Artist Criticizes Our Society By Showing Two Different Sides Of The Same Story (24 Comics) Interview With Artist
I think most of us have heard of Moscow-based illustrator Gudim Anton. He is well known for creating short paneled comic strips full of visual puns and odd quirks that offer a fresh perspective on the modern world. However, as of recently, the artist has been circling around a slightly different idea. Anton created a new Instagram account called “YES, BUT” which includes just two-panel comics telling ironic short stories based on our current society and its values.
Gudim’s sparse style relies solely on his concise storytelling ability and he manages to convey familiar situations and images in a completely fresh and funny way for us to perceive. In his newest works, we see a lot of relatable topics, such as, for example, the psychology behind consumerism and luxury brands, or even controversial topics such as vaccines. We think it’s fair to say that all of these comics do a great job of showing what kind of society we currently live in.
What do you think, Pandas? Tell us by choosing your favorite comics down below!
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 think many factors could have influenced my style, it is very difficult for me to analyze myself, but I will try to highlight the main ones. I grew up in the '90s in Russia. This was the time when Western culture began to penetrate into a world that was rather closed and conservative. My older brother and I loved comics, American cartoons, TV game consoles. In childhood, we drew funny comics with characters from American culture.
As you know, after I grew up, drawing was not my main occupation. I graduated from a technical university (since I was successful when it came to mathematics, this is also another factor that makes my drawings very calculated and unemotional, if one could describe them that), and began working as an engineer. I changed jobs, grew professionally, but I was constantly bored and felt that my life was not as fulfilled as I’d like it to be. It was then that I realized that I’d like to return to those childhood hobbies, but with a more formed worldview.”
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Anton how long it takes him to fully finish his comics.
“It takes from a few hours... to infinity. There are many factors when it comes to creating comics. First of all, the speed of creation is influenced by how finished and how good the idea for the drawing is. Secondly, like any creative person, there are days when you simply cannot do it: even after several hours of work, I may not be satisfied with the aesthetics and graphic solution of the drawing. Then I return to draft the very next day, or I simply hide this work somewhere far away.”
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask Gudim about his ideas for the comics.
“I already have a formed absurd surrealistic style, so in moments when my head is not occupied with everyday problems, I look at the world through the prism of this style. This is already a part of my life, you can say that over the years I have trained myself to notice something and to be in a constant search for ideas.
Then I make notes, sometimes these are ready-made plots, sometimes just an associative array, sometimes just a situational subject that would give me an interesting plot. When a conditional deadline appears in my head (my body gives signals that I haven’t drawn anything new for a long time), I choose the most interesting idea at that moment in time and draw it.”
If you'd like to see more of Anton's older works that are quite different from his current series "Yes, But," we suggest checking out all the previous posts on Bored Panda by clicking here, here, here, here, here, and here.
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist how he dealt with that as well.
“I have never felt overwhelmed by the work that concerns my projects because even after 7 years, I still enjoy drawing for myself and my audience. But in addition to creativity 'for the soul,' there are many other near-creative tasks that have to be done day after day: preparations for exhibitions, commercial projects, collaborations, preparation of materials for a future book, signing acts and contracts, etc. Sometimes it takes too long and I work seven days a week: right after my office work until the very night. Being in such a rhythm for a long time is exhausting, but these are just a few episodes, so you can say that I'm fine.”
We also asked Anton about how people reacted to his work.
“I've met a variety of reactions, some ranged from delight to hatred (who would have thought, after all, this is the internet). In this regard, the most significant thing for me is the assessment of people close to me and of people involved in the creative field. I've seen comments on Facebook where people just wrote 'sh*t' to a selection of my works. Without any arguments. I can’t take such comments as meaningful because it’s just a cry of hate for no reason.”
The creative process is not easy, but there are many enjoyable parts about it.
“To be honest, you can have fun at every stage of the creative process! For example, a great idea came to mind, did you frame it and write it down? You do that and get the release of dopamine into the body. More examples. Did you draw something exactly as you imagined, or even better? Did it turn out gracefully and succinctly? Here's some more dopamine. And lastly, did you share your work on your social networks, get the first positive responses? More happiness.”
We also asked about the inspiration behind the artist's Instagram account.
“First of all, I created an account on Instagram, as there is a very large worldwide creative community there. I was interested in the opinion of people from all over the world, not only my friends or subscribers from Russia. The idea of creating the account ‘yes, but’ came to me in the bathroom a little over 2 months ago. I just realized that I have too many situations that fit this format. In order not to delve only into it, but to leave time for my 'classic' absurd drawings, I made it a separate account. Now I have two folders in my head: 'main ideas' and ideas for ‘Yes, But.’”
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 the talented comic artist started his own career in digital art.
“Back in the days when I was growing up, social media was only forming, but didn’t have as much power as now, so there was simply nowhere to share my digital art. I shared it only with friends and classmates who knew about it.
I didn't research anything on purpose, I just did it, then noted for myself what I liked and what I didn't. Those elements that I liked, I kept and developed, and those that I didn't like, I tried not to use in the future. There is a lot of variety of art around, there is no need to look for something special, as it is everywhere. It remains only to sort it according to your personal interests.”
We also asked Anton about his newest project series which is you guess it..."Yes, but!"
“I came up with this format more than 4 years ago. Then I began to notice that many people are doing absolutely contradictory things while not seeing anything contradictory in their actions. I started off with fairly obvious manifestations, such as chasing brands or living a healthy lifestyle. Now, these drawings are not only about people who are in their individual manifestation, but also about how contradictory society itself and the structure of the world is.
By the way, I got a lot of hate for the picture about colored hair from people with colored hair. And oddly enough, I’m not against the desire of others to look the way they want, but against people who dictate how others should look.”