June 13, 2007
Niki Smith has already achieved tremendous success with her work and she has yet to graduate from The Cleveland Institute of Art. She has been published in nine anthologies being sold in comic shops and bookstores in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, En
Smith, a third year drawing major from Kansas, chose the Institute for their foundation program because she wanted time to figure out her artistic direction. "I knew that I wanted to make art, and this program reassured me that I wouldn't be forced to make a premature decision," Smith said. In her second year she was in a foundation class taught by drawing professor Troy Richards and found his feedback and work atmosphere to be what she wanted. "I made the decision to go into Drawing, but I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do. While, I loved working with my own concepts and ideas, I don't feel I'm made for the gallery world," Smith said.
After hearing from several teachers that her work was sequential, like a comic, she decided to try to make one herself. This comic endeavor started in April 2006, and she hasn't looked back since. Smith found the Drawing department to be a perfect fit for what she wanted. "The strict distinctions between fine art and applied art often blur quite comfortably. Although I'm drawing for consumers, I'm not working with clients," she said.
Smith has been influenced by Japanese anime and manga however she likes to stretch her style to what best fits the tone of the story. She has been published in books including Hungry Hearts 1, Panik Elektro 5, The Girls Guide to Guys Stuff, Yuri Monogatari 5, and Best New Manga V2 among several others. Best New MangaV2 boasts that it features the most exciting new work by the brightest young talents in the field.
Smith has exhibited her work at the Institute's Reinberger Galleries, the Coffee House Gallery, the Institute's Foundation show, Asterisk Gallery, and Arts Collinwood Gallery. She is currently working on developing longer works and hopes to have books of her own within the next few years. Until then, you can see the works she has done at http://www.niki-smith.com/.
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