I think it’s safe to say that every one of us has a live that’s full of interesting, dramatic, and, of course, comic stories. Sure, picking up a book and reliving somebody else’s stories is not a bad thing to do, but sometimes we do forget that our own lives are just as exciting and funny as the ones we read about in books or watch on TV.
Meet Ekaterina Bogdanova, a Russian artist who decided to share hilarious moments from her life in web-comic form and many seem to relate to the situations and predicaments she gets herself into.
Bored Panda gathered some of the best comics by Ekaterina and made a list for you to enjoy. We’ve also got an exclusive interview from Ekaterina, which you can find below. And while you’re down there, why not vote and comment on the comics that you’ve enjoyed the most or the one you find most relatable!
(Many of the comics and the interview were translated from Russian)
Ekaterina hails from a small town that she very romantically called a forest in the Republic of Karelia, a vast territory full of spectacular lakes and woods in the northwestern part of the Russian Federation.
She absolutely loved Karelia’s forests, rivers, lakes—and nature in general—but the town she grew up in was just too small for someone who wants much more from life. So, she moved to St. Petersburg where she returned to being a painter.
“Nature, rivers and lakes—this is all that surrounded me my entire childhood, but the city itself was always boring. So, I decided to move to St. Petersburg, precisely because it is a big city. Something had to be urgently done to avoid ‘just existing’. I decided to start painting again,” explained Ekaterina.
We asked Ekaterian what inspired her to draw the comics. She said this: “I've always been an introverted person. At school, I was that one strange teenage kid—one might say an outcast. It was easier for me to observe people than to interact with them. But I was lucky to have one friend that you can see in my comics—Tanya.”
“Due to the fact that she was always drawing, I kind of tried it too. We would sometimes chat in comics during class. I still have these comics, will maybe even publish them someday.”
“In general though, I started drawing only after the move. To push things forward, I decided to take on the 366-day drawing challenge—it’s when you have to draw every day and publish the work online. Once it all started, I quickly realized that I didn’t know what to do because my drawings were horrible, it would have been very embarrassing to upload them. But I had to do something.”
“I had recently moved to a new apartment that, turned out, had a problem with the water—some kind of orange liquid was coming out from the tap, and it would come out suddenly. One moment you’re washing your hands, the other there’s this orange sludge coming out! That was it, this was the vision, I decided to start with this, I could not do anything else.”
Ekaterina draws everything she finds funny. She noted that all of her comics describe real events and experiences. At a certain point, she started jotting down her ideas in a single sentence, a piece of dialogue, or just a sample snippet.
“I’d wake up in the middle of a night, write down an idea and once come morning, it’d be impossible to read or understand the chaotic set of words and letters (one of the rare times the oldie T9 function did not help!),” laughed Ekaterina.
The next stage would be to analyze the idea, to understand what exactly she’s like to say—just to share what happened, or to convey some meaning with it, etc.
“After so many years of drawing, comics have become therapy to me. Now, I try to draw about my own feelings—it is important for me that my followers can compare their experiences with mine and understand that it is quite natural to worry about this or that thing and that they are not alone in this. And, of course, the main thing is to add a little humor to it!” elaborated Ekaterina.
We’ve asked Ekaterina what inspired her current art style and she had this to day: “It's hard to say. I've grown up watching Disney, that is all we had back in those days. But! Because I grew up in the 90s, and that was a really weird time for my country, all of these novel opportunities and new information reached and overflowed even my own small town.”
She continued: “So, thanks to that, my mom was able to buy us some pirate VHS tapes, and the most interesting part was that you never knew what’s exactly on it. Of course, there was the title of the film or the cartoon on the box, but it could always be something else.”
“That’s how I got a tape that had The Ren and Stimpy Show on it—I was in kindergarten and it blew my mind! The drawing style, the emotions, I’ve rewatched it so many times... I think that this cartoon was my biggest inspiration and taught me how to express a variety of emotions.
Drawing does come with its own challenges. In Ekaterina’s case, it’s always hard to come up with something new to draw, and to show something that’s usual in a different way, a new angle, so that people would look at it and thing ‘Ah! Never thought of it that way!’”
But, challenging as it may be, drawing is also very rewarding, as explained Ekaterina:
“I've noticed how happy I get when my followers write to me saying that they went through the same thing and that they are glad that they are not alone, that this is normal. It's hard to draw such comics, but when I do, when I find a way to draw some of my emotions and thoughts into a comic strip in an easy and funny way that’s also with a deeper meaning in it—i feel happy. It’s a simple feeling, but sometimes you have to work hard to get there.”
You can check out more of her comics on her Facebook and Vkontakte pages as well as her other works of art on her Behance. But before you go, why not let us know what you’ve thought about this in the comment section below!