Una: “The Thing That Helps Propel Me Forward Through My Life”

Artist name: Una

Featured Work 1: Becoming/Unbecoming

Becoming/Unbecoming is the incredible illustrated narrative of one individual’s life as a girl and woman who experiences abuse, misogyny, wonder and growth. The book-length comic is interlaced with meticulous, poignant illustrations as well as deeply personal and lucid reflections on the painful and beautiful experience of surviving and evolving.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art to me is the thing that helps propel me forward through my life. It has been this way since my teens when I first discovered how much I loved to draw in high school and realized I wanted to study art. This is quite a long time ago, when drawing as an art form in its own right wasn’t really a thing. Since then, I have traveled, borne children, suffered losses and gains and grown older, but I still love drawing and it has returned to the center of art. I find it soothing and fascinating in equal measure and can do it for hours and hours without getting tired.

2. What did you make in the past and why?

I have made so much stuff! I made clothes for a while, theater costumes, my own clothes. I made music, which started when I was a child of about 7 or 8. I began with classical guitar and now also play piano and sing fairly well. I can play the cello and ukulele too but not very well so you couldn’t really call it making music. In terms of making art, I have made drawing, painting, sculpture, sound works, installations, performances. One time I colored a laboratory table in with a pencil, it took ages, but looked amazing. Why? Because making stuff is great. It’s great to create.

3. What are you making now and why?

I’m drawing and writing a new novel length comic work. It’s a bit of a secret because it’s in the early stages but I can tell you that it is another epic story with a girl at the center. I’ve just finished a funded project that resulted in a 40 page comic about my mother’s recovery form a psychosis, titled On Sanity: One Day In Two Lives and I’m also really excited that the US/Canada edition of Becoming/Unbecoming [came out in November 2016] and I got interviewed by Newsweek!

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I hope we can work out as a global society what is really important. What are the values that contribute to a peaceful, comfortable and dignified life for all and how can we promote them? It seems we can lose sight of this rather too easily. I try to be generally optimistic about the capacity of human beings to overcome difficulties and take care of another but there are times when I despair.

5. What else would you like to say?

I’d like to say thanks for asking me to answer your questions, they’ve been good ones.

Artist Bio (from Myriad Editions):

Una is an artist, academic and comics creator. Her self-published graphic narratives have explored disability, psychosis, political activism and violence against women and girls. She lives in Yorkshire. Becoming/Unbecoming, her first graphic novel, is published by Myriad.


Explore more of Una’s work on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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