Lotic

Artist Profile - Allison Conway

Presented by Lotic Stories Lab

We all need a little help sometimes. But help does not always mean that we need saving. Help appears in many forms. It can help to be seen and heard. It can help to be validated. And sometimes, when we ask for help, what we really want is collaboration. In that spirit, Lotic Stories Lab engaged frequent collaborator Allison Conway for this installment of our Visual Moments series to help us reflect on the very notion of help itself.

The Prompt: Get Help When You Need It

And Allison’s response…

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Lotic Stories Lab asked Allison to tell us the story of her creation process.

Lotic Stories Lab: Tell us a bit about your artistic practice and history?

I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, near a swamp where I stared at tiny organisms in the murky waters for hours. On hot summer nights, the humming of the mosquitoes and the peeping of the frogs was so intense that our backyard sounded like a spaceship. I watched painted turtles make their journey from the water to a sunny hill to lay their eggs. A few times I rescued the baby turtles from their buried nests when the soil was too hard for them to dig through.

My comics and illustrations are inspired by this wetland and delve into worlds hidden within worlds, and organisms of all sizes. I have always had a passion for animals and I work to highlight their place in our world. I explore the serious and the fanciful, often combining elements of both horror and humor to convey my message.

Lotic Stories Lab: What role do you think storytelling and creativity can play when it comes to mental health?

I think that everyone’s experience is individual but we have elements in common. Creative storytelling can put those elements into a framework that can be shared. I believe this sharing can promote connections, understanding and healing.

Allison Conway is an illustrator and cartoonist living in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration in 2016. She has worked with clients like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and Yale University, and for over two years has published a comic strip in Vice about a pillbug named Millie. Her first graphic novel, The Lab, was published by Top Shelf Productions in March of 2020.

To see other instalments in our Visual Moments series, check out our discussion with artist Lara Antal.

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