Art accrued through anime


Madison Cockrum has learned art through anime. Photo credit: Sean Martens

From a young age, Madison Cockrum has loved to draw. Her main drives are will, instructional books and anime. Madison uses inspiration from shows and books she loves in order to create, putting her own twist on the art.

“My mom got me one of those ‘How to Draw’ books with all the steps and I’d look through that and the books in the school library,” Cockrum explained. “I kinda fostered it in myself to love drawing. Around 13 I found manga and anime, and realized I could make a living from this.”

She encourages people to ignore their self-criticism and follow their creativity, wherever it may go.


“The number one thing is you shouldn’t think that you can’t draw because if you tell yourself that it’s not going to happen, it’s not,” she explained. “So you tell yourself that you can and will, and do it… If you are able to communicate something with your drawing, then you were successful.”

Cockrum talked about some of the artists and styles that inspire her work.

“I really love the ’90s anime aesthetic, although I don’t draw like that anymore. I watched a lot of Studio Ghibli as a kid; my dad let me watch Ranma ½… it’s by Rumiko Takahashi who drew Inuyasha and those influenced me for a really long time, she is an amazing artist, she was under one of the most influential manga artists of her time… In certain anime, you can just feel the love that they put into it,” Cockrum said.

She also listed some traditional art styles she enjoys, such as art from Alfonse Mucha.

“I really like art Nouvou and I find it’s decorative style really appealing. I find myself drawn to romanticism and baroque art—I don’t really draw like that—but I really like the complexity and the detail,” she said. “It really draws me in, I find myself replicating that a lot.”

Cockrum discussed some of her plans after graduating this May. She explained that she hates the idea of having a day job. Instead, she wants to be able to find an outlet to tell stories through her artwork. She believes that some art students begin to lose interest in their work once they graduate college.

“From a young age, I’ve always wanted a career in the arts…My comic series is slightly based on some elements of Akira,” Cockrum said. “I started working on the story when I was about 13 and it used to be about a dragon and two people intertwined by fate, and then I was like ‘this is boring, let’s put them in a dystopian future.’ It’s definitely is my baby, it still has one of the original characters.”

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.