BFA Thesis Exhibit

Ting Germain


Artist Statement

My interest in storytelling and graphic novels led me to create an illustrated book that conveys the constant cycle of giving and taking empathy, asking the overarching question: is empathy unlimited? 
In a time of uncertainty and the ever growing urge to seek comfort, I created a story that documents the reality of these feelings. I came to the conclusion that most people want empathy through exploring my fears, my obsessions, and what would make me feel more reassured. 

My illustrations are etchings with watercolor on top. The imperfections and permanence of the mediums allows the work to feel more relatable and human. The imperfections are the inconsistent tones of the ink, scratches, and dried outlines of the watercolor, to give it a more “handmade” look. Many of the illustrations contain unusual symbolism representing events and parts of my life as well. The repetition of objects such as chandeliers and photos are displayed in many scenes. Repetition shows how I tend to put too much sentimental value on objects and rethink things from the past, resulting in large collections I can never get rid of. The main antagonist is a mixture of my fear of the unknown and a friend I once knew. While this unusual imagery contrasts with the idea of the graphic novel being “relatable,” I counter it by evoking more general emotions through color and atmosphere. Much of the color scheme is also based on the muted lighting in my home growing up.  
While the illustrations are based on feelings of dread, anxiety and uncertainty in life, I know that there is comfort in knowing that there will always be someone watching out for you. The ironic nature of relatability in personal storytelling is what I explore and use to share a story of hope. Vulnerability is essential. The vulnerability of sharing one's personal experiences allows others to connect to characters in the story and feel understood.