Claudia Chinyere Akole

Claudia Chinyere Akole addresses cultural identity, abstraction and mental health through her practice as an illustrator, cartoonist, designer, animator and educator.

Claudia Chinyere Akole is an exhibiting artist, illustrator, cartoonist, designer, animator, and educator based in Sydney (unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal Peoples of the Dharug Nation). She works as a freelance illustrator, animator and cartoonist, and creates comics and illustrations in her personal practice. Her work tends to cover cultural identity, abstraction, and mental health.

Claudia has established the Tracing Paper Comix style, which involves creating final comic art traditionally using paint markers on multiple layers of tracing paper. Her visual signature consists of bold block colour and abstract line work rendered by hand predominantly in paint and marker mediums.

Claudia has taught design, comics, and animation workshops at various levels including high school, university, and professional settings. She’s taught illustration and comic school holiday workshops for young people through Western Sydney organisation WestWords in partnership with Big Sky Stories, and Headspace, Broken Hill. She’s taught comic-making workshops to high school students from migrant and refugee backgrounds through the NSW organisation STARTTS. She has taught animation workshops to high school students through the University of Technology, Sydney for a collaborative student animation project with Carriageworks. She was the 2021 Facilitator for Toolkits: Graphic Narratives, an online graphic storytelling program for young Australian writers. She is a Tutor and Research Assistant in the Faculty of Design, Architecture, and Building at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS DAB).

An award-winning artist, Claudia has received a Bronze in Comic Arts Awards of Australia 2021 for her work Why Black Lives Matter Resonates With Black People All Over the World: An Open Letter to Australians. In 2020 Claudia was awarded a Gold Ledger in Comic Arts Awards of Australia for Chinyere Comic.

Claudia is also a part of the organising team for Read To Me, a live graphic storytelling event in Sydney and beyond, providing a platform for cartoonists and other kinds of artists and creatives to share their stories and investigate performative aspects of their work.

In the near future, Claudia will have her directorial debut as Co-Director of an animated film that is a part of ‘She Creates Change’, a six-part docu-series created by Nexus Studios in collaboration with global charity Room To Read. The films will release later this year in October for International Day Of The Girl.

In this video, Claudia chats to NAVA about both the uncertainties and joys of working as a freelance artist.

Transcript - Claudia Chinyere Akole (2.8 KB)

Video production by Playground / ArtVid 2022.

Image: Claudia Chinyere Akole. Photo by Liz Ham.
ID: Photo of Claudia’s face reflected in a circular mirror. She has shoulder-length hair, winged eyeliner, red earrings and a red shirt. Parts of the mirror’s surface are covered by an illustration of a person with closed eyes, curly hair and earrings, holding up a phone. A small circular light illuminates the photo.

This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.