Drawing in a rather laid-back, sketchy style, the artist known only as “Snail” has exploded in social media popularity recently, gathering over 40,000 followers on Twitter and almost 8,000 on Instagram. Their art runs the gamut from funny to surreal to downright sad, but it’s always interesting.
I’m not sure which Snail drawing I laid eyes on first, but I was hooked from the start. There’s something just so whimsical about their work, which typically features anime girls in strange situations, saying even stranger things. Snail’s art certainly captures something specific, but it’s rather hard to define exactly what.
One thing that sticks out is the incongruence of it all; a cutesy character in a not-so-cute position, the entire scene expressing a rather nihilistic outlook behind the façade of silliness. Snail’s work is basically tailor-made to be a meme in and of itself, reminding me of the work of Chinese artist 上官绯樱 (AKA jokanhiyou, famous for constantly drawing the Touhou character Mokou in various meme scenarios).
Snail’s art-style is further reminiscent of other early internet art, the kind you would see posted in the 2000s on Newgrounds, DeviantArt, or elsewhere, labeled with the caption “10000 hours in MS Paint.” I think this evokes a lot of nostalgia for Snail’s followers, or at least it does for me.
But enough of my amateur art critic musings: I reached out to Snail for a quick interview over email after following them on social media for a few months, and they graciously accepted. Our correspondence is below.
NEEMblog: First off, when and why did you get into art, and do you have anyone specific that inspired your work?
Snail: well, hmm.. a lot of early 2000s anime inspired me to draw as a kid! I mainly did it to pass time.
NB: The majority of your art is both silly and surreal, with a bit of sadness thrown in. Alternatively, you’ve described it as just wanting to draw stuff that’s “so dumb.” I know it’s a difficult question, but why do you enjoy drawing these odd scenes?
S: I get these random ideas in my head and i find them really funny and weird at the same time lol I think that’s what makes me want to draw them.
NB: Though I’m not sure it has a name, you seem to prefer the ‘messy’ style that is popular with a lot of online artists nowadays. What drew you to this aesthetic?
S: honestly, I just wanted to draw freely without having to worry about making things clean and perfect.
NB: What are your personal favorite drawings that you’ve done?
S: I like these a lot! (pics are down below aaaathey’re untitled since I’m lazy ;;v;; but I hope they’re ok!)
NB: With almost 40,000 followers on Twitter, your fanbase has grown a lot in a short time. How are you feeling about your recent success?
S: I’m very surprised actually! I sometimes feel like I’m dreaming if I think about it for too long, but I’m really happy about it! I’m glad people like my art. :>
NB: Any last words or shoutouts you would like to give?
S: shoutout to my bf, summer! they helped me with a lot of things and told me not to give up on art and my dreams they’re one of the reasons why I’m still drawing today! I love them so so much and to my followers, thank you for supporting me!
Thumbnail/featured image art used with permission.