Before ICON11 was postponed until 2022, one of the illustrators I was looking most forward to meeting while there was Loveis Wise. Their colorful work uses joy as an element of expression, and it is palpable in each piece they create. In early March, I spoke to Loveis for #ICONspeak, a series of interviews leading up to ICON11, where they elaborated on what the emotion means in the context of their work:
“I started working with this element mostly because, it can sometimes feel hard to excavate in a world where uncertainty and trauma boils over,” they explain. “Even the act of expressing my own joy didn’t always feel as accessible to me growing up. So, in order to reclaim it, I realized that it was so important for me to create a world in my work where folks could feel into that feeling as well or even understand that it’s okay for them to access it for themselves!”
You might recognize Loveis’ work from the cover of The New Yorker. Their piece titled Nurture graced the cover of the 2018 Fiction Issue. “I was a 23 year old art student that was graduating within a few months of working on this piece!” They wrote on Instagram.