Join us for regular museum hours starting February 3, 2023.

  • Nicole Smith '10
  • Every Single Time, Cat
  • 2012
  • Color marker, ink, and pen on paper
  • 13.125 x 11.25 inches
  • Courtesy of the artist

Looking back on her Hendrix experience, Nicole Smith remembers spending most of her time in the college’s Art Complex. If not in a studio class (or working on an assignment for one), she was in an Art History course taught by Dr. Rod Miller.

When Smith, a Studio Art major, struggled to determine the main theme of her senior portfolio, Dr. Miller suggested she experiment with drawing comics. While she initially resisted the idea, she soon fell in love with the art style. She now primarily creates Chibi drawings, an art style popularized by Japanese anime and manga. Chibi characters are often drawn in what is colloquially known as a “super-deformed” style, with large eyes and a disproportionately large head. In addition to these modified proportions, artists also emphasize or deemphasize elements of a figure’s appearance, depending on how significant they are to the figure’s characterization. If the character has an identifying characteristic, this is often enlarged or made otherwise prominent.

Smith appreciates the cartoonish, whimsical nature of the Chibi art style. She also loves the ability to convey emotional extremity through exaggerated expressions and gestures. These drawings remind Smith of the comics, manga, and video games that she loved growing up, and she thus uses them as a celebration of geek culture.

Smith created Every Single Time, Cat while reflecting on the process of completing her Hendrix senior portfolio. As she drew, her cat, Georgie, would constantly demand her attention. Every time she left him alone, no matter how briefly, she returned to find him sprawled across her work, biting at erasers, or knocking over her supplies. In the background, Smith includes a poster of Vault Boy from the Fallout Universe, a nod to her love for video games and their influence on her artistic style.

Smith graduated from Hendrix in 2010 with a B.A. in Studio Art. She now lives in Greenland, Arkansas, where she works in J.B. Hunt’s Carrier Loyalty Department.