My name is Prudence (and yes, that’s my actual name ˆ-ˆ) and I live in this small European country called Belgium. I was the kid that carried art supplies everywhere I went and that never changed until after high school.
I always wanted to become an artist -I know, I’m coming in with the clichés. 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, getting bullied all the way through school. But eventually art school became my safe haven. I really loved painting, especially with oil paint on canvas at the time.
But then, in my senior year, I was assigned a mentor who also turned out to be a pervert so instead of graduating, I developed depression, OCD, an eating disorder and I was just a mess. I decided not to meet his demands and dropped out at 17. Year-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 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.
What encouraged me to make the comics that I make, revolving around women and their bodies would be 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.
I want 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!
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. To break the stigma and set new standards is definitely a huge motivator for me.
Art has always been my way of communicating, but also my 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 art that makes us smile, whether that’s in music, comics, illustration or video, don’t you agree?