(…) Everyone defines their own happiness bar. I consider myself a very happy person. I have a roof over my head, food, water to drink, an amazing wife that supports me, a loving family, the freedom to do whatever I want and the strength to do so, what else does a person need?
Yehuda Devir is an Israeli illustrator and graphic designer, who took over the Internet with a series of heart-melting comix of everyday situations with his wife Maya (also an illustrator). And if you think heart-melting is an exaggeration just take a look at the slideshow below. Overnight their animated life got millions of fans and followers from around the globe.Apart from the illustrations that brought him fame, Devir creates other visual art too. To mention a few: “Wonder women can take a hit, it doesn’t mean you have to”, “I could be me” and “Peeping generation” are just of few of the slogans that stay under illustrations with a strong social message that you simply must see on his website (as I couldn’t steal and post them here ;)).
Hi, Yehuda! We were initially supposed to meet in Bulgaria – you were here for a Comix festival. This didn’t happen, so now here we are – typing. Let’s take it from here – how did you like Sofia? You were here for a short while but surely you managed to grasp some of the local culture.
Maya and I were mainly at the Comic Con and it was amazing! So much love and excitement were around our visit and we certainly want to come back again. Everyone was so nice, and we felt the support and love of the public. Unfortunately, we had very short time to hang out in Sofia and we hope that next time we will have more time to travel a little.
How long has it been since you got viral and did you collect any insights regarding couples lives over that time – your personal experience and that of others based on the reactions towards your blog?
I began to do the illustrations for my own fun. The first illustration was when we moved to Tel Aviv and Maya suggested we make an illustration of the two of us asking for help from friends to find an apartment at a reasonable price. It worked… We got a lot of likes and shares and eventually, we find our apartment. We never imagined that so many people would identify with our personal moments as a couple. Our first viral wave was a few months ago and since then we have devoted most of our time to creating our comics – “One of those days”. There is nothing better than getting up in the morning and doing what you love, and the best thing about my job is that my work makes people laugh and happy.
Apart from your blog being very heart-warming and expressing common couples’ traits, do you think that there is an overall need of positive couples’ role model that generated parts of your popularity? (it seems that individualism combined with the rise of divorce rates are currently trending in the western societies, however, do you think people actually crave for the opposite?)
I think being real with your self is the most important thing. All of our illustrations it’s about real moments that happened to us. We don’t illustrate moments that didn’t really happen… and with the use of our cartoons we exaggerate them a bit to emphasize the drama. Our illustrations also capture less pleasant moments, such as the illustration we made about the fight we had… No couple is perfect and there are good moments and bad moments, and that’s what makes our relationship unique to us. “Humor” is our keyword.
Some of your works have strong social messages – against women abuse, pro body-positivity. They are very self-explanatory, but I would still ask you to say a couple of words on your personal stand on the issues. What in your surrounding provokes you to create these images?
When a social issue arises that I feel I have something to say about the matter – I say it. To make a change you have to know the problems, even if they are painful, and talk about solutions.
What is your definition of happiness, as a person of art and entertainment, as a man of the 21st century, as an Israeli?
Happiness is an individual definition. I think that when a person is satisfied with what he has, he is a happy person. Everyone defines his happiness bar. I consider myself a very happy person. I have a roof over my head, food, water to drink, an amazing wife that supports me, a loving family, the freedom to do whatever I want and the strength to do so, what else does a person need?