Maya Jain

Artist & Teacher

Maya Jain (she/her) is an artist and teacher living in Chicago. She creates whimsical illustrations and comics centered primarily around the themes of mental health, queerness, and growing up. She also works within the performing arts doing scenic painting work for a variety of theater companies as well as technician work for the Neofuturists.

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    The Dream

    I have always been very fascinated by the content of my dreams and have wanted to document them through various artistic endeavors. I used to have a recurring dream about my hair suddenly growing very long, very quickly. I created this piece out of the curiosity I was feeling about this dream. 

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    This piece started out in my sketchbook and evolved into a larger work. I made this image as essentially a stream of consciousness, hoping to capture some of the feelings of loneliness and desire for companionship that I was reaching for at the time. 

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    This piece is the first page of a short comic I wrote and illustrated called “Ashes.” The comic is a reflection on my relationship with queerness and existing in queer culture. By comparing and contrasting anecdotes from my life, it also discusses how that has become complicated in a pandemic. I made this comic from a SVA continuing education class with Sarah Shaw.

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    Bird by Bird

    I took a continuing education class through SVA with Grant Shaffer, that had us illustrate a cover design for the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I created this piece with no knowledge of what the actual cover looked like. I created this piece to try and describe the feeling of experiencing a “flow state,” which develops slowly with the sustained practice of any craft.

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    Quarantine Brain

    I created this piece in the winter of 2020. I was experiencing heightened nostalgia and longing for the past because it was the first holiday season within a pandemic. I was mourning the distance that had naturally formed between myself and many of my college friends due to not seeing each other for a long time and not having the capacity to message regularly. This piece was a way to get those feelings onto the page.