Artist Creates Honest And Relatable Comics That Encourage Women To Accept And Care For Themselves (35 New Pics) Interview With Artist
An artist from Belgium, better known as "Planet Prudence", creates honest illustrations depicting issues that women have to deal with daily. If you’re a long-time Bored Panda reader, you might be familiar with Prudence’s work as the illustrator has posted a fair share of her comics on this site before. You can find them by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Prudence started her webcomics on Instagram years ago as a way of keeping a diary in the form of cartoon drawings. Soon after, many people related to her work and now the artist has a huge and awesome community with over 700k followers on Instagram. “I advocate body positivity and mental health in my work. I strive to be true to myself as a human being by knowing my value and I encourage people to do this as well,” the artist shared in one of her posts.
Bored Panda got in touch with the artist to get to know more about her and her creative process. Prudence revealed to us that she always wanted to become an artist. "When I was little, my older brother always drew comics and I knew I wanted to make them too when I grew up. I was a bit of a sad child, going through abuse at a young age by my grandfather, growing up very anxious, and getting bullied all the way through school. But eventually, art school became my safe haven. I really loved painting, especially with oil paint on the canvas at the time."
The artist continued that in her senior year, she was assigned a mentor who also turned out to "be a pervert" so instead of graduating, she developed depression, OCD, an eating disorder. "I decided not to meet his demands, keep my dignity and dropped out at 17. Years-long trauma came to the surface and my dreams of becoming an artist were shattered. This was back in 2009 when it was important to get degrees to become the thing you want, you know."
"I started working at temporary positions without a diploma at the age of 17 but eventually, around 2015, I started doodling again while working in a call center. It immediately felt like coming home and I knew this was my purpose after all. This is where I started to find myself again and started drawing comics for myself as a way to keep a diary. I lived super small in my tiny apartment, and 2 years later, in 2017, I decided to put them up on Instagram so I could keep track of my progress.
My comics got picked up after a stranger shared them on 9GAG from a post here on BoredPanda just a little while after I started posting my work online. I immediately dropped everything I was doing at the time and pursued my career as an artist. I’ve been a full-time artist ever since, with my main focus being Patreon, my webshop and commissions. I love how I can offer services straight to my community without anyone or anything standing in between us."
Prudence's comics revolve around women, their bodies and self-love, so we got curious about what inspired her to draw about that. The artist shared that it comes from the fact that we get told and taught to hide ourselves. "I always felt like I couldn’t be 100% me around others or in professional environments. As if it was expected from me to act differently, better somehow, whatever that may be, more aligned with society’s standards and expectations from me, or women in general. I wanted to break free from all that. And in the process, I may have inspired others to do the same."
To question what message Prudence wants to express with her works, the artist replied that she wants everyone to feel comfortable with their own selves, in their own bodies. "I want to let the societal pressure fall off of people’s shoulders and for them to blossom, to open up, to be themselves and OWN it!"
Prudence now has just opened up commissions (opening Sept 20th). "I got inspired because I personally always struggle with retrieving pictures I took from moments I truly felt empowered in times I really needed them. Usually, they got lost on a hard drive, in a photos folder or on an old laptop. I decided I want to make portraits of the most empowering, transitional, significant moments of the person’s life. I want to give them the opportunity to experience their beauty on the next level. I mean, can you envision those beautiful ancient paintings where women and women’s bodies are portrayed in the most elegant and empowering way? I want to offer that to people in my community, I want them to feel like Goddesses, put it up in their own home and be reminded of their beauty and power every single day!"
According to Prudence, her brother’s sketchbooks were a huge inspiration for her and influenced her in getting better at art and to keep practicing. Nowadays she gets motivated seeing other artists thrive and do their thing. "I studied art in school, so I definitely also took some inspiration from pillars in our history of artists as well, but none that really stand out to me right now that really influenced my work."
"The most important influence to me these days is most certainly life itself. The rawness of daily life, the struggles and happy moments, the way we think about ourselves in contrast to what our mind keeps telling us and what society still expects from us as human beings. Breaking the stigma and setting new standards is definitely a huge motivator for me."
Lastly, we asked Prudence what makes her passionate about creating comics. She told us that art has always been not only her way of communicating but also a way of coping and processing. "I don’t think there would be any format more expressive to me to spread my message across platforms than comics or art in general. I am passionate about art because it’s a messenger, it’s my personal medium to bring messages over to other people where words fail me and don’t even suffice.
Most of all, I love how wonderfully it gets received within our community. I do genuinely think art is one of the few things that truly makes the world a much brighter place. At the end of the day, it’s the art that makes us smile, whether that’s in music, comics, illustration or video, don’t you agree?"