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Charis Loke

Illustrator, mapmaker and comics editor
Charis Loke (she/dia) is an illustrator and comics editor based in Penang, Malaysia. Her art draws upon literature and visual culture, exploring both real and fictional worlds; she's illustrated maps for fantasy novels like The Bone Shard Daughter and Queen of the Conquered, made illustrated microfiction rooted in Southeast Asian cultures, and designed geeky garments inspired by pop culture. Charis is interested in exploring tropes that shape conventional fantasy maps and moving away from colonial or Eurocentric ways of seeing and mapping.

Upon discovering The Arrival in a school library at the age of 17, she fell in love with visual storytelling. She has since drawn street protests, market communities, election rallies, in the jungle, on a boat, by a glacier. Charis has taught drawing to teens, medical students, and adults. She believes that a rising tide lifts all boats and engages in capacity-building for illustrators and comics artists. As the Comics and Illustrations Editor at New Naratif, Charis has worked with over 70 artists from Southeast Asia and the diaspora to create visuals that explain the forces shaping the world around us.

She's currently doing a MA in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths in London with a focus on drawing as visual research method. Her research examines the role that storytelling plays in information exchange among artists and how they map the interactions and the networks they're part of.