2024 Grad Show

Phoebe Riel

AUArts Grad Show IMG_5301

VCD – Character Design & Illustration


Welcome to my portfolio! I'm Phoebe Riel, a Kwakwaka'wakw artist based in Calgary and a member of the ‘Na̲mg̲is First Nation. I have Ojibway roots, with many close relatives, including my dad, being members of the Batchewana First Nation. I am deeply motivated by the power of visual storytelling, a craft passed down through my long line of Indigenous storytellers.

My artwork is a fusion of illustration and visual story development, drawing inspiration from my First Nation identity, childhood memories, and a love for the surreal. With a whimsically adorable yet uniquely odd style, my pieces often delve into themes of memory, childhood, and surrealism.

As a toy collector and horror story enthusiast, my work is heavily influenced by these passions, infusing my visual style and narratives with elements that captivate and intrigue. Whether it's through the pages of a children's book or the panels of a horror visual novel, I'm always exploring new avenues of storytelling narratives that resonate.

I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities and connections, so please don't hesitate to reach out!

Busi-Buła Gaga̲nała'a̲m - DOLL PARTS

Busi-Bula Gaganata'am is a Indigenous body horror about a talented young kwakwaka'wakw dancer who undergoes a terrifying metamorphosis into a plastic doll, unraveling the theme of trauma. Throughout my last semester I have been developing this story, mainly through storyboarding and creating a pitch package. These are four sequential illustrations from key moments of the dancer girl’s metamorphosis.

ONEIRONAUT - Childern’s book story development

One of the projects I am most proud of is my development work on the storybook concept Oneironaut - A Dream Journey to the Land of the Dolls. This project was part of an assignment focused on creating concept drawings and finished artwork to propose either a Graphic Novel segment or a narrative section to a publisher, extending from prior Visual Dev Work.
In 'Oneironaut,' young Penelope's vivid imagination leads her on a fantastical journey through diverse dimensions within her dreams, where she, along with her stuffed sloth companion Loaf, and a ragdoll named Olive, confront the sinister Doll Maker, embarking on a quest that uncovers the transformative power of love, compassion, and friendship within the enchanting world of dreams.

This site may contain artworks with provocative content that some viewers may find uncomfortable or upsetting. AUArts supports a culture of non-censorship and ongoing conversations about contemporary art.