. Currently, I’m working through my first graphic novel, as well smaller projects and freelance work.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to my family & friends, both online and in person, for supporting my work and pushing me to pursue art seriously in the first place. I especially wanna shout out my significant other Roger, who has always been an inspiration for my own work and encourages me to do better.