Comic Blast! residency program

Stanley Wany

Comics, Writing, Mixed Media


Stanley Wany is a multidisciplinary artist whose main focus is writing and drawing graphic novels. His practice also includes experimentation in painting, pen and ink, as well as digital collage. His first book, Agalma, was nominated in 2016 for a Doug Wright Award (Toronto Comics and Arts Festival) and for a Prix Expozine (Expozine, independent editors’ festival in Montreal). The same year, he was invited to join the Quebecois delegation to be featured at the Festival de bande dessinée de Colomiers, in France. Past trips include the Helsinki Comics Festival and the Festival de bande dessinée d’Angoulême, and in 2017 he participated an exhibition on journalism in graphic novels at the Amadora BD: International Comics Festival in Portugal. For the past ten years, he has also been an independent comic book publisher with Trip Comix.

Stanley Wany’s graphic style is inspired by the works of renowned Italian comic book author Sergio Toppi, and artists Gustav Klimt and Gustave Doré. He combines figurative drawings with surrealist collages featuring imagery drawn from symbolist and mythological sources. Over the years, his extensive research in mythology and myths drew him to writings and lectures by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. The ideas he found in these writers’ works are ingrained in his practice and are felt throughout the visual and narrative aspects of his graphic novels. Standalone works, such as illustration and experimentations also reveal the same sensitivities.
David Ross
Bethesda MD, USA

Technology, comics


"Content should be created, not consumed"

I am an artist/educator working out of Washington DC. After obtaining my MFA, I began running workshops in STEAM for the Smithsonian, where I taught youth advanced technologies through art . The easily accessible nature of comics opened these technologies for my audience to explore making comic related media. This is informed by my own artistic pursuits, where I make a comic and use it as a jumping off point for 3D design, animation, video games, and more to explore these stories.
Alice Dansey-Wright
Glasgow, Scotland

Art, Design & Illustration


"I'm an illustrator interested in where art and design meet."

I'm an illustrator interested in where art and design meet. I paint murals and deliver public artworks, facilitate workshops and collaborate with designers and brands to create limited edition products. I often work in a community context and explore themes such as accessibility, body positivity, collaboration and ownership. Influences include textile design history, abstract painting, fashion, folk art, and mid-century artists who applied their work in a design context.

Christopher Sperandio



"Castigat ridendo mores!"

Christopher Sperandio's collaborative artwork maps the numerous margins between mass and museum cultures. His works take a variety of forms including comics and books, games, temporary sculptures, painted installations, television, billboards and digital media, all usually featuring a public involvement component, in the form of open calls, canvassing, or workshops.

Sperandio produces new collaborative and community-based projects in conjunction with museums and art centers in the United States, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and France. Commissioning institutions include: MoMA/PS1, the Public Art Fund, Creative Time, London's Institute of Contemporary Art, Project Row Houses, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and DC Comics. He had two solo shows at American Fine Arts, a landmark 90s New York art gallery. Sperandio was also the Creator and Executive Producer of ARTSTAR, an internationally syndicated documentary television series about emerging contemporary artists shot in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Miami.

His work appears in numerous survey books especially concerning relational, social and collaborative art. For example, one chapter of Arthur Danto's book After the End of Art is dedicated primarily to Sperandio's collaborative chocolate factory-worker project entitled "We Got it!" Sperandio's works have also been written about in the New York Times, Art In America, Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Sculpture Magazine, The New Yorker, ArtReview, Art Papers, Soap Opera Weekly and others. From 2000 to 2004 he was a contributing artist at Wired Magazine, drawing the cover of the May 2001 issue.
Jonathan McBurnie
Townsville, Australia



"Submerging artist, writer and malingerer."

Jonathan McBurnie is an artist and writer from Australia. McBurnie graduated with a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2015, and has put his prolific artistic output to good use, producing thirteen solo and 97 group exhibitions, as well as dozens of comics and zines, since 2003, nationally and internationally. His work is at once reverent, satirical and critical of the art world and popular culture, treading the fine line between autobiography and farce. In 2017, McBurnie was subject to his first survey exhibition, Dread Sovereign, at Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville. McBurnie is also the Director of Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, one of Australia’s longest-running regional visual arts organisations.
Emily Schulert
Chicago, USA

Comics, textiles, print


"I like comics and printed matter because it's art everyone can afford and can be shared easily and cheaply."

A very cute sculpture, it sparkels and disguises itself as a decorative curtain then glints in the light of a mirror’s reflection to reveal a phrase. Codes make it so only the ones who know the message within can decipher it. Obscuring can be protective because you can get things done without being noticed. What does the coat of childish girlhood look like?Why isn’t everyone getting in touch with their inner child? She is a voice sweetly whispering very big problems to you over and over and over like a rhythm, a song, a repetitive pattern of care. She says the same things over again and they are simple and plain. This voice is the voice that narrates my comics, she says "all truths come from a child’s mouth. The figures and relics in my comics and installations exist within a funny, girly, emotional world that resists shape shifting forces of evil and don’t care about fear and the constraints of money or time.

Emily has been making comics, freelance design, sculpture and more in Chicago since 2011. She organizes monthly low-cost art workshops through the founding of Chicago Skillshare Network and teaches part-time through chicago public schools and in her community.
Jessica Bosworth Smith
Cape Town, South Africa

Contemporary Art & Illustration


"Jessica Bosworth Smith is a contemporary artist who works with themes of the uncanny, memory, and liminality."

Jessica Bosworth Smith is a visual artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is interested in the exploration of the multidimensional field of illustration; from the development of narrative works to research-driven contemporary art pieces. Jessica has an experimental approach to her work and process plays a large role in her creative development. Her work often uses alternative psychology and magical realist theory as a starting point for her explorations of themes of the uncanny, memory, and liminality.
Fatemeh Mohamadi
Tehran, Iran

Painter and illustrator


I started my courier as an illustrator in 2010
Associating with many magazines and book publishers, for teenagers, adults and mostly kids.

Ì participated in several art exhibitions, painting and illustrating. For me, naive art is a very interesting matter. So much that it was the subject of my master's thesis and documentary. Later on I got invited to the peace exhibition in the international museum art naif in Magog, Quebec, Canada.

As an illustrator, color is the prime element of the work for me. It is the best way to define characters and technical atmosphere.

I hope to get inspiration from where I will be working, So the nature and culture of Finland will be represented and have a voice in my new works. Painting and sketching in nature is something that I really love and I usually do it beside my art projects. During my residency I will paint and sketch during in my staying in Arteles Creative Center.
Maysam Barza
Tehran, Iran

Comics, illustration, concept art for animation, painting


I love to create the places that I can’t find in real life and love to appropriate it by comics.

I’ve started creating comic books since I was a teenage boy and mostly in those days loved to make some sci-fi and very interested in Isaac Asimov novels and I was drowned by Alien movie series and my interests promoted by seeing Travis Charets’ fantastic artworks who is one of my heroes in comics and yet I follow his fascinating art. I also love other types of stories such as thrillers and historical issues.

My first comic book was nominated for the best comic books of the year titled “The First Line” from the Institute for The Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults Tehran, Iran in 2008 which was the history of the war in my country.

My favorite comic story that I was a member of a team which became a top hit in Kickstarter in 2011 is FUBAR American history Z and the story was about a city that invaded by zombies.

I think every human being has something that gives him or her calmness and peace and that is for me by sketching and painting, those are my meditation in most days and I usually try to find some hours beside my comic and animation projects to do that, I also love to experience new materials in art and my favorite materials are oil and watercolor.

I really interested into finding other cultures and people and their arts and artifacts, I love animals, nature, and plants, my interest in music is classical, progressive rock and alternative rock, I really enjoy reading about literature, history, and philosophy.

While at Arteles Creative Center I will paint some watercolor and sketching on paper and I interested to find Finland cultures and people and have some painting and documentation of my trip.
Jacqueline Huskisson
Calgary, Canada

Drawing, comics, printmaking


I like to emphasize the importance of absurdity, how it defines and dictates our lives as it allows for myself to acknowledge the importance of the everyday action. The acceptance to pursue my goals and live freely by ignoring the constraints of societal placed rules. For example, savouring small everyday actions like eating certain foods, enjoying the moment of drawing a line to huge actions like rebelling against societal norms, like not wanting children; too live selfishly. For me, to create art is a selfish act of self-care and preservation, and possibly an act towards assimilation of others, for them to follow along and reach the similar conclusion to rebel towards happiness.

I consider myself an artist who draws, but works in any medium that suits my fancy. Recently, I was the inaugural recipient of the Scott Leroux Media Arts Exploration fund granted by Video Pool in Winnipeg where I explored projection-mapping and I just wrapped up my first solo exhibition ""Absurd Walls"" at Alberta Printmakers. I am currently working on new bodies of work, which consist of drawings, comics, animation and video. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I received a B.F.A from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2011. My major was Print Media. In 2017 I graduated from the M.F.A program at the Belfast School of Art located in Northern Ireland. I currently live in Calgary working out of Burnt Toast Studios.
Emilie St.Hilaire
Montreal, Canada

Comics, writing, drawing

"Saying something about something there's nothing to say."

No matter what other artistic or academic projects I have going on I always draw comics too. My first self-published book featured 50 single-panel comics produced from 2013 to 2014. I hope to launch the next collection at Arteles' Comic Blast residency. My comics are inspired primarily by words, but also from personal, political, or social realities. On average they're funny 33.95% of the time and could be described as "redundant wisdom." I love stories yet only tell one-liners.

Born in Northern Manitoba, Emilie St.Hilaire grew up in Winnipeg - the geographical heart of North America. There she did a BFA (University of Manitoba) followed by an MFA in Edmonton (University of Alberta). Emilie is an interdisciplinary artist currently pursuing doctoral studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. All aforementioned locations are in Canada. One time she moved to the Cayman Islands to be a picture framer. Emilie has exhibited her work at galleries and festivals nationally and internationally, and has received grants and awards from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Edmonton Arts Council. In 2015 Emilie was one of two artists from North America selected to participate in the WARP Contemporary Art Platform International Artist Village at the Brugge Triennale. In 2016 an exhibition of her work entitled RE:VISION toured Western Canada with stops in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton.

Susannah Lohr
St. Louis, USA

drawing, painting, sculpture


My primary media is drawing with pencil, charcoal, pastel, and digital media. My work ranges from abstract to narrative and is about the comfort of solitude, the blanket of night, and the horrors which can lurk within us all. I like to intertwine nature and manmade structures in my work. I also love to express myself through all sorts of media beyond drawings, including metal & paper, resin & concrete, and light. Some day I hope to work on a film set or do storyboarding. I love learning new techniques and experimenting!

Nas Hoosen
South Africa

Comics, drawing, graphic novels

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