Kelly Abeln autobiographical comics is both personal and universal. In other words, her work strikes a chord. “Sometimes I think with autobiographical work, ‘Oh, this is just something that happened to me and no one else will care,’” she admitted in an interview with Shrill Society. “But I really like reading autobiographical work, and that’s what I connect to. So I try to keep that in mind that the personal is universal. If you tell something really personal and focus on the feelings of it, then other people can relate to it.”
Her approach seemed to have worked with more than 10k followers on Instagram alone. Aside from her autobiographical work, Abeln paints and dabbles in pattern design. She also runs an online Etsy shop, where you can purchase selected prints, stickers, and other such goodies.
But mostly, she focuses on her comics. “I have a lot of stories in my head of growing up,” she admits. “Once I started making comics, I found they were the perfect way to get the stories all out and release them. I don’t want to forget them and forget how I felt.”
A lot of her work focuses on being a teen. “Every year of being a teenager feels like five years in terms of growth compared to the rest of your life,” she says. “It’s a chaotic and exciting time―you’re trying new things, you’re exploring identities. There’s so many firsts and you’re trying to figure everything out.”
Follow her Instagram page for more relatable content.