You know pigs, but you don't know Maputo, so let us introduce you to this wonderful cocktail. If you're the kind of person who likes to laugh and likes animals, you'll probably cherish today's artist and illustration. Iris is our first artist from Mozambique, Africa. Actually, she's not really originally from there but her pigs are and that's all we're asking. Before you check out her awesome blog, take a look at her interview!
-What's your name and surname?
-Iris Yan (ok, there is more to my name than just that, but let's keep it simple...)
-How old are you?
-Where do you live?
-Right now - out of two suitcases in a friend's house in Maputo, Mozambique
-What do you do for a living?
-Certainly not cartoons (unfortunately)... I work as a volunteer consultant for an NGO in Mozambique.
-What's your story?
-I studied Mathematics for a long time (at least ten years). I even have a PhD in it, but I really don't know much about Math. However, having a doctorate degree in Mathematics allowed me to get a management consulting job at one of the best international firms (the PhD thing looked good on a CV). There I worked for 4 years, but I really don't know much about management consulting. However, working as a management consultant allowed me to save some money and get in touch with the current NGO I am working with in Africa.
-What are your projects?
-I don't really have any except that I want to have superpowers.
-Can you tell us about your blog?
-My blog(s) started in June when I decided to start drawing about my life here in Mozambique. It was inspired by an encounter I had with two cops on the streets, in which they asked for my ID and then looked at my age and said: "hmm.... you are not.... young..." I thought that was cartoon-able. I was also going through some personal heartbreak, and heartbreaks are definitely good cartoon material. I then remembered one of my favorites, Savage Chickens, and decided to try his square format. I bought some square note paper here in Maputo and started drawing. Then I realized a lot of my life needed to be drawn out (to get out of my system), so I eventually started more blogs: pigsinmath for the time I spent getting my Math PhD, and pigsincorporated for the time I spent working in management consultancy, and pigsinspirit for the cuter/spiritual stuff.
-What inspires you?
-I love movies! My favorite directors are Hitchcock, Tarantino, Kurosawa, Wong Kar Wai, Kubrick, David Lynch, David Lean, Coen brothers, Christopher Nolan, Atom Egoyan, Almodóvar, and some others (I am forgetting some). I name the directors because I want to sound cooler than I am. I always thought I wanted to study film school if I came from a rich family and had money to spend. I can't say these directors and artists inspire me, though... From the web, I always read Google, Tiny Ghosts, xkcd, Os malvados, Perry Bible Fellowship, Postsecret, Savage Chickens, FML, Vidademerda (Portuguese version of FML), Failblog.org, and more recently, Joey Alison Sayers and SNOTM (because he promoted my comics in his blog). What inspires me really is "shit happens". Most funny things are actually minor disasters.
-What makes you laugh the most?
-I don't laugh that much... (maybe because I am Asian? We are great poker players in general (unfortunately I don't know how to play)).
-Why did you choose this FML?
-I realized that not all FMLs can be made into cartoons! I tried to find those that could have a "behind the scenes" explanation as to why they F* up.
-Do you have your own FML anecdote that you can share us?
-Today a dorky friend said he wanted to advertise my cartoons and do my PR. Then another friend said, "oh my god... it will be like the blind helping the blind!"
Many thanks Iris for your illustration!
Iris' pigs: http://www.pigsinmaputo.blogspot.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including a link to your website/blog/DA. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with Alice who will tell you what you have to do!