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.