I wrote this bio for the cover art that I did for Tera Vale Ragan‘s book of poetry, Reading the Ground, published by Word Works DC. [I'll post the cover art soon! Tera's book comes out this month! She is an AMAZING poet, person, peer, friend, everything. Her poems in Reading the Ground take the reader through her reconstruction of the narrative of her family's immigration to Pittsburgh from Slovakia. Her words slow-down while also traveling backwards-in time, capturing different generations, landscapes, and journeys. Poetry is her bag, baby. I can't wait to get my hands on the first edition! You can buy the book here.]
Lorna Alkana’s artwork uses layers of lines, colors, and language to create visual essays for a digital world. Lorna graduated from USC and is a Teach for America alum. She is the artist of a graphic biography of the French, feminist Suzanne Voilquin, A Solitary Path, published by The Graphic History Collective. Some of her other publications include A Surreal Coloring and Story Book and Windows: A Story Told Through Windows, Frames and Screens. You can find Lorna’s past and present art and writing on her blog (lornaalkana.com), where she discusses and animates her process. Lorna lives in Los Angeles, California.
Note: I do have arms and there is only one of me.
My art is for sale, and I do commissions. Send me an email if you’re interested in some lorna-eyed art. firstname.lastname@example.org
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In the interest of full disclosure I figured I should post an actual photo and introduce myself. My name is Lorna Alkana, and I’m a 24 year old lady living in Los Angeles. I had a great high school experience in the Creative Writing conservatory at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in Santa Ana. I continued my writing pursuits at the University of Southern California where I majored in English-Creative Writing and took on a fabulous interdisciplinary minor in Cultural Studies. Since I loved reading and writing and talking about reading and writing I figured teaching English would be a logical next step, so I joined Teach for America in 2009. A lovely charter school in San Fernando hired me. I taught middle school English for over 2 years and worked relentlessly to develop curriculum, track student achievement, and get to know the school’s community, my colleagues, and the quirky little people who I taught.
When I was teaching, I always included visual aids to help students connect with the ideas we were discussing. If I couldn’t find images or graphic organizers that fit, I made my own. One of the most successful units I created was on comic books. As I helped my students develop an appreciation for graphic narratives, I also became more interested in the genre. I’ve always found (and heard) that I should write what I know. So here I am: looking for work, figuring out how honest I can be in my writing, and grappling with what it means to be an autobiographical cartoonist.
I like: Elizabeth Bishop, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Bechdel, Wertz, Vanessa Davis, Aimee Bender, strong female characters, surrealist games, creative collectives, intellectual conversation (is this douchey?), palimpsests, the writing process, poetry, reading aloud, grammar, chalking, and mild debauchery. I like a whole bunch of other things, of course, but I’m working on being concise.
June 2, 2012