Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Gabri (Gil) Kakins, who will be at our 65 James Street store TOMORROW, JUNE 2, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM as part of our Creating in the Trans Community panel celebrating Pride Month with the Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts.
Gabri (Gil) Kakins is a freelance artist who also works in scientific support. Their art has appeared in the art show at Arisia in 2018 and also can be found online at Glimeron Art on Facebook. They weave the monsters and creatures from their art and hallucinations into their writing, with the hope of making cohesive narratives of otherness and neurodiversity into the works they create.
Thank you so much for joining us, Gil! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing/art? How would you like us to introduce you?
I am a writer and artist who went to school for biology but just couldn’t give up art. My writing and art both focus on queer experiences especially related to trauma and mental illness. I prefer fantasy as a genre in general because of the near limitless ways you can use magic to extend our experiences.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write/create? What can readers expect from you? What can you tell us about your current projects?
I try to write vividly without giving too much away about a world within the first few chapters. I think that there is a need to tell, and showing through character experience is just as valid as through scenery, at least that was my idea when working on my first draft. I write like I draw, in sporadic directions with intertwining lines of thought/detail. My most recent art projects are mostly digital experiments, but a lot of my traditional work can be found online already.
I am currently working on figuring out a way to keep my style free flowing regardless of the new medium I am using. The testing of my style in a digital medium is so I can eventually add pictures to some of my stories, including my current in-progress novel, and so I can do a short story book for dreams and hallucinations.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I love fantasy as a genre because of the range of things you can do with it. Even sci fi drew most of its themes from old folktales. There is so much you can do with the interplay between magic, monsters, and the mind. It’s an old comfort food in the sense that I started reading Lord of the Rings, and a new frontier to think about breaking down what can and can’t be done with a thing that seems as limitless as magic. It parallels the range of gender expression very well I think.
I think people like fantasy because they are folktales. They are tales we keep telling to remind ourselves who we are and were the earliest ways we had of explaining why things happened. It is, again, an old comfort food.
What’s your favorite medium as an artist? Do you vary between projects or pieces? How do you choose the best medium?
I love traditional sketch work. Pens, pencils, and watercolors were my first creative friends. I do vary between mediums depending on the project though. And when it comes to putting a book together with art, digital seems the way to go.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing/art?
Since I was born and raised here, it factors greatly into the scenery of my drawing and writing. I need trees. It is probably a given that the opening for my first novel is set in a forest. I don’t know what I would do without the new green of spring or the colors of autumn. Everywhere I’ve gone there have been great new things to see, but I always remember how lovely, and dangerous, a forest feels when you are in it alone.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
On Facebook at facebook.com/GlimeronArt, Glimeron Art on Deviant art, and Glimeron Art on Tumblr. To contact me about art or writing you can email GlimeronArt@gmail.com.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Glimeron Art on Facebook is the best way to follow me. Either that or I occasionally post trashy fiction writing at tumblr.com/ebonyumbre under the tag umbre writes.
Thank you, again, for joining us, Gil! We look forward to having you at our 65 James Street store as part of the Creating in the Trans Community tomorrow, June 2, from 1:00 -3:00!