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Art & Life with Abby Jo Turner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abby Jo Turner.

Abby Jo, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was six when I decided that being an artist was the only path for me, and to this day, I’ve never had a plan B. Illustrations in cartoons and books appealed to me early on, which led me to create worlds on paper that were only in my mind. Growing up, I was also very lucky to have parents that supported my creativity. But as sure as I’ve been of this path, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey.

I currently have been living in Los Angeles for a little over a year, but previously, I was residing in Chicago where I studied Illustration at Columbia College. I started school at an extreme low point in life, however, a pivotal moment occurred when I took four courses with cartoonist, Ivan Brunetti, within the span of a year. Not only did he introduce me to the comic world, but he has been an incredible mentor ever since. Ivan single-handedly changed my life as an artist, and I’m endlessly thankful for him.

Can you give our readers some background on your artwork?
After graduation, I quickly moved to LA. And although I often miss Chicago, I felt it was necessary to change my scenery in order to prevent my work from becoming stagnant. I never envisioned myself working in animation, but I currently work full-time as a background designer. I also continue to work as a freelance illustrator, and I exhibit at several comic festivals throughout North America each year.

My style focuses on clean line work, shapes, and storytelling that takes inspiration from my own life experiences. I use my own work to present moments throughout my lifetime that have awakened me, and I could only hope it evokes emotion within the viewer.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
Conditions for artists today is quite interesting because we are currently in the middle of a digital age. There is no doubt that technology is redefining ways of making and viewing art, but with change comes new struggles. Personally, I truly do enjoy how easy it is to support and make meaningful connections with artists from all around the world, but I’d be lying if I said that technology created only a positive interaction for me.

Cities like ours can help the art community by simply supporting your local artists! Not only will you help them thrive individually, but you will also help your community and economy thrive as well. Visit your local galleries, commission local artists instead of buying generic home decor, engage with their online presence, and share their work with others! There are numerous ways to support artists, but those are just to name a few.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The main two places where you can view my work are through my website (abbyjoillo.com) or my Instagram (@abbyjoturner). If you feel inclined to support my work in person, I exhibit at a handful of alternative comic festivals throughout the year. As of now, these festivals tend to be in LA, Chicago, and Toronto. Also, don’t hesitate to send a direct message to my email (abbyjoillustration@gmail.com) for commissions, or even just to connect!

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