J. Engels self-portrait
2022 Senior Exhibition Artists 2022 Senior Exhibition Artists: J. Engels
J. Engels

Art + Design: Illustration

About J. Engels

J. Engels is a double major in writing and illustration, graduating with dual-degrees from UMass Dartmouth. After college J plans to utilize their degrees to seek out work in the publishing industry or in a library among books, where they would be most content. Along the way, they dream of someday publishing their first book (currently in progress) and adopting a lovely rescue horse to be their best friend.


Music has always been an integral part of my process – specifically, energetic and empowering music like hard rock and metal. However, as I am indebted to so many musicians for providing the soundtrack to my imagination, it proved too limiting to pin myself down by trying to pay homage to any one artist in particular. Thus, I decided to invent a hypothetical artist that would embody as many of those most inspiring qualities of various musicians as possible. For my pieces, I borrowed a number of motifs that are prevalent in album covers of the metal genre, such as imagery that invokes futuristic, fantastical environments and characters. To enrich the quality of the images’ narratives and ensure that I was making the most of its potential as a storytelling medium, I selected my own characters to be the subjects of these pieces.