Flux and focus.  I’m getting better at being concise.

self portrait sasha 85x11 w

Though I’m arting a lot these days,   I’m conflicted.  This blog is a place where I started to figure out my direction as an artist, and in the past few years, my trajectory has lead me away from it.  that’s how time works, it seems, but something isn’t right.  i miss figuring it out like i did when i didn’t know.

these days,  i’m mainly arting in the form of photo editing/manipulation and pattern making.  trying to get my many zine ideas together.  balancing work and school (i’m clearing my secondary english teaching credential).

i’m stoked to host the Los Angeles Word Salon (LAWS) in Echo Park on Sundays.  I draw its flyers based on photos from the salon.  Feels good to draw.

I want to come home.

simulacrum of a story 16x20 self portrait w

This iteration attempts to boil it/me down
24x36 lorna art poster3 centeredw)


I created this bio for my exhibition at the Frog Spot during the Frogtown Artwalk in early September 2014.  It’s a repetition  of my favorite, previous art/self-explanations plus a more concise and relevant summary of my origin story.  No new self portrait, yet.frogtown bio w


Lorna Alkana Self Portrait

I approach art with a love for process, interaction, ambiguity, symmetry, story, and the surreal. I represent female protagonists, moving clouds, and city stills.

I figure art is in the inbetween. In the gutters and in the gaps.

I bounce between Los Angeles and Orange County.


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.

Find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

My art is for sale, and I do commissions.  Send me an email if you’re interested in some lorna-eyed art.  lornaalkana@gmail.com

my name is lorna x 4


talk with mouth closed web

— — — — — — — — — —

This is my most recent explanation of myself.  I created a bio for the Hip Hipster’s Affordable Art Show (in LA in December 2012):
about lorna two columns12/26/2012 – Lorna


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

May 28,2012


Add yours →

  1. No disclaimers! But I do love the colors.

  2. I never checked out the disclosure before . Love it…

  3. Great stuff. I’m definitely going to have to sort through everything that you’ve posted. Thanks for following, by the way.

  4. Cool! Ditto!

  5. Hey, started following your blog today, I love what I’ve seen of your art so far! Thanks again for stopping by mine :)
    All the best, Liz

  6. lornayespeace May 3, 2012 — 6:09 pm

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks! Ditto!


  7. Hi! Thanks for the comment and the follow! I enjoyed looking at what you have so far, some cool stuff :D Looking forward to more.

  8. lornayespeace May 9, 2012 — 8:09 pm

    Thank you! Ditto!

  9. I do like your point of view. And your drawings and writing match up perfectly.

  10. Wow! Thank you so much! I’m definitely trying to develop my voice and figure out where I can go with it or where it will take me. I really appreciate your feedback!

  11. Hi! I really like your blog and I nominated it for a Lovely Blog Award :D Please visit http://lestwentytwo.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-lovely-blog-award/ for more details.

  12. Thanks for following my blog. I really like your care-free way of working. I’m currently busy with a course in creative writing and am looking forward to sharing my work. I’m currently figuring out the difference between irony and paradox.

  13. That’s great! Thank you! The way i understand it, irony is the unexpected. For example, you think you’re going to be late to the airport and miss a flight, but then you get there early and the flight has even been delayed. That’s ironic. A paradox is when two things are true that contradict each other. Paradoxes seem to be a type of irony, because such contradictions are unexpected. For example, I could be severely scared of heights, but only feel safe when I’m on a plane. It’s ironic because it’s unexpected that I’d be scared of heights and feel safe in planes. It’s a paradox because planes flight high in the sky, and if I feel safe up there, it contradicts my fear of heights. (These examples are probably plane related because I just got back from driving someone to the airport.)

  14. I like you[r art], too… I’m bad at hai[ku]…

    Once I tried my had at comics, it’s a lot of work, and I applaud you – I really love your Haiku piece, the artwork and the poetry both – it just works. I especially like all of the little details in the artwork, the floating leaves in the gutter for example. And as an earlier commenter mentioned, your color choices are lovely.

  15. lornayespeace July 3, 2012 — 2:32 pm

    Thank you so much! I appreciate your specific feedback! :)

  16. You have a really nice blog here. Love the colors.

  17. lornayespeace July 3, 2012 — 2:31 pm

    Thank you so much!

  18. I love your work, and I think the best part is how original your style is! Your story is also really great; I’ve always been interested in becoming a teacher!

  19. lornayespeace July 3, 2012 — 6:52 pm

    Great! Thank you!

  20. Hello Lorna! Thanks for liking, & following my blog! I had a chance to tool around here a bit this morning, and it’s very refreshing. You have a new follower. Glad to “meet” you!


  21. Hi Mike!

    Thanks for taking a look!

  22. Great ideas! Thanks for stopping by and following.

  23. Thanks for the like on my blog – mostly because it got me over to look at yours! Really like some of the coloured pencil/collage pieces you’ve been doing. Looking forward to seeing what you do with comics – like you, I’m only just starting to find out what I can do with them.

  24. Cool! Thank you!

  25. Hi, thanks for the support! Looking at ur blog, I really like the colours and the loose style you use, keep the good work coming!

  26. Thank you!

  27. ok, i’m loving your blog, your illustration style and use of color! so inspired by it. and inspired to do the 30-day challenge too! :) p.s. i went to usc [years & years ago] & majored in lit too (language emphasis) and one of my best friends went to ochsa (years & years before you :). what a small world. lovely to meet u! xoxo, yvette

  28. Haha! That’s great! Thank you so much for letting me know about your connection to USC and your friend’s connection to OCHSA! That’s crazy! I look forward to being blog buddies with you!

  29. Hi Lorna! Thanks for the follow of my blog. I really enjoyed your “About’, the unique idea of ‘autobiographical comics’, your vibrant free-spirited illustrations and reflections. Hope to be back soon.

  30. Thank you!

  31. It’s nice to meet you
    and I like your blog a lot
    lovely bright colours

    Technically a haiku at least. Hope WP doesn’t screw up the lines.

  32. it’s perfect! thank you so much!

  33. Thanks for checking out my page. I hope my upcoming posts don’t disappoint. Keep up the good work, your blog is great!!

  34. Wonderful introduction. I will have to look up some of the writers you like. I haven’t heard of a couple of them.

  35. I like your art : )

  36. Thank you for following my blog! :) Yours is cute too…
    Kiss kiss,

  37. Glad you liked the pic of the lioness I posted because I was introduced to you and your honest, creative ramblings….I love photography, cats, lions, texture, color, chameleons and good friends. Hope to read/see more of you! The Lioness!

  38. i just want you to know that i really love your blog. I hope i can collaborate with you sometime. You’re beautiful too!

  39. I would add: other trails to explore in the wilder[ness] of the creative landscape ~ as for visuals Elizabeth Murray is one of the most under rated artists of recent times. Also keep the multi-point perspective = even better than the color imo.

    a graphic auto-biography = sounds like art to me.

  40. Thank you for stopping by my blog and posting a “like”. Much appreciated! However, upon reviewing your blog, I have to say that I am envious in a way because you are doing something that I once thought of doing myself. I guess just simple motivation is all I needed. Your site really is colorful and I think that much of your work would benefit those who relate more to pictures than just words. Combining them both, creates a great impact on the way others could/would/should have interpret. Fantastic place!

  41. Wow! Thank you so much! I agree with you about the power of mixing words and pictures.

  42. word, keep up the sweet creativity!!

  43. Thanks for following my art blog. (keep an eye in my direction: comics are a longtime love of mine, and I should be posting some new stuff in the near future.)

    Your blog is terrific! Really fresh and a different approach from what I usually see: I mean, rather than a lot of typing, you use the balloons on your drawings to do the communicating. Brilliant.

    and since I love people to answer *my* questions, I’ll do the same for you: What would I do? The best thing to do with any artistic endeavor is to JUST START DOING. Draw stuff. Write stuff. Post stuff. It doesn’t really matter if it’s fine art, or if it defines you as a person. It took me years to get over all that mental distraction, at least to the extent that I can now create art without the paralyzing fear of it “not being good enough.” If it’s not good enough, then I just blog about why it’s not good enough, and what I’ve learned.

    How’s that for a start ;) ?

  44. That’s a great start! That fear is definitely at the forefront of my process a lot of the time. I can’t wait to get past that!

  45. Thank you for liking and following my blog today! I’m so glad your visit brought me to your blog. Fabulously fun stuff!

  46. Thank you! I can’t wait to see what we think of next!

  47. Hi Lorna,

    Cheers for the thumbs up on my recent self-portrait I posted on The Gretchen Show. I had a browse around your blog and see you’re interested in self-portraiture as well. Subject matter that always provides something new to discover. :- )


  48. Absolutely! Thank you for checking out my drawings!

  49. Hey! Fab comics! love’em.
    Short sharp way to deliver.
    A treat to ‘meet’ someone who has derived so much pleasure from her studies.

    Hate the day job and can’t figure out Photoshop!

  50. I think not figuring out Photoshop is the first step to figuring out Photoshop! :)

  51. Hey Lorna! Thanks for following of my blog. Am thoroughly enjoying yours! ;-)

  52. Hello and many thanks for following my blog. I’m very intrigued by yours – as I’m interested in working with image and text. I very much like how you show your process. Looking forward to seeing more!

  53. Thank you so much for your feedback! The text/image combination is still something I’m enjoying (and intimidated by) figurint out. We’ll see!

  54. Thanks for the follow! I think the design and layout you have given your blog is amazing. You have created a terrific and unique “brand” for your site. Keep up the great work!

  55. Sweet! Thank you! I apreciate that even though my blog and ideas have been changing so much these days I still communicate something consistent! Go art! I look forward to checking out your blog!

  56. Thanks for the “like”. I love your drawings, they’re really beautiful and I love your dedication to teaching and being creative about it.

  57. Thank you so much for checking it out! I can’t wait to see what happens on your blog!

  58. Hi Lorna! Great to see what you do, enjoy your blog and work very much! Thanks for visiting mine.

  59. Great blog and beautiful artwork! I also really like seeing LA scenery and stuff, and the stories, I’m from Long Beach. Very cool. I’m going to send my friend in Brooklyn your link, too.

  60. That’s great! I’m from Seal Beach!

  61. I love that you’re exploring your art! It’s charming (I hope that’s not the wrong word for what you’re doing) and I’m excited to start following your blog!

  62. I’ll take charming! Thank you!

  63. What a great idea! Blogging through comic style narratives! I really like your artwork too. Looks like so much fun :)

  64. Thanks! It is fun! Tedious at times, but fun!

  65. Thanks for liking my sheep story. It would be a cold winter without a sweater! I like yours too!

  66. Thanks for viewing my artwork, I look forward to going through all of your work. Love you[r art] blog!

  67. Dear Lorna, delighted about your liking my artwork ;). Your blog really an eye opener for me. I also love comics(in fact it was my first love) but really hard to make it regularly, one of the reason i am not a natural story-teller, reading a comic was much easier than doing it. I think starts as a writer giving you a head-start here. Btw, i think you should be my English teacher <3

  68. Thank you! I’m better at reading stories than writing stories too!

  69. Love your blog, thanks for following as I would never have discovered you. Don’t be a stranger!

  70. Cool art work and I am glad you use it to teach.
    Thanks for stopping by my hovel online. ‘Dew drop inn’ any time.

  71. Wow! A lot more to discover here, deserving of coverage I think. I, too, like your art. RC

  72. Love you blog, it’s really amazing :D
    Thank you a lot for following my blog.

  73. Thanks for following my little new blog. I appreciate that. I haven’t got my mind round all that you are doing/trying to do … but one thing I feel sure of is that to find out what you want to do out of a number of things, you need just to do them and keep doing them until it just happens. Although, that said, there are many folk who kept exploring and never stopped. I’m thinking of Matisse or Degas here who I think declared in their 80’s that they were beginning to learn how to draw a tree. (???? may be dreaming this)

    I jump around all over the place, don’t do enough due to illness and am so keen to develop “a style”! I think that comes through just doing stuff and doing it over and over again … so that’s what I am doing for now …

    Very best wishes, I like blogs like yours where there is variety, life and energy!

  74. Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your motivation to continue to push forward with art. I look forward to what you come up with next!

  75. Creativity—
    that’s your middle name, my dear.
    May it never wane.

  76. Hello! Thank you so much for the follow! It’s so nice to meet a fellow artist on here! I can’t wait to see more of what you make! :)

  77. Seriously clever. I like stuff that engages my mind AND eyes. you’re doing that here. OK, now I have to read more.

  78. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. Gonna go check out your art…

  79. Like. And thanks for following my http://fstopfantasy.wordpress.com/ blog. I’ll be checking in from time to time.

  80. Thanks for following my blog! Just starting up and so happy to see people following. I love you artwork–keep on creating!

  81. I think that you are a dynamite teacher, too!

  82. Hello Lorna,
    Thank you for giving a part of your valuable attention to our blog. We really appreciate it, and we love to hear from artists so please feel free to share your thoughts in our comments sections anytime. See you in the blog-o-sphere.

  83. I Volunteer as an ESL teacher and you’ve given me some great ideas. You go girl! I hope to read more by you! CAt

  84. Genuine creative stuff here. I wish we had someone like you in our STUFFY school way back when.

  85. thank`s for stopping by. Love the blog, it`s refreshing and different. se you again soon.

  86. Thanks for following my photo blog! You’re work is very unique and whimsical… Love it! Your creativity and imagination are inspiring!

  87. Wow, thanks for following my blog. If you hadn’t found me, I would not have found you! What a great creative woman you are! Keep on making the good stuff!

  88. Thank you for following my blog! beautiful work!!


  89. creativelychrista September 26, 2012 — 9:16 pm

    Thank you visiting my blog! I will be keeping up with your comics! I love this mix of words with art bringing added flare! Love it!!

  90. Nice poetry and scrapbook/collage artwork.
    I can tell you’re really following your bliss, keep it up!

    I’d just like to recommend some webcomics you could read:
    3)http://www.lackadaisycats.com/(has a vary informative artblog)
    4)http://exquisitebeast.tumblr.com/(Isn’t a comic, but still cool)
    5)http://dresdencodak.com/(has a vary informative artblog)

  91. Wow! Thank you so much! I’ll check them out!

  92. thoroughly original…what luck that you stopped by my blog so I could find out about YOURS!!

  93. I like your spark. I must follow you to see the fires you start.

  94. What an expressive and beautiful blog you have! Thanks for stopping by mine. I will be sure to visit many times again. :)

  95. intellectual
    conversation isn’t douchey
    yes haiku is fine

  96. Marli Koen | Photography October 10, 2012 — 11:32 pm

    Hello Lorna! Thanks for the follow. i am rather interigued with your post feature photos and the technique you have used to create them. Very fascinating! Keep up the colourful work x Marli

  97. Hey Lorna!
    Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I appreciate the follow. I was looking at your work and I find it very facinating. I love images that tell a story and its great that you can paint these stories. Good luck! See you around.

  98. Try Colin Bateman (Northern Irish Writer) think you may like by what you have listed

  99. Great! I appreciate it!

  100. I like your style Lorna. Have you made any books yet?

  101. Oh wow! I’m honored by the question! I’m working on Peru mini book, right now!

  102. I knew it! Your the kind of person that has to be always on the move or challenged with a task or project. Let me now when your done. I’d like to buy a copy.

  103. Hi Lorna, thanks for visiting and following my blogs. Hope you enjoy my simple notes and ordinary pictures..
    Here I saw a great blog with very interesting works! You’ve got another follower!


  104. Beautiful artwork, and very cool blog, Thank you for following mine, best wishes

  105. You are incredibly talented, cute and interesting! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I cant wait to explore yours. Hope to connect more often than not :-)

    Love & Light,

  106. Love your story, blog and your commitment to teaching and learning Lorna! Thanks for dropping by and looking forward to your updates!

  107. I am glad i found this blog… thank you for visiting mine. Happily you left traces of your visit and I could find your beautiful and very original work.

  108. Hi Lorna,

    You have a very colourful blog. It’s interesting and if you enjoy it, it shows through and other people enjoy it too. I get more interested in art all the time. I even went to see a Damien Hirst exhibition a few weeks ago. I wasn’t much impressed. The sheep pickled in formaldehyde got a lot of interest though…

  109. Thank you! I’d love to see a Damien Hirst exhibit! What a spectacle!

  110. Your method of explaining everything in this paragraph is in fact fastidious, all can
    effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

  111. Thanks for feedback and for checking out my art!

  112. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Appreciate it!

  113. That’s a great question! I like to follow the writing process. If I don’t have a prompt I’m answering, and even if I do, I’ll free-write about nothing in particular in order to clear my mind. After I have an idea of what I want to write, I brainstorm subtopics (usually in a cluster brainstorm because I think visually). After that I organize my ideas/sub-ideas into a linear outline, adding information as I go. From there I fill in blanks and try to turn my bullet points into sentences and paragraphs. Next, I reread and fix. This revising/editing process is my favorite part (and usually the longest) because a lot of the pressure is off: much of what I want to say is already on the page, I just need to figure out the best way to say it, and how to connect and transition between ideas. I hope this helps!

  114. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or
    advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

  115. Hi Lorna
    I just wanted to pop by and say thank you for following my photo blog http://myphotoyear2012.wordpress.com
    I appreciate the vote of confidence that this gives. I love that you build upon photos and add your own uniqueness. That is truly creative. I’ll be taking a look around here fora while.
    anyway, hoping to see you back at my blog again in the near future.

  116. oh, so COOL your creative mind and this space where you share your passions! i love it!
    thank you!

  117. Interesting work – thanks for following!

  118. Hi Lorna. I got the award “The versatile blogger” and the rules state that I must nominate others. Since I like your blog so much I’d like to nominate you for an award. If you choose to accept it, you’ll find the link here:

  119. Amazing blog Lorna – I am honoured by your visit and follow at art rat cafe – thank you…

  120. Thanks for the follow, I can see we have a similar taste in style! ;)

  121. Thanks for stopping by! Comics, eh? Check out this project I’m working on (in my day job): http://neomadcomic.com/

  122. Bonjour
    Thank you for dropping by my blog and deciding to follow it. I really like your About Page. Well done.

  123. Very interesting way of mixing English and writing with visual art. I think it’s very unusual to see artists who incorporate prose into their work.

  124. Merci pour le fait d’ajouter!!! |ʍ|–0.o–|ʍ| Rock on! I dig your art, I’m all about bold lines Johnny Quest style…Ciao!

  125. You are VERY talented Lorna. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for following the Sundog Drift!

  126. Very nice work. Thank you for the follow.

  127. Great blog – keep up the good work

  128. hi I stopped at your blog and see pictures of nice and cool, you are so professional art
    and thank you so much for liking my recent photo today and follow me, maybe I will always visit here

  129. I’ve always thought it would be such a great escape to draw or paint. I cannot. :) but I love photography. Thanks for stopping by my Patch!! ~smiles~

  130. I love that when I click on a link I never know quite what sort of adventure I’m going to be taken on. Thank you for making life interesting today. Best of luck- I think you have a rosy future. Many thanks for following mine. :)

  131. Hi Lorna!

    First off, FIGHT ON! haha And secondly, THANK YOU for following our blog! We wanted you to be one of the first to know that we are launching an event website called wigo events. Our site focuses on a community of users in Los Angeles sharing cool events that they know about, and we would love to have you be a part of it! If you are interested in being one of our very first users please leave us your email address at the link right below, sorry its so long, don’t know how to add a hyperlink in the comment section haha. Once our site goes live in the next few months, we’ll let you know!


    Sara, Team Wigo!

  132. Your site is amazing! I look forward to following your blog x

  133. Thanks for the follow, I just re-did my word press since I started last year. I love your Disclaimer and Work! I’m going to try and be as creative as you on here!

  134. Wow! Very creative and cool! Love your work!

    Thanks for the follow!

  135. I know nothing about art. Well, I know when I like something, I guess.

    Your opening selfie is probably one of the three coolest I have ever seen. And I’ve seen too many.

    Rock On!

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