Interview of Planet Prudence by Kara Zosha // illustrations by Planet Prudence
I’m Prudence Geerts, I’m a Belgian-based illustrator. I’ve been drawing for my own and now my community under the name Planet Prudence since 2016, but I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. I’m passionate about showing the real and raw side of us as human beings in this altered world. My work started out as a diary for myself and genuinely never expected people to want to follow along. So I guess the raw and vulnerable side of my work has always been there.
One aspect of your work is about reclaiming one’s body/self and becoming your own advocate. Do you have any advice for people that are struggling with that journey?
Yes! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the best of us don’t always feel awesome during our self-love journey. It’s not an exponential way up. It goes with ups and downs, with good days and lesser ones. Also do remember that when on a self-love journey and you’re having a bad day, you are never going back to square one. You never go back to before you had the knowledge and the experience that you work so hard for every single day. I used to believe that I was “back at where I started” when I was going through a lesser period. But even when feeling super low, or having a depressive episode, they never last as long as they used to, and I kinda know what to do now too. By now, I feel like I know exactly what I need and when I need it. Your self-love levels may not go up exponentially, but your knowledge does! And a bad period can never take that away from you.
Imposter syndrome is something that I find SO hard to get rid of, still do! I think just being aware that anyone else on this planet has to deal with imposter syndrome one way or another kind of already feels a bit more comforting to me. Even celebrities just do what they love and it just happens that there’s a lot of public attention on their person. I just try to tell myself that I love what I do, and that doing what I love also makes me a better person which then allows me to be of service to others and give back in return.
You’ve created a safe space to talk about heavy topics and created a community that helps support each other. Does the work you do ever take a toll on you personally, and how do you deal with that?
The work itself never has taken a toll on me personally, nor has the community. I have never experienced the amount of love anywhere apart from our online community. It’s insane how much love there is! I love our community so much. The thing that works on my mental health often though, is how social media is treating creators and are pushing paid content rather than original content that creators work so hard for.
When I started there wasn’t really a big community of artists, so I was like “I’m just going to put my art on this thing called Instagram so I can have a little collection of myself and see how my art grows and stuff” so I put it up there not knowing how it really worked, except it was something like Tumblr or so is what I thought. And as I was living in a small apartment with absolutely no budget for an iPad or a drawing tablet, I took photos of my sketchbook drawings and uploaded them on Instagram. I am thankful I found a community with likeminded people who got to know me the way I really am and vice versa.
Your art style is very cute and unique, how did it come about?
Thank you! I always loved to draw so naturally that was also my go-to when I wanted to transfer my thoughts, experiences or stories onto paper. The character came to life when I worked in a call center. It was a job I had gotten used to doing and there was a lot of routine so I doodled her on my notepads constantly. I remember making her be in places I couldn’t go to at the time, like on a beach or on a desk. Fun thing: the first few years I didn’t even own a desk. In my apartment there was only room for the kitchen table, so I created everything from the kitchen table and worked there for the first 2 and a half years of my art career.
People can find me on Instagram via @planetprudence but everyone who loves and believes in my work can also follow me on Patreon. Patreon is awesome because my community works together in order to allow me to make and create from my intuition and keep using my voice, so I’m not gate kept by companies telling me what and what not to do. People can decide whatever they like to pledge, from $1 to $50 (or more if they like!) and they get exclusive perks and artwork in return. Basically like Picasso, van Gogh, Dalí and other master painters had their Patrons too, but make it modern, haha! On Patreon you can find me on www.patreon.com/planetprudence