October Artist Spotlight: Ikoi Hiroe

Ikoi never fails to surprise us. Besides coordinating and organizing the volunteers for SSWA’s numerous events, she’s also a fantastic writer, master chef and visual artist. We spoke to Ikoi about the poster she designed for October’s VAMP, “Crack Ups and Melt Downs”.


What medium did you use for “Crack Ups and Meltdowns”?

Berol Prismacolor pencil on sketch paper.


Could you er… melt it down for us?


The artwork was just a sense of feeling helpless and watching the world I know dissolve around me into something I don’t really recognize anymore.

You mentioned that the art is about 10 (or 20?)  years old. Can you remember what inspired it?


This is now closer to 20 years ago.  I was sick and I had been in the hospital.  I created this after I got out and still recovering at home.  I was trying to exorcise the disorientation I was feeling from the illness and medication in addition to just a sense of alienation that extended illness can do for one’s psyche.

What would you say your biggest artistic break-down or crack-up has been?

Well, I’d say it was when I stopped drawing.  All I did was draw for the first 16 years of my life, I was never without it.  I spent most of my money on art supplies.  Then, I stopped completely, didn’t seriously draw for almost two decades.  I think I got overwhelmed with a lot of things at the time, and in that moment, art started to become more oppressive than expressive.  I’m slowly starting to get back into it, and the frustration of losing dexterity and control has been utterly frustrating.

Signed, limited edition prints of Ikoi’s poster will be for sale at this month’s VAMP on October 27th.