Katie Miranda Studios: fine art, jewelry, comics and more !
I grew up in Menlo Park, California in a family that supported creativity: my mother was always teaching me arts and crafts and my father frequently took me to museums. As a teenager, I discovered Sandman comics. Dave McKean, the cover artist for Sandman, became my art hero. I flunked Algebra 2 twice in a row because I was either drawing during class, or ditching class to read comics.
In 1997 I enrolled at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Dave McKean had studied illustration and I figured if it was good enough for Dave, it was good enough for me. I obtained my BFA in 2001. From 2001-2005 I worked as a freelance illustrator in San Francisco, California.
In 2005 I attended a training in Berkeley, California for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM); a Palestinian led movement that uses nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience to oppose the Israeli occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land. I was so inspired by the trainers that I decided to go on a three month trip to the West Bank in order to work with ISM. Three months turned into three years. I worked with ISM for most of that time. Later I worked as a political cartoonist for the Palestine Times and taught art to children.
My recent work draws its inspiration from the three years (2005-2008) I spent in the West Bank. The work was challenging: physically, intellectually and spiritually. Painting, drawing, and writing constantly was a way to process the violence and injustice I was witnessing.
While living in the West Bank city of Ramallah, I met a Palestinian calligrapher named Ehab Thabet. He taught me the basics of Thuluth calligraphy. This calligraphy has become the basis for some of my jewelry.
Every day since my return, I have been consumed with telling the stories of the everyday heroism and bravery Palestinians practice while living under occupation in the West Bank. My sketchbooks and journals have been turned into a comic book called Tear Gas in the Morning. The first issue will be out this year. I graduated from the Academy of Art University School of Illustration with an MFA in graphic novels in May, 2011.
Katie Miranda Studios is located in Oakland, CA.