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About Mild Pain


Under the name Mild Pain, Abby Kacen is an illustrator, zinester, DIY punk, community volunteer, and nonprofit worker. Her work draws inspiration from cartoons, rock & roll, and personal stories to portray the human experience in a myriad of bold colors and weird creatures.

I received my BFA in ‘Interdisciplinary Art’ from the University of Georgia, which is a fancy way of saying I didn’t know what I wanted to do and the Lamar Dodd School of Art didn’t know what to do with me.

I was mostly interested in drawing, cartooning, telling stories, and combining all three. After getting into a fist fight with Animation and losing, I realized I enjoyed writing and drawing more than anything else. Illustration and Screen Writing were where I made some of my favorite work in undergrad.

After a pathetic exit portfolio, I managed to graduate in 2016. I started working a bunch of odd jobs - wandering the city of Athens. I didn’t really start drawing like it mattered to me again until 2017/2018 when I found out about FLUKE festival.

Working at a print shop at the time, I had easy means to put together zines and get back into drawing stupid shit. I started making zine festivals my new favorite thing. And in 2018, Mike Turner of HHBTM Records found my artwork and hired me to do the posters/branding for Athens Popfest (RIP) which was another big deal for me, someone who rarely got paid to draw my weird characters.

But I didn’t think I’d ever make a living from drawing and I really enjoyed participating in community activities (especially relating to art) so I started volunteering, quit my full-time job, and went back to UGA to get an MA in Nonprofit Management & Leadership - bing! bang! boom! I graduated at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and now I work part-time as a Development Associate & Visual Art Coordinator at Nuçi’s Space.

I hope to continue working with charitable organizations, I’m especially interested in programs that bring art to marginalized groups, youths, and expanded funding and opportunities for established and upcoming artists. I want to keep supporting the arts in anyway I can - and at the same time I can’t stop making art so I guess I do that too.

-A. Kacen, 2021

In her spare time, Kacen likes going to shows, cooking, running, hanging out with friends, and most of all - being with her partner, Steve. They currently live in Athens, GA with their two cats, Arizona and Mina.




Conversation over Comics

More than doodles

The Cartoon Show

Flagpole 2018

World Famous bar in Athens

Ampersand Magazine

Flagpole 2020

Respite at Creature Comforts

Voyage ATL