A poppy seed stuck in the teeth, our shower routine in the morning and what we actually think there, petting dogs, and giving your name at Starbucks just to get it horribly misspelled are some of the topics in the wholesome universe of the cartoons by Yoyoha. The 48-year-old artist from Columbus, Ohio, whose real name is Josh Hara and who works as a creative director for a technology company, has been drawing since preschool and even probably before that. His dad was an artist and Josh never thought there was any reason to stop.
Below, here are a few of his genius, heartwarming, laughter-inducing cartoons and his story as Bored Panda got in touch with Josh to pick his brain a little bit about life and drawing. You can vote for your favorite ones and let us know what you think!
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Josh’s creative universe is full of quirky characters that are actually based directly on his own life experience. “I did a cartoon about a poppy seed being stuck in between some teeth because I had a poppy seed stuck in my teeth. My most recent comic was about my shower routine—I guess I just try and take some of the more mundane parts of life and find something funny about them. Which is not uncommon or special, I think that’s what all comic artists and comedians are trying to do. Shine a light on some minuscule part of life and make fun of it a little.”
When asked about his inspiration, Josh admitted that there are tons of people in charge of that in his life. “I can’t just pick one person in this department—because there are so many people that continually inspire me. When I was a little kid it was Jim Davis and Garfield, in high school it was Berkely Breathed (Bloom County), Gary Larson (The Far Side), and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes). I also loved Matt Groening’s Life in Hell comic so much. Nowadays there are so many web comic-era artists I love. Shen, The Oatmeal, Dustinteractive, Liz Climo, RubyEtc, Gemma Correll, and so many more.”
Quite a few of his cartoons are drawn on paper takeaway coffee cups and it seems that he must have quite a sincere relationship with them. “Well, it’s fairly simple. I love it more than any other substance on the planet,” admitted Josh. He also recently discovered the value of status updates after caving in and joining Facebook after all these years. So he also runs his Twitter account, posting somewhat one-line jokes that he was previously sharing on Facebook and gathered quite the community of people with a similar sense of humor. He does see it as a potential catalog of comics, but then again—it seems like a colossal work consuming time and of course—coffee.
Turns out that the artist doesn’t have any more goals in this world regarding his artwork and perhaps some artists can relate to it. “For a long time I wanted to find a way to make comics full-time, but honestly, it’s not an easy life. It is a constant hustle to find ways to monetize your work, and you are consistently battling algorithms from social media sites that treat you like a multi-million dollar corporation because you have 100,000 followers.”
Josh has stopped fighting the social media craze and he now creates stuff and posts it when he feels like it. And as he points out without wanting to sound jaded, he has never been happier without the desperation posting and paragraphs of hashtags trying to reach more people. “Now I make comics because I love doing it. And when one goes viral on Reddit, it’s a great feeling. I gave a bunch of people 3 seconds of joy before they moved on to the next post. In this insane world, that is as much as you can ask for, and I will happily take it.”