Scribbly G is a 34-year-old digital artist from South Africa that's currently living in the United Kingdom. The artist described himself as "South Africa's favorite webcomic creator and also probably South Africa's only webcomic creator (still counts)."
He’s the creative genius that illustrates humorous comics with mostly unexpected and sometimes absurd and dark undertones. Scribbly's artistic journey started 3 years ago and his comics are anywhere from being as short as 3 or 4-panel drawings filled with a dark sense of humor to being as long as 6 panels or more.
While his drawing style is clean and mostly straightforward, his sense of humor is anything but. We think it's fair to say that Scribbly G will appeal to the dark, cynical side of your soul, giving you those explosive kinds of snort-laughs that you just can't control, a kind of laughter that might even be a little bit against your will.
Moreover, It’s definitely not the first time that the South African comic artist has been mentioned on Bored Panda, as we have previously featured the said artist’s work here.
Given the chance, Bored Panda reached out to the talented artist.
“I was hit by a car at 9 years old. I broke my leg and fractured my skull when I broke the guy's windscreen with my face. I lost my memory for a few years and walked with a limp. I worry that I will lose my memory again one day. The guy that ran me over was the pastor from my church. That was the first sign that the good lord was out to get me and one of the reasons I stopped going to church.
I started making comics as a way to deal with depression. I was on medication for a long time. The meds didn’t fix anything, they just made me not care about being sad. My life was a blur. The best part of my day was when it was finally late enough so I could go to bed without it being weird. I didn’t want to live like that, so I decided to stop all medication and try to find a hobby to bring some joy into my life. I thought back to what I enjoyed as a kid, and what stood out to me was reading comics."
"I thought I’d try to make some comics of my own, even though I’d never drawn anything in my life. I didn’t have much hope that it would help, but I was willing to try anything. Pretty much straight away, my mood started improving, I felt better than I had felt for years. I didn’t think that almost 4 years later I’d still be making comics, but the fear of slipping back into depression or having to go back on medication scares me into making comics. So yeah, I pretty much make comics out of fear. I’d rather die than going back to feeling the way I felt. I believe comics saved my life."
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.
"I'm still trying to figure out my drawing style. I would say I'm influenced by shows like Rick and Morty and the classic Cartoon Network stuff mixed in with some old style comics. People tell me they like my style, but I don't even know what it is yet. I still don't like how my own comics look. I've learnt that the more time I spend on making a comic look good, the worse it comes out. I've asked a few real cartoonists for advice and they all just tell me to keep doing what I'm doing. So I dunno, fake it till I make it. The weird/dark style of humor though, that comes from some brain injuries and growing up poor with an abusive alcoholic father. I haven't spoken to him in 14 years, but the one thing I can thank him for is that now I never have to worry about coming up with weird ideas. Thanks Dad!"
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce. Therefore, we asked Scribbly G how long it takes him to fully finish his quirky comics.
"It depends on my mood and how much I hate drawing that day. The ideas take a few seconds and when you're in the zone, you can't not have ideas. After a long session of writing ideas, I'll wake up in the night with more ideas. My brain doesn't wanna switch off, she's like, excuse me, here are more of those ideas you wanted. I used to keep a notepad next to the bed to write down all these ideas, but I think I read somewhere that Stephen King says "if an idea is worth having, you won't forget it." So I ditched the notepad and now I just try go back to sleep. I never remember any of my midnight ideas, but that probably means they weren't that good (or Stephen King is a liar). I've gone off track there, but yeah, the idea is quick, the drawing is forever. Sometimes the drawing feels like it takes weeks. My watch says it's only been 2 hours, but it feels like it's been at least 3 weeks drawing this little 4-panel comic."
Being an artist is not easy: one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc. so we wanted to ask the talented illustrator about his ideas for comics.
"For the short webcomics, I sit down and I draw 4 panels on the page and see what jokes appear while doodling. For longer comics I write the script first, I write pages and pages of super awesome stories with magical adventures and fantastical characters. I then read the glorious story I created and realize what I've written is way too advanced for my current drawing level. So I close the computer, have a little cry, and then go back to practicing drawing in perspective."
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, so we asked the artist how he has dealt with that as well.
"I don't think I've ever felt burnt out while making my comics or while writing. What burns me out is learning how to draw and learning the right way to make comics. So many rules. Rules kill creativity. Every so often I take a break from making comics and focus on trying to learn how to draw. I can only focus on learning to draw for about a week before I start feeling like it's all a waste of time and I should just quit. I wish they could just plug that matrix thing in my head that teaches you how to do stuff instantly. Surely that technology isn't too far off now... right, Elon?"
We also asked Scribbly G about how people have reacted to his work.
"Mostly positively, but the better a comic does, the more negative comments I get. The ones that reach the front of Reddit always have the most negative comments. I've stopped reading the comments on there now. I just post and ghost. Instagram is mostly positive. I do get the occasional 'i hate you' comment, but that's usually from someone who misunderstood the joke. Once someone sent me a message saying they are sending a curse to me and my family, but luckily I don't think Instagram lets you send curses, so we're safe."
The creative process is not easy, but there are some enjoyable parts about it.
"The part about the creative process I enjoy most is sitting down with a cup of coffee and seeing what ridiculous things my pencil puts on the paper. That's probably when I'm at my most happiest in life."
We also asked what was the inspiration behind the Instagram account that Scribbly G uses to share his art.
"I wasn't planning on anyone seeing my comics. I really started making comics as a way to deal with my depression. I had been on medication for a few years and the only thing that improved was my ability to gain weight. The meds didn't fix my problems, they just made me not want to cry all the time. They made me ok with being sad, but I wasn't happy. I didn't want to live like that, feeling nothing is not much better than feeling sad. So I decided to stop taking any medication and instead started writing out my feelings and making comics. The first few weeks sucked because the withdrawals from the medication gave me night terrors and I was scared to go to sleep, but after those went away, things started to improve. I noticed the more comics I created, the better I felt. I showed a few of my comics to a friend and he said I should post them online. I didn't want to because I knew they sucked, but a part of me wanted to see if anyone else in the world would like something I made. I was surprised at how nice people were, most of the time. Back then one negative comment was enough to stop me posting for a few months, but now... I could probably handle like... 3 negative comments. Progress!"
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 a talented comic artist started his own career in digital art.
"The first time I tried digital art was when I got the iPad Pro and made my first comic. I used to doodle in my school books and draw little pictures of my teachers, but I'd never really been into anything arty. I did like writing and my English teachers always told me I should write kids books or do poetry, but when my friends made fun of me for that, I kinda lost interest."
Artists get motivated by a lot of things, so we wanted to find out what motivates Scribbly G to keep up his work.
"Honestly... what motivates me to keep making comics is fear of slipping back into depression and being told I need to be on medication again. I wish it was something cool-sounding like the search for beauty or meaning. I struggle to see beauty or meaning in anything. I get through life by trying to make myself laugh. If I can make a few other people laugh along with me, then that's a bonus, but it's really just because I know that when I stop laughing I'm gonna stop living."