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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with Makenna Hobbs (BFA Graphic Design)

Lagging in Life? 
March 25-28th, 2024

Closing Reception
When: Wednesday, March 27rd, 2024, 4:30–6:00 PM
Where: Gallery 130, Meek Hall

Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.
Hello, my name is Makenna Hobbs. I am getting a BFA in Graphic Design, and I currently live in Coldwater, MS. I have lived in many places and was born in Washington state.

What attracted you to the Department of Art & Art History?
I started doing art a little before high school and instantly fell in love with it. When starting college, I wasn’t confident in my skills and didn’t think art would be a valuable job. I took a semester of college, where I was going for a psychology degree, for me to realize I could not see myself doing anything but art as a job. This led to me choosing Graphic Design and going here for my degree.

What type of artwork do you create and can you discuss your process?
I work in both graphic design and illustration, I generally lean more towards illustration in my work. The first step I usually take is researching about what I am creating art for or of, but if no research is really necessary, I will go on to the next step. For this part I usually just brainstorm ideas and sketch them out ruffly on paper. I get a better idea of what I want to do if I can see what I can come up with on paper. Once I come to a direction that I like and makes sense I just start building it whether it be graphical or illustrated.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
Comic book illustrator Bernard Krigstein has been an influence, and his experimental work has pushed me to view comics in a new way. Krigstein believed comics were a place for personal expression through art at a time when comics were not viewed highly by others. In his work, he has pushed to tell stories his way with more motion and emotion than comics with heavy dialog. This is something that I wish to incorporate in my work, not just in comics, but to tell stories through pure art alone. I generally do not get inspired by specific artists but by specific works, so I have a whole gallery of works that have inspired me from various artists and in many different mediums. 

Which professors inspired you the most?
Tyler Barnes and Dason Pettit have inspired me throughout my two years here to look at my works differently. Prof. Barnes has helped me look at typography as more than just words but as a design element. He has pushed me out of my comfort zone of illustration to really immerse myself in graphical design, which I am endlessly grateful for. Prof. Pettit has helped me with working conceptually in illustration. He has pushed me to create more dynamic and intentional illustrations, Prof. Pettit also helped me with more abstract illustrations and how to tell a story without straight up telling what it is about. His guidance has really changed how I see and create illustrations for the better and I am very grateful for all the help he has given me with my thesis and classes in general.

What has been your favorite class during your years here?
Choosing a favorite class is truly hard as I have liked most of my classes here, but if I had to choose, I would say figure drawing. It was truly a fun experience and I love drawing the figure. I find the human figure so interesting and I was so happy to be able to take this class. It also really taught me how to draw from observation as well as working with value.

Do you have a favorite memory here in the department?
I can’t really choose a favorite memory, there are too many, but my favorites are all about being with the other art student whether that be while I am monitoring, and we are hanging out or we are working on projects together. Particularly working on projects after hours together are fun memories as we bounced ideas off each other, talked about life and school, or trying to figure out how to use certain machinery together.

Do you have any advice for incoming art students?
Come to the labs during lab hours, even if you’re just working on your computer. It’s really fun when you get a group together to work on different projects together.

Do you have any hobbies outside of the art department?
I like to watch various shows (usually animated), reading, going on walks, and taking care of my two cats.

What is your favorite thing about Oxford or the University?
I like the architecture and pathways on campus. I have spent many afternoons just walking around and seeing the sights.

Can we find you on social media?
You can find me @kenna_m.h on instagram,, and @kenna m.h on youtube.

Do you have any plans after graduation?
I plan to take a bit of a break and spend time with my family. After that I plan to find an internship or job to start my career.