Hearing the horrifying "little engine" in the dentist's office can be quite a frightening experience, one that is sure to send a shiver down your spine. However, in some cases, people are so terrified of these professionals that they are unable to complete dental treatment at all.
The dentist and artist Adyna, who lives in Australia, decided to start making comics about what it’s like being a dentist. She started the comics as a way to relax and make humorous and wholesome comics based on her daily life.
Bored Panda reached out to Adyna to find out a little bit more about her.
"I work as a dentist and have always loved illustrating and making up cute humor. I initially started getting ideas for comics while I was working and started drawing them and posting them on Instagram. My main reason for creating at the time was just for my own enjoyment and as a relaxing outlet for stress, and eventually, I started getting feedback from readers that it helped them with their fear of the dentist and that they enjoyed my content, which then became my inspiration."
More info: Instagram
We also took a chance to ask Adyna more questions. First, we asked the artist if she had any life-changing influences that might have helped her with her art and art style in general when it comes to her comics.
"Growing up, my dad would illustrate story book characters for my brother and I to color in, and I’ve always admired his skills to draw anything we requested. Art was a fun family thing to do, and I believe that initially sparked my interest with art and doodling little characters from my imagination. I defined my art style over time by identifying the details I liked in animated characters by Pixar and Disney and incorporated them into designing my characters. I can’t really pinpoint definitively how I developed and defined my style, but somehow along in life I’ve picked up little details that I’ve seen and liked, stored them in a little space in my head, and weaved it into my art when I started illustrating about 2 years ago."
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Adyna how long it takes her to fully finish her comics.
"One comic usually takes me anywhere between 2-4 hours... depending on if I can see it clearly in my mind before I start illustrating. If I get stuck, I usually leave it for the day and come back to it when I have a clearer picture in mind."
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask the artist about her ideas for the comics.
"Most of my comics are about being a dentist, teeth and dental humor, which are usually inspired by my day job as a dentist. Ideas usually pop into my head when I least expect, or when I’m trying to process a serious thought. Sometimes I think these ideas are my way of coping with the seriousness of my profession and life in general."
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist how she dealt with that as well.
"Sometimes, but never for long. I think the longest break I’ve taken from creating was 2 days. Haha. if I’m not doing art, I’m making music (writing/ producing), creating music videos, cosplays, or working on little projects at home. I have lots of creative hobbies to switch in between so it's always been a fun outlet for me. I guess I do occasionally get tired of a specific hobby, but never tired of creating in general."
We also asked the artist about how people reacted to her work.
"So far, the feedback I’ve gotten about my work has been very encouraging, most say that my art style and humor is cute and that my comics are relatable despite being dental-themed. Some of the nicest feedback I’ve received were readers telling me it's helped them feel less nervous about going to the dentist."
The creative process is not easy, but there are many enjoyable parts to it as shared by the artist.
"I love watching my ideas come to life, and watching the process of how an idea can start off basic at first with the potential to grow as I continue to build on it till it's finished."
We also asked about the inspiration behind the artist's Instagram account.
"Haha, believe it or not, stress did. I was not doing any creative work for almost 5 years and I started feeling like something was missing. One night, after a long day at work, I drew a little tooth, put a bow on her head and named her SweetTooth. The same night I started an Instagram account and called it 'little.sweet_tooth' and posted that illustration. I started posting more elaborate art mixed with humor and it eventually evolved to comics and I renamed it “sweettoothcomics”."
Artists tend to get motivated by a lot of things such as curiosity, the search for beauty, or even meaning. Therefore, we asked Adyna about that too.
"I have two different motivations when I create, depending on who I’m creating it for. Art is a very personal creative experience for me, when I create, I find myself motivated by the thought of how I can translate my thoughts and feelings into a picture. But when I create for others—commissions and children's book authors, I'm motivated by how I can bring their thoughts and emotions to life. And I have had the privilege of working on some special personal art pieces and stories that I connect with."
Lastly, we asked the artist if she had anything she'd like to share with us and you, dear Pandas!
"I guess to add, I’ve recently slowed down on some art because I’ve been creating a lot of music, which still comes hand in hand with my art. It's a whole other story about how @sweettoothcomics led to my music page ‘sweettoothsings’, which is now @lollypoplanemusic. My comic page was the beginning of my creative journey because it awakened the creative side in me which had been dormant for a such long time, and it has led me to do so much more than I ever imagined I’d be doing, like meeting amazing friends who are artists that share a passion for creating, having kids' books published, having my music on platforms, growing a TikTok following, while still working part-time as a dentist... and I’ve grown as a person and learnt about myself through this whole process too. And along the way, I’ve received encouragement and nice messages of how my creative work has helped someone, and that means a lot to me to know."