Featured Artist: Marika Purisima

Self-portrait of the author with her character Lorelai: a pale face is depicted from mid-nose up, wearing round spectacles; the person's eyes are brown, and dark colored hair frames their face under a white knit cap with cat ears (showing pink interiors); the brown bespectacled hedgehog faces the viewer from her perch atop the hat.
“Meeks and Lorelai”

Welcome to Ellen Million Graphics’ Featured Artist of the Week! Each week (or so), we select an EMG artist and share their work and history. We hope you enjoy getting to see incredible artists this way.

This week, our spotlight picks out that artist of bespectacled hedgehogs and bright whimsy, Marika Purisima (AKA Meeks)! Meeks joins us from Vancouver, where she’s lived for the last eleven years – and she has no intentions of leaving any time soon! She describes herself as “artistically inclined aspie with a lifelong love of stories.”

A mottled red octopus faces away from the viewer, looking back at the viewer, wearing a many-armed grey-blue coat. The background is an impression of sea greens and blues.
“Coat of Arms”

She’s been creating art since she was a small child, with her parents saving drawings she made as a toddler. Disney’s classically animated films are some of her earliest inspirations; she also draws on historical sources from the Medieval period or early modern Europe (though obviously this can vary depending on what she’s working on). While she has fond memories of first learning to paint with oils, she’s more recently fallen in love with watercolors and Conté Crayons. Mostly, though, she works in digital, with her favorite programs being ArtRage and Sketchbook. When she’s not creating art, you can find her practicing swordplay – from the rapier and the longsword to the sidesword and polearms. She also enjoys sewing, scaling up from doll’s clothes to altering her own to making cloaks for secondary defense in swordplay. She paints fencing masks too! Discover more about her and her art at her website.

A friendly rounded green dragon with gold horns and purple eyes  faces a masked tanuki and looks surprised. Smoke curls from the dragon's nostrils and open mouth. The tanuki is facing away from the viewer in the foreground, wearing a green hat on his brown and black furry body. He also wears a red Chinese-esque dragon mask with gold accents. In the background is a green lawn,  brick wall, and Lorelai the hedgehog hurrying toward the dragon and tanuki while holding a red book.
“Jiro Dragon”

Meeks has been a delightful and productive friend to EMG for around six years now, contributing to Sketch Fests, Portrait Adoption, and Torn World! Her Sketch Fest gallery contains nearly 100 drawings and is full of puns, humor, and whimsy. See the hippo who swallowed a dwarf, grin at Lorelei the bespectacled hedgehog (who stars in the books Meeks founded Elder Days StoryTime to publish), chuckle at a tanuki pretending to be a dragon! Over at Torn World, she’s contributed to the article on fang deer and contributed drawings of snow-cats, skycats, deathfins, and more. She’s even got three portraits available for adoption – and these are popular characters! – ranging from a magic-user to a warrior to a rogue. We invite you to discover more of her work at EMG through the links below!

A young blue-eyed lynx-looking snow-cat of Torn World crawls down a branch toward the viewer. Detailed sketch on blue-grey paper.
“Snow-Cat in Winter”

Meeks’ Sketch Fest gallery.

Meeks’ Portrait Adoption gallery.

Meeks’ Torn World Creator page.

A humanoid figure of small stature with pointed ears climbs a rope up a brick wall to an open window barely in frame in the upper left. Light spills from the open window. The figure is wearing green, brown, and white adventurer clothes. It is night.
Portrait Adoption