I recently discovered the art of Abi Stevens and was immediately intrigued by her use of color, references to mythology and especially her portrayal of chronic illness through digital illustrations. As someone who’s lived with migraine for many years, Abi’s artwork resonates with me not only because of its unique representation of migraine symptoms, but because of the empowerment and determination behind every illustration.
Q: What inspired you to create your Chronic Warrior and Migraine Warrior pins?
A: I started making illustrations about migraine and connecting with other spoonies online, and I wanted to create something empowering for myself and others: a kind of visual symbol of pride for those of us with invisible illnesses and anyone else who wants it.
This illustration for Popshot magazine is one of my recent works which really ties together the various elements of my style: the color palette, the sketchy line-like shading of the figure, the stylized border and shape elements, and a heavy helping of symbolism!
Q: One of your illustrations that really resonated with me is Transient Aphasia. It's something I've struggled with in the past, and it's not talked about often. Can you tell me how you came up with the idea for this illustration?
Q: How has your art helped you cope with chronic pain and illness?
A: It's been a cathartic exercise for me. As medication started to improve my condition and I could draw again, I started making illustrations more personal to me as a way of processing what was happening to me. Sharing my work online connected me with others who resonated with the images, and interacting with other spoonies has made me feel less isolated and more determined to find healthy ways to deal with my condition.
Having just Kickstarter-funded these enamel pins, my next step is a fundraising exhibition night this Saturday, September 14th, in my hometown of Cambridge. I'll be raising money for the National Migraine Centre.