30 Of The Best Comics That Are Full Of Silly Humor And Absurd Situations By Will Santino Interview With Artist
Today we’d like to introduce you to the cartoonist Will Santino. Funnily enough, Will doesn't need a lot of words to make people smile with his one-panel comics. The artist usually creates short comics, often with just a single sentence, covering all kinds of everyday situations in a way that is sure to put a smile on your face when scrolling down through his minimalistic cartoons. The artist mainly uses Patreon to make a living by making around 6 new comics a week and if you'd like to support him you can find the link to his socials down below!
Bored Panda reached out to the artist.
"I started drawing cartoons during a difficult time in my life, while I was processing grief after a loss. I am inspired by nature, stories, mythology, animals, and books. I like to add more silliness, wonder, whimsy, and absurdity into the world."
Bored Panda reached out to Will Santinos with some questions! First, we asked the artist if he had any major influences in his life that might've helped him to develop and refine his style.
"Growing up, I was very influenced by books like Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo, and comics like Calvin and Hobbes and Little Nemo in Slumberland. Also the covers of the fantasy novels I read, like Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. I love the illustrations of James Gurney and Shaun Tan, and historical artists like M. C. Escher and Hieronymous Bosch have been influential as well. Most of these influences can be seen in my illustrations rather than my cartoons, though."
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Will about how long it takes him to fully finish his comics.
"After I have the idea, it only takes about 45 minutes to draw a finished cartoon, granted I don’t check social media every ten minutes."
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask Santinos about his ideas for the comics.
"In order to have output, I need input. I read a lot of fiction and I love learning about new things, so I end up on Wikipedia a lot. I love mythology, and history, and fables, and art, and language. I love to learn, so my silly ideas are often the byproduct of my curiosity. More specifically, I drink coffee and doodle in a sketchbook. Coming up with ideas is about having inside jokes with yourself, and then seeing if you can communicate it to another person. It’s about having fun, too. Coming up with a good idea is fun."
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist how he dealt with that as well.
"Yes, but not when it’s my own work. I worked for an animation studio for a number of years, creating pretty corporate material, and I found it hard to maintain my interest and enthusiasm. I left that job recently and now I work for myself full time by having a Patreon!
I was the kid who didn’t do homework because I was making maps in the backyard. Work that’s about things I find boring feels like homework. Creative work about the things I love feels like making maps of imaginary worlds—I mean, sometimes I literally do that too."
We also asked Will about how people usually react to his work.
"Usually when I show somebody one of my cartoons they respond, 'Sir, this is a Wendy’s.' Okay, joking aside, people tend to be beguiled with my whimsical illustrations and fantastical illustration, and want to know more about the worlds in my art. When people see my cartoons, the best I can hope for is a guffaw or a rueful grin or a cry of existential despair."
The creative process is not easy, but there are always some enjoyable parts to it.
"I’m a firm believer in working even when you don’t feel inspired, which I do pretty often. But when I do feel inspired? Man, that’s a great feeling. It’s kind of related to the flow state—I feel focused and uplifted and ideas connect and combine in a grand kaleidoscope of absurdity and novelty until all the world’s wonder and plunder and blunder dissolves into a grand unified theory of imagination. Or something. Also I like watercoloring."
We also asked Will about how his Instagram account for art came to be.
"Well, it’s basically required to maintain an online presence in the dystopian panopticon of late-stage surveillance capitalism that we now exist within, but I like to tell myself that art is meant to be shared. Stories are meant to be told. Definitely something wise and profound and not related at all to a societal dopamine addiction."
Digital art and art, in general, is not easy and requires a lot of patience, time, resources, and in most cases, even money. Therefore, we wanted to know how the talented artist started his own career in digital art.
"I actually always planned on being a novelist, but the doodles eventually usurped the page. I worked in pen and ink and watercolor and acrylic paint way before I started drawing digitally. I actually didn’t draw on a tablet until I got a job at a whiteboard animation studio in 2013."
Artists tend to get motivated by a lot of things such as curiosity, the search for beauty, or even meaning.
"I’ve just always created, imagined, and invented. I was one of those kids who spent their afternoons swashbuckling in the sandbox and saving the world from invisible monsters. I find so much comfort and connection in reading fiction. I love novels, and I’m grateful to the people who write them. I like to share my stories in return. The cartoons were honestly kind of a surprising development in my career. I never planned or imagined becoming a cartoonist. It provides a release valve for the absurdity and silliness that builds up in my malfunctioning dream machine."
Artist also shared with us some changes about his life, "I support myself with my Patreon. I draw six new cartoons every week and submit them to The New Yorker, then share the unaccepted ones (usually all of them) with my patrons on my Patreon.I left my job in August to be a full-time artist. It’s going well so far! I would appreciate it if you would include a link to my Patreon on the web page!"