Last month, the Armenian Weekly was proud to feature the works of a young talented artist by the name of Catherine Mooradian, who goes by the nickname Kat.
The 20 year-old is a junior and an honors student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she has been expanding her natural creativity. “I’ve always been an artistic person,” said Mooradian in an interview with the Weekly.
An exclusive inside the pages of the Armenian Weekly, Mooradian’s four-part narrative series and stylized comic book was initially an assignment for a comic book creation class. The full-page stories were based on Mooradian’s interviews with three of her friends—Nyeree, Wintergail and Jake—and her father, John. The original comics, for the most part, explored themes of identity and cultural understanding, while depicting the internal difficulties of Diasporan Armenians’ connecting with their roots.
Mooradian, whose father grew up in Watertown, Mass., says her family struggled with being Armenian in the US and succumbed to assimilation. “I wasn’t aware that I was Armenian until I was in middle school,” said Mooradian, who was quickly inspired by her father’s experiences and her Armenian heritage especially after their first visit to the homeland two summers ago. “It’s a culture that is so passionate and artistic that I felt really connected,” explained Mooradian. “Seeing so many people who looked like me and who shared the same ideas as me…it felt very home-like.”
A fan of Canadian illustrator Jillian Tamaki, Mooradian describes her art portfolio as raw, honest, personal and political. She says it’s what comes natural to her. “It’s really important to educate yourself as an artist,” she said. “That doesn’t mean go to an art college, but rather be politically active. That is where art happens.”
Mooradian imagines a colorful future ahead with dreams of working and story-boarding as a professional cartoonist and character developer. She also likes to paint and write essays. She says she wants to find the time and the courage to get more involved in the Armenian community in Philadelphia.