Lorna Alkana mixes language and line drawings into interactive installations, digital art, paintings, and poetry. Her art explores themes of perception and expectation through surreal portraits and saturated skylines. Community, found-story, asymmetry, identity, and memory influence her work.
Lorna developed a love for genre bending collaboration while studying Creative Writing in high school at the Orange County School of the Arts. She graduated from USC in 2009 with a B.A. in English-Creative Writing and Cultural Studies. Right out of college, Lorna joined Teach for America to teach middle school English in San Fernando, California.
While teaching, she started an art blog to share her drawings, stories, and infographics. Since 2012, numerous galleries and venues in Los Angeles have featured her art, including the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, The Autry, and The Montalban. Lorna’s writing and illustrations have been featured by The Graphic History Collective, Repel Industries, and the Pop Culture Association.
Currently, Lorna continues to chronicle her “adventures in personhood” and art process on her blog, LornaAlkana.com. She bounces between Los Angeles and Orange County, where she arts, teaches, performs, and writes autobiographical blurbs in third person.
I know I’m going to have to clearly define myself in my upcoming grad school applications, so I’m going to enjoy this in between space where perhaps only I know who I am as an artist, and my art can speak for itself and you can speak with it, and I don’t need to find the right words for the ineffable, organic diffusion, experience, that I’m exploring, inviting, receiving and navigating. Hmmm actually that might work…
I ran out of business cards right before the Music Tastes Good festival. I had an installation there called “Found Windows”. I printed these 4 x 6 inch flyers to replace my cards for that event. People treated them differently, though. I call myself a, DIGITAL, INSTALLATION, VERBAL, and PERFORMANCE artist.
Sunstock Solar Festival “brief bio”:
Lorna Alkana is a writer and performer, she is a visual artist, she is a teacher, she has something to say.
Lorna Alkana’s art explores themes of asymmetry, community, process/creation, feminism, identity, and memory. Alkana’s art mixes play, perception, and perspective. She uses digital drawings and photography* to construct and reveal illusions, narratives, and the subconscious potential of skylines and city lives.
I write and perform. I visually art. I have something to say.
I am a writer and performer. I am a visual artist. I am a teacher. I have something to say.
Lorna Alkana Art made her Orange County debut this month! And with it…came a new artist statement! I tried to be as specific as possible, though the ideas are potentially quite abstract.
Here’s the spread:
The above proclaims:
Lorna Alkana’s art explores themes of asymmetry, community, process/creation, feminism, identity, and memory.
Alkana’s art mixes play, perception, and perspective. She uses digital drawings and photography* to construct and reveal illusions, narratives, and the subconscious potential of skylines and city lives.
Flux and focus. I’m getting better at being concise.
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.
This iteration attempts to boil it/me down
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.
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.
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