Co/Create Winner Profile: Illustrator Ron Ackins
Drawing inspiration from comics during his youth and grounded by his foundational studies in graphic design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Ron's talents creating caricatures, concept art, character designs, and promotional art and apparel has led him to collaborate with eminent brands such as Nike, UndrCrwn, and Sony Music Entertainment. Of particular note is his work with Marvel Comics, where he contributed to iconic titles like Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Moon Knight.
Ron's distinctive and colorful comic book style is tied to his interests in sci-fi, anime, film and comics, as well as in how Black people are depicted and represented in media. Growing up reading comics and watching action movies, Ron saw Black people depicted in ways that didn't feel authentic. He's inspired to create truer depictions of Black people in entertainment, heavily influencing the work he takes on and his style of artwork.
Ron’s Creative Process
Ron developed his craft by spending countless hours alone in his room, studying different comic artists' styles and drawing and experimenting with works of his own. He also consumed and studies copious works of photography and film in order to soak up the fundamentals of composition, lighting and acting, in order to accurately translate human emotions to paper.
This self education, coupled with his studies at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and many different stops on his career, has resulted in a strict creative process; first he starts with pencils, followed by the application of Prisma or Copic markers, and culminates with inks. Recently, he's started illustrating digitally using an Intuos Pro Wacom tablet.
Below are 3 of the final comic panels Ron completed for the "Marcus Rhoder Backstory Artwork" Co/Create:
To view Ron's artist statement, portfolio, and some of the original sketches he submitted to the Co/Create, click on the link below:
Marcus’ Backstory is the first character backstory to be fully co-created with several different co-creations pieced together to create a coherent graphic narrative. While they’re may certainly be additional Story Branches off of this initial backstory for Marcus, there will also be many other character backstories similar rendered with an initial story, and brought to life via original community art and performance.
To learn more about Co/Create and view all the current Co/Create opportunities, visit Story.co/create.