Interview the Gram – @cupdoodles_
Here’s a surprise Interview the Gram post! Back in May, I interviewed Isa, a Chinese Italian comic artist, and the creator behind Cup Doodles @cupdoodles_ on Instagram. Through her light-hearted doodles and comics, she wants to spread positivity and share the cultural nuances of being a second-generation immigrant living in …
Here’s a surprise Interview the Gram post! Back in May, I interviewed Isa, a Chinese Italian comic artist, and the creator behind Cup Doodles @cupdoodles_ on Instagram. Through her light-hearted doodles and comics, she wants to spread positivity and share the cultural nuances of being a second-generation immigrant living in the West. I love the stories conveyed through these single-panel comics, and they never fail to make me smile when they pop up in my feed.
Alfalfa Studio: Why do you do what you do?
Isa: When I created Cup Doodles I wanted to share content that can put a smile on people’s faces and bring instant joy into anyone’s life, even just through a simple doodle that takes only a few seconds to read.
As soon as I posted the first doodles and the page started to grow, I understood what a powerful platform that was and how it could reach a much larger audience. This encouraged me to bring my own experience into my art and get to a more personal level hoping that people can resonate and feel a part of this growing community.
AS: What even would you say that you do? What’s the message you’re trying to spread with your comics?
Isa: Ultimately, the purpose of Cup Doodles has not changed: what keeps me going is the possibility of making a positive impact on people’s lives and brighten their days with my small contribution.
Being the child of Chinese immigrants myself, growing up Asian in a Western country is one of the main topics of my comics. Through these drawings I want to share the experience of living as a second-generation Chinese Italian and the cultural learning that comes with it, embracing the diverse cultures and hoping to encourage people to cherish their unique traits.
I love when people send me messages and tell me how my comics made them smile, feel good about themselves, or even inspired them to do something. They really make my day!
AS: How much would you say that growing up Asian influences your work? What are some important moments in your own experiences that you think are “uniquely Asian”?
Isa: Growing up in an Asian household has definitely a big impact on my work. A lot of my doodles are inspired by my childhood and my family. There are so many traits and moments that can be ‘uniquely Asian’, one would be the way my parents express their love to me and my siblings. As many Chinese parents, they don’t openly display affection and express their feelings in a direct way, but instead they show their love with actions, always making sure that I am well fed, get enough sleep or paying for my education.
Although we don’t express love with hugs, kisses and saying “I love you” as in Western culture, my parents are the most loving, giving and selfless people I know, and I am truly beyond grateful for them.
AS: Where do you get inspiration from? How has comics helped you in your own life?
Isa: My comics are mostly inspired by my personal experiences and life, but inspiration can come from anywhere! It could be a movie, a friend, an online article… fun fact is, for me inspiration comes in the most unexpected moments, especially in the shower when I am in a relaxed state of mind. I guess great ideas happen in the shower!
Drawing has helped me concentrate on details and distract from other thoughts and worries. It’s therapeutic in some way, and helps me express thoughts, feelings and ideas in a more powerful and impactful way than words.
AS: How’s your art/comic style changed over time?
Isa: I believe my art style is continuously changing as time goes by. I am constantly learning how to be better in what I do and as a result my art evolves overtime, although there are some elements that you can always find in my doodles: simple lines, pink cheeks and swirls, and light-hearted humor.
AS: What the response to your work been like online? How does it make you feel?
Isa: The response has been amazing and overwhelming at the same time. When I started I didn’t expect to come this far at all. Knowing that so many people can resonate to my art and receiving messages of love and support encourages me to keep creating new doodles and comics. I am beyond thankful for having such an amazing and supportive community!
AS: How did you come about doing comics? What do you currently do outside of it?
Isa: Cup Doodles was created last year in November. I didn’t even have an iPad or was familiar with any drawing app back then. I was following some comic artists on Instagram and thought that I’d love to have my creative platform too. Also, since when I was a kid I loved sketching and drawing, so I thought it was a good time to revisit my passion.
Creating content for Cup Doodles is a hobby for now but I dream of making it much more than that. Sometimes it’s not easy to juggle new weekly comics with a full-time job, but I believe that if it’s important to you, you will make time for it.
Thanks Isa! Keep on doodling away!
All images © Cup Doodles @cupdoodles_ via Instagram.