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Life & Work with Fiona Avocado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fiona Avocado. 

Fiona, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always been an artist and a writer. My work is informed by my activism, my community, and my interests. When I was in undergrad at Michigan State University, I started drawing comics and making zines (short for fan zines, basically DIY magazine!) in 2009. Around the same time, I learned printmaking, delving into screenprinting and relief printing. 

I moved to Portland, OR in 2011 to pursue the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s (IPRC) yearlong Comics and Graphic Novels Certificate Program. It was here that I connected with more artists with my values and interests, and found my calling as a printmaker and illustrator. 

Fast forward—I wanted to move back to the Midwest, so I moved to Minneapolis in 2014. I lived there for five years, working as an artist, educator, and organizer. I realized I wanted to further solidify my art practice, hence why I landed in Ohio—I moved to Athens to pursue my MFA in Printmaking at Ohio University in 2019. 

During my time at OU, my work became more large-scale, and as a means of repurposing, reclaiming, and transformation, I started to utilize more upcycled textiles into my works. Coming out of graduate school (I received my MFA this past May), I work as a printmaker, textile artist, and zinester. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No! But also, not being artist doesn’t feel like an option because it’s such an embedded part of who I am. I remember being in my early 20s and not understanding why I couldn’t just get an arts job or automatically be a “good artist”—it takes a ton of work, a lot of trial and error, a lot of meeting people. It also takes making a lot of work that isn’t great. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am an artist, educator, writer, and organizer. All of my work is through a queer and feminist lens. I am known for my socially engaged works, my illustrations, and my screenprints. 

I am pretty proud of my MFA thesis show, a call for restoration. It pushed the boundaries of my work, and while it was the closing of a chapter of my life, it feels like an exciting beginning. 

What sets me apart? I think I have a distinct aesthetic. 

What matters most to you?
Making work and fostering creative community that closely aligns to my values and imagining a better world! 

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