My name is Irina, and I am a designer living in San Francisco. During the day, I work for a tech company, but at night, I always try to work on creative projects. I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia and I moved to the US when I was 18 years old with my family. After studying graphic design, I was fortunate to work for a variety of tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, and Adobe. One of my best-known projects was the design of the Google Android logo, the first open-source logo of its kind. My personal projects include Only in Silicon Valley greeting cards, a collection of fashionable surgical masks, humorous jewelry, and funemployed pins. I was a contestant on ABC's Reality Show Shark Tank pitching the idea of fashionable surgical masks back in 2009. It's eerie how masks have now become part of everyday life because of the pandemic.
Since the lockdown started, I've been cooped up at home, and simply staying on top of all chores, taking care of my daughter, and working from home has been overwhelming. It's been hard not being able to see my friends and family, and with all summer plans and vacations canceled, I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands to endlessly worry about everything. At night, it's tempting to just watch Netflix, but after a while, it got super boring and I found drawing helped provide some positivity and joy that can also be shared with other people in the same situation. While Covid is not a laughing matter, comic relief is a way to deal with the stress and blow off some steam.
Hope you'll enjoy these drawings as I've had so much fun creating these. Also, check out my previous post here.
My process is simple: it usually starts with an idea and I write it down. Ideas come unexpectedly, sometimes when you are in the shower or during a boring Zoom call. I found it's important to write your thoughts down so you don't forget it and it could become a project later. I also found that I get inspired when I am super bored. For example, before the pandemic, I would travel a lot as a way to refresh and escape, but since this has been taken away, I am now forced to be more focused and productive. I use pen and paper to sketch an idea and I scan it and color in digital form in Adobe Illustrator. Lately, I switched to using an iPad and I use Fresco, which saves a lot of time.
With Covid Life cartoons, I am hoping to raise awareness of CDC guidelines and provide some comic relief from our daily struggles.