Story-Telling with Stephanie Gobby

Stephanie Gobby is an illustrator with a focus on myth and folklore in pop culture, more specifically from ancient/native communities.

STL SPEX (Joceline): What are your artistic influences?

There’s so many. I consume a lot of media and see how others are telling their stories and the ones I connect with the most have a visceral effect on me. David Lynch is an amazing storyteller that takes you along for the ride. You can’t ask too many questions because sometimes you just won’t get answers. Natalie Hall and JAW Cooper are both contemporary illustrators who have made me think a lot more about how expressive lines can be. I also love the whimsy and surrealism of Ghostshrimp.

STL SPEX: Who do you create for?

Honestly, I create for myself. Making images requires a lot of exploration and failure and restarting. It’s like the most frustrating and satisfying meditation process when I really dig in to a project. But I’m also creating for seven-year-old me that was always exploring wilderness areas, climbing trees, finding animal bones and making up stories for every gust of wind and twig snap. 

STL SPEX: What kind of techniques do you incorporate in your art to convey your pride in your indigeneity? 

Just telling the stories is my technique. Stories don’t survive if they’re not told so I’m doing what I can to keep these stories alive.

STL SPEX: Your art is influenced by myth and folklore; what story is the most relevant to you and why?

There isn’t any one story that I can pinpoint as relevant to me. What draws me in to mythology and folklore is how quickly so many cultures turned to magical explanations. The universal need to fill gaps of knowledge across cultures is really similar to how kids approach making sense of the world and I really try to bring that same kind of imaginative play into my work. 

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