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For graphic designer and digital artist Ruby Inneshis work often begins with a joke.
“If the joke works on its own, I’ll tweet it,” she says. “If it’s something that can only really be conveyed through a comic or a picture, I’ll start drawing.”
Her favorite example is a comic strip she drew called “The Mayor’s Wife”: see below, for a glimpse of her brain.
“It basically comes from some sort of meme where you would ask someone with a hot wife ‘Is your wife single? “, She says. “I thought it would be funny if someone phrased it as an interview question from a reporter, so that’s where that idea came from. I also think it’s funny when people wear matching hats and shirts that say something stupid on them.
There is a real sense of vertigo and silliness in Ruby’s drawings, whether on her Insta account @comicsbyrubycreated to sit alongside his Kotaku stories, or part of the site’s weekly Segment ScribbleTakuwhere she draws a picture referring to a video game and people guess what it is.
We asked Ruby about her practice, why it’s important not to shy away from making ‘horribly stupid’ art, and how the single guiding principle of any practice should be ‘creating because it feels good’.
PTV: How would you describe your style?
Ruby: My style is very minimalistic, silly and clumsy. I usually go for a more simplistic comic book style, making sure to put as much effort into how it looks as what it says. And usually he says something horribly stupid in the best way.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from webcomic artists such as three-word sentence, KC Greenand Alex Robbinsand cartoons such as adventure time, Smiling friendsand Spongebob.
I think of the old Spongebob played a huge part in my tendency to go from very simple faces in one panel to uncomfortably detailed faces in the next.
What initially inspired you to pursue a creative medium?
I’ve been drawing all my life, ever since I was little. Over the years I’ve tried using graphics tablets and stuff to draw digital art.
However, when I got a new phone with a stylus – the Samsung Galaxy Note20 – in early 2021, it finally got me started drawing webcomics. It was something I had thought about but hadn’t done in ages because it wasn’t really practical. Once I was able to create on my phone — something I have [on me] all the time – it made me want to really pursue it.
Then when I started at Kotaku Australia a situation arose where I thought one of my cartoons might convey the comedy of an article about something stupid, so I asked my editor if i could draw the main image. Since then, I have used my drawings to play small and big roles in my writing.
What are the essential tools you use to bring your work to life?
I do my drawings with my Samsung Galaxy Note20 with the built-in S Pen. I use an app called Sketch because it’s the easiest tool I’ve found so far.
What are the biggest challenges that come with creating?
Burnout, of course. When I first started doing my comics, I had so many ideas that I was drawing and publishing about three comics a day. I continued this sequence until I started to run out of ideas.
Eventually I got burned out and didn’t have time for comics so I very rarely do them now but I’m glad I can do my art as part of my job because it gives me that outlet that I missed you so much.
What advice would you give to anyone wishing to start creating visual art?
If you have an idea, even if it’s small or “silly”, do it. We do not care? You don’t have to be the best, I’m sure I’m not.
The most important thing is to create because you love to create, not because you want to be better than anyone else. And don’t do it for somebody else, and don’t kick yourself if you don’t create all the time. Give yourself a break. Go at your own pace and fuck everyone who expects you to be 100% all the time.
Create art because it makes you feel good. Create art because it’s fun. Create art because you like to entertain. Create art because you love it.
To learn more about other artists and their stories, head over to our Going Beyond hub.
Do you feel inspired? Discover the wide range of devices from the Samsung ecosystem for all your creative needs – so you can be yourself, your way.