From True Laurels: The Overseas Issue. The zine will be available in our online shop Monday, April 20th.
I just got my graphic designer diploma. I’m half French, half Senegalese. I always had a passion for drawing and never stopped since I was able to hold a pen and express myself on a piece of paper. I love how it always let’s me capture moments and the faces of life. One of my largest influences comes from the comics universe. I've always been fascinated by drawers like Druillet, Moebius and Crumb. My work reflects these influences both in my pictures and drawings. I just spent a month in Senegal doing a documentary on my family. What’s important for me is to share my work as it is made of the people for the people.
GMKD is my artist name : Geneviève Mame Kodou Dieng. I promised my dad to never forget my African roots so I have put my African name on my nickname! I love Martian stories, and stories about space, that’s why my emblem is a spaceship. For me, people like Erykah Badu, Sun Ra, Bad Brains, Funkadelics, The Cramps, Sex Pistols, The Specials, and so many more are kind of comics characters for me. That’s why I love to find special people for my pictures. People who remind me of a comic world!
Senegal is fantastic for that because everybody reflects the sun and it shines in their smiles. Everyday I was so happy to see happiness and colors, especially for the spectacular pink and orange natural light flashing from the sunset.
I’ve taken a special interest in religion in Dakar These souls or these mystic spirits, demonstrations (appearances) of the deceased or animal divinities, can act on the tangible world...in a beneficial way or not. It is thus advisable to dedicate worship to them. So by definition: faith in the soul and in the future life, correlatively, faith in guiding divinities and subordinate spirits; it can characterize extremely diverse societies, situated on all the continents.
I’m a total fanatic of Japanese artists like Takeshi Kitano, Hayao Miyazaki, Suehiro Maruo, Wong Kar Wai and Katsuhiro Ōtomo as well. I love how they put a lot of colors with all this beautiful perfection. Since I was born I always dreamt to be a nice witch and fly on the GMKDIZ (my imaginary world). One day I will jump on my drawing and I will fly into the page of all the comics from this world!
All photos are taken by Genevieve Mame Kodou Dieng, a French-Senegalese multidisciplinary artist. Follow her on Instagram.