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Ayelen Maddox


Artist Statement

n each of my pieces I aim to reflect the beauty that I see in nature, which other people may not see or haven’t taken the time to appreciate. My hope is that my illustrations can someday encourage and inspire kids to look closer, to find joy and wonder in the natural world around them, and to recognize all the love that God wants to give them through his creation. The illustrations in this exhibit are pieces that have been inspired by the beauty of God’s creation in various scenes or environments. In particular, sea otters have always been a favorite of mine because of their playful characters, and the role they play in protecting the environment and sea kelp forests. The otter centerpiece is especially significant to me because it connects directly to my life of faith. In my belief, the creator of our world is a being of both femininity and masculinity, and that we are made in their image as man and woman. A great symbol of this duality is the yang and yin sign, commonly associated with eastern religions such as Taoism. In my desire to express this concept, I incorporated my favorite animals, sea otters, into a beautiful swirling dance around each other, in the form of yang and yin.In addition, the pieces in this exhibit are all works that I’ve created with children’s books in mind; over the past two years at SPU, I have focused on practicing certain techniques and skills that have helped me prepare to work in the field of children’s book illustration. Whether it was designing book covers, composing comic book layouts, or creating mock picture book spreads, I have consistently and consciously worked toward this goal of illustration, not just as a dream or hope for the future but as an attainable goal.

Artist Bio
My passion for fine arts comes from my love for nature and the beauty of God’s creation. I find so much joy and inspiration in being outside with nature. When I took drawing and painting classes in high school, it opened up a beautiful and creative new world for me that has continued to grow and expand through university. Through my artistic practices, I found an outlet to express my creativity and passions, and at the same time I could experience a more personal connection to the one who created me.
Growing up, I was always inspired by book illustrators like Beatrix Potter, E.H Shepard, and Robin James. Now that I am exploring the field of illustration, I have come to love so many more illustrators that I never knew before, and I am always trying to adopt some of their styles and techniques, but ultimately, I always go back to Beatrix Potter’s beautiful watercolor for inspiration. Like Beatrix Potter, my love for the natural world drives my artistic passion and creativity. I consider myself more of a fine artist at times because I love simply expressing my creativity through a painting that might not mean anything to anyone else. But ultimately, I am determined to shape my sometimes-wild creative passion into illustrations that can communicate the underlying story or narrative and convey the wonder of nature Over the years I have developed an interest in storytelling, and this idea of illustrating children’s books has grown stronger and more possible every day. I hope to inspire kids to explore their creativity and find an appreciation for artwork as a practice of self-expression and freedom.I am eager to create work that tells a story and invites engagement with the viewer, and also reveals the essence of God, who is the center of my life and the source of my artistic creativity.

Keepers of the Kelp


Keepers Full Spread.jpeg

Pond Lilies


Pond Life - Lillies.jpeg

Pond Life


Pond Life - Frogs.jpeg
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