Area visual creator Liz Pavlovic wins regional honor
by Olivia Murray
A local artist received an award for visual creators during the first Appodlachia Appalachian Awards ceremony.
The awards, whose winners were announced during a podcast segment published to YouTube on Dec. 28, were determined by votes from listeners of the podcast, most of whom are residents of the Appalachian region.
Liz Pavlovic, a Morgantown-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator, was nominated for the award alongside creators such as Julie Rae Powers, Adams Film and Jamie Lester.
Pavlovic had created the logo for the Appodlachia Podcast, though podcast creator Chuck Corra said her limited association with the podcast had no influence over the way the community voted.
“We will say for the sake of transparency that Liz did our logo for the show and it looks … awesome, and she does a lot of other cool [stuff], especially with cryptids like Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster. Her stuff is really cool,” Corra said during the awards podcast.
“Big John” Isner, the other half of the Appodlachia Podcast duo, referred to Pavlovic as “the Mothman artist.”
“I don’t know anybody else that does it as well,” Isner said.
Pavlovic graduated from West Virginia University in 2010 with a degree in graphic design and has since been doing freelance work, but said she wasn’t able to support herself through her work until last year.
In the past year, Pavlovic has taken on several major projects, including a collaboration with Blenko Glass Co. and designing the logo for the Appodlachia Podcast, while maintaining focus on her personal work.
Pavlovic designed a Mothman pin in collaboration with West Virginia Folklife, created a sticker for Black Bear Burritos and has created beverage can designs for Morgantown Brewing Co.
Pavlovic said she was informed she had been nominated for the award, but did not initially give it much thought.
“I didn’t really expect to win, just because it wasn’t just in West Virginia,” Pavlovic said.
After seeing on social media other creators were talking about the awards they’d won through the podcast, Pavlovic viewed the podcast segment and was surprised to find she had won Appalachian Visual Creator of the Year.
“I feel really lucky, especially to be among the other people that won, because they’re all really cool,” Pavlovic said.
Pavlovic said this is the first time she has won a title or an award regarding her artwork, which often centers on cryptids and folklore characteristic to the Appalachian region.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve always been into aliens and monsters to some extent, but I started getting more into West Virginia cryptids around 2017 when I went to Mothman Festival for the first time and was just really inspired by the folklore behind Mothman, and just how cool the festival was,” Pavlovic said.
After her visit to the festival, Pavlovic began researching Mothman and other cryptids, and was subsequently inspired to create artwork based on those legends.
Pavlovic believes the popularity of her cryptid artwork may have contributed to the votes she received in order to win the award.
“Between the cryptids being mostly Appalachia and West Virginia-based cryptids that I think maybe weren’t represented in the way that I do, or as some of the lesser-known ones weren’t really represented before I did the cartoony versions of them … I think that’s all tied in to people being aware of me, especially in this region,” she said. “And people love Mothman, so that’s definitely been my most popular stuff, for the most part.”
Pavlovic said while she does have some major upcoming projects in the works, including a potential mural for a new Point Pleasant business, she can’t speak extensively about them — for now.
“It was definitely an honor winning that award, and I appreciate everyone, voting for me,” she said.
Isner and Corra stated in the description of the YouTube segment that the pair will follow up with the winners of the awards with a prize soon.
Corra and Isner started the Appodlachia Podcast in December 2019. According to the Appodlachia website, “Chuck and Big John were tired of the negative portrayal of Appalachia in the media and decided to start a podcast that pushed back against that narrative, providing a new and authentic voice for a region misunderstood and forgotten by most of the country.”
For more information on Liz Pavlovic or to view her shop, visit https://www.lizpavlovic.com/.
For more information on the Appodlachia Podcast or to subscribe, visit https://www.appodlachia.com/.
Pavlovic designed a Mothman pin (left) in collaboration with West Virginia Folklife. The graphic designer and illustrator’s work, such as the pieces pictured here, often centers on cryptids and folklore characteristic to the Appalachian region.