30 Cartoons Illustrating What Being A Parent Is Really Like By Hedger Humor (New Pics) Interview With Artist
Parenthood requires a lot of energy and patience. I mean, to keep a little human being alive and happy equals the superpowers of a hero. And I'm not even talking about all the little struggles in between. Anyway, despite all the challenges that come along the way, being a parent is very rewarding. Otherwise, no one would ever want to become one!
Adrienne Hedger, the award-winning cartoonist behind the popular webcomic “Hedger Humor”, illustrates the laughter in everyday moments. She perfectly captures what daily life being a mom and a wife is really like. From childish whims to teenage philosophies, these funny comics will surely be familiar to parents around the world.
We got in touch with Adrienne to get to know more about her and her creative process. The artist has two teenage daughters and lives in California. She has been posting comics online since 2008, and under the name “Hedger Humor” since 2014.
The artist shared that ever since she was a kid, her favorite way to express herself was through drawings. "It was how I processed and understood the world. I would lie there on the ground with my pens and just fill notebook after notebook with comics and cartoon stories. Then in high school, I incorporated comics and cartoon drawings into my school essays. And I was constantly making comics and cards for friends and family. Looking back, I’ve always seen the world through a comic lens. Comics have been part of my life for as long as I can remember."
In response to the question of where Adrienne gets inspiration for her comics, the artist replied that she is inspired by a few different things. Most of her comics come straight from her life. "For example, interactions with my family, my dog, my friends, and the world at large. I’m constantly taking notes about things that would make a good cartoon. I’m also inspired by comments that people post on my social media pages. I get new ideas by reading about other people’s funny experiences. From time to time, I will also partner with someone, like 'Abby Has Issues' or Simon Holland, and I will illustrate their tweets that make me laugh. Those partnerships are really fun."
Adrienne has admitted that when she was first starting to post cartoons, she worried that she would run out of ideas, but now she knows that will never happen. The key, according to the artist, is to pay attention to what’s happening around you—"even the frustrating things can be a funny cartoon later. Also, write your ideas down right away!"
"I’m constantly grateful and motivated to see that there are people who enjoy what I’m drawing. The work itself is solitary — I’m just here in my house, creating cartoons that I personally find amusing. So to see those cartoons resonate with other people is really fun. It makes me feel connected to others around the world. It’s still surprising to me that I’m posting cartoons and people are reading them. That seems so weird, but I’m happy it’s happening!"
Adrienne shared that working on the comics helps her stay sane. "When things happen that annoy me or frustrate me, I think, 'Wait, this is a comic!' And then my anger turns to excitement because now I have a new cartoon idea.
I also love reading other people’s comics. It makes me happy that there are so many people who communicate this way. And reading all these funny things always puts me in a better mood."
Adrienne never went to art school or had any formal training. According to her, she just started drawing and didn’t stop. "Over time, a style emerged and became more refined. I’m certainly not a great artist, but I'm really happy with how my cartoons look. I like the simple look, and I’ve worked really hard on drawing funny facial expressions. I still struggle to draw people who are sitting down. Getting the legs right is so difficult! If I draw people at a table, that table ALWAYS has a tablecloth. That way I don’t need to draw any legs. There is no world that has as many tablecloths as my little cartoon world."
For those who are aspiring to become comic artists one day, Adrienne has some advice! "Definitely keep a running list of your ideas. Either in a notebook or on your phone, wherever it works for you. When I write down ideas, they are not always fully formed. This morning I wrote, 'Dogs adjusting to Daylight Saving Time.' I would still need to write the comic and figure out the humor, but at least I captured the idea when it popped into my head.
I’ve also found that it’s good to try different versions of a cartoon or comic (I use those words interchangeably). Sometimes I’ll sketch a four-panel comic, but then I’ll try it as a two-panel comic just to see if that’s funnier. I might even try a version as a one-panel comic. Sometimes the shorter something is, the funnier it is. There are several ways you can tell a joke, so try a few versions and you can figure out what’s best for that particular comic."
"If you can find someone to preview your cartoons, that’s helpful too. I often send my cartoons to my sister first, to get her input before I post them. She can tell me if anything is confusing or could be improved.
I used to draw comics just once or twice a week, but then I got into a phase where I was doing one every day. Once I started drawing that much, I saw my style noticeably improve. So if you can draw every day, that’s ideal.
As I was trying to get better at drawing, I would copy some of my favorite cartoonists—just to see how they drew characters and backgrounds. I would pick one of their comics and just draw it myself. It was really interesting to draw in someone else’s style, and it helped me improve my own style."
"Try not to lose your personal satisfaction and amusement with your own work. While it’s great to grow an audience and share your work, ultimately you want to create comics that you personally enjoy. Maybe they help you through tough times or serve as a diary of sorts, chronicling your life. It’s such a fun gift to be able to create your own little worlds through drawings."
Adrienne shared that she has a monthly newsletter where she talks more about the comics, her inspiration, and other matters. People can sign up at her website!