Katjanna Dickey has always found herself fascinated by illustrations in the world around her. As a small child, she gazed in wonder at the fantastical drawings of tropical birds and reptiles in informational books in the library, wondering how on earth anyone could have drawn them so realistically. Her drive to create was borne of wonder more than anything. As she grew older, she came to realize that though drawing the natural world was a fun and informational endeavor, it was more pressing to her to illustrate the worlds people construct within their daydreams. Within these imaginary realms, vast networks of relationships are constructed, which reveal much about the inner workings of the creators’ minds. Since 2013, she and her creative collaboration group, Isolation, have been working together to create and display their communal imaginary world of the same name through art and writing.
Katjanna’s work explores the everyday turned mythic. The stories represented within it feature normal people who find themselves entrenched in a deeply mythical world, where the surreal is commonplace and the rules are inconsistent. They struggle with reconciling the real with the things that should not be. In As Pi Goes On Infinitely, the main characters of Katjanna’s graphic novel Vacation are portrayed as godlike versions of themselves, staring out over an endless sky; this dreamlike reality turns them into mythical beings, seeing all that is to come. However, these very same characters as portrayed in Vacation are deeply flawed individuals, burdened by their own worldly concerns and losses and struggling to maintain an image of normality in a deeply twisted world. Through these works, Katjanna aims to express the relationship between the real and the mythic, the waking and the dreaming worlds, and the often-blurred lines between them.