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Word & Image: Oura Sananikone, 28

Doll-maker, comic book artist, painter, guitarist

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They're all different, all unique. I used to give them all names, but I don't do that anymore because I kinda want people to name them themselves. I see them as a little part of me. … a little goofy … something to make you smile. At the same time, if you ever read any of my comics, they are very serious, exploring the nature of God and death and life, but they are silly, like potty humor.

Last Christmas, it felt like Santa's workshop in my house because me and my girl would sit on the couch with a movie or listening to music, and we'd be making stuff all night long to give to our families.

[Working at World of Mirth] has definitely made me think about packaging, seeing what's out there, what people respond to. I don't think people want what's force-fed, what the media says is cool. Whatever I can do to help, whatever I can offer — and whatever kind of commercial success is definitely a plus.

It's all I ever really wanted to do, to draw, to make stuff. I definitely had to defend going to art school to my family. Even my relatives from Laos said you can do art as a hobby, but you need to find a real job. To this day, I don't believe that. I believe I can do art as a living soon, at some point — not quite now, but it's within reach. — As told to Deveron Timberlake; photographed by Scott Elmquist.

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