Although Akis is often referred to as the first professional artist it orginated as a skill he developed in his role as an interpreter to communicate ideas he couldn't articulate in pidgin. It was an anthropologist from Columbia University, Buchbinder, who initially showed the drawings to Georgina and Ulli Beier on a trip to Moresby in 1969. Akis subsequently spent blocks of time with Georgina and later the Creative Arts School making his distinctive drawings which were reproduced by photographic screen print at several points by the School.
Akis's work was exhibited as early as 1970 at the University of Sussex in the UK and were part of many shows internationally. 13 works are currently held in the National Gallery of Australia colletion.