Maria Photinakis is a illustrator and comic book artist exploring science fiction and autobiographical narratives around alienation, self-discovery, and the diaspora experience.
She is originally from and still currently based in the greater Boston area, and works out of her home studio in Waltham. She enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter around the world and sketching their adventures.
General Artist Statement
I grew up in a big Greek-American community in Lowell, Massachusetts and was mesmerized by the Byzantine mosaic iconography that surrounded me at home and in my community church. These icons were heavily visually stylized and designed to convey story and meaning without depending on text. The visual narratives and conventions of those icons still influence my work today.
While in school studying Journalism, I also studied French language and culture for a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris, as well as Japanese language and traditional puppet theater (bunraku) during a summer semester in Shiga prefecture in Japan. The Greek, French, and Japanese cultures all have indelibly left their mark on the lens I use to observe and document the world.
I grew up in an immigrant household and have spent a lot of my life studying language and culture, both my family’s own and others. Common themes throughout much of my work relate to identity, how we choose to self-define, and how cultural heritage can be both a source of strength or a burden.