Profile for Kapono Asuncion


Hi! I'm Pono (they/them). I am a trans and nonbinary, neurodivergent, Indigenous illustrator and painter based in Minneapolis. Currently working with digital painting mediums such as Procreate, my mission is to affirm and engage children's minds and imaginations, especially those whose experiences include queerness, transness, indigeneity, diaspora, and neurodivergence. I'm interested in picture book illustration, film and video game animation, comics, and graphic novels. I want to tell stories that explore questions around home, identity, family, and community. I play with bright color, warm light, flowing shapes and lines, and close attention to mood and atmosphere. This style comes out of a childhood love of movies like The Borrowers and James and the Giant Peach, and a current love of anything involving time travel and parallel universes. I also find inspiration in the colors and light of my ancestral home of Hawai’i, tiny graffiti doodles I find in the nooks and crannies of my neighborhood, and my deepening understanding of the connections between their racial, neurological, queer, and gender identities. Hayao Miyazaki, Finnish concept artist and teacher Mikko Eerola, Oliver Jeffers, and my 3-year-old niece are among my favorite artists. I live with my partner, who introduced me to the wonders of children’s literature and earl grey tea, and our elderly dog Kumu, who is very fluffy and only a little stinky.

Member since November 2021