Emmet Truxes is the creative mastermind cartoonist behind the widley popular Instagram account Brooklyn Cartoons – www.instagram.com/brooklyncartoons
Emmet’s single-panel cartoons have gone viral over the past year and focus primarily on the millennial generation and= the technology / apps that drive our current culture.
The Levity Ball sat down with Emmet in Los Angeles (where he recently relocated from Brooklyn, NY) to find out more about his cartoon craft…
When did you first know you had a talent for drawing/designing?
“I’ve been drawing my whole life, to be honest I’m not sure if there was a particular moment when it occurred to me that I was good at it, but my parents definitely planted the seed and really encouraged me to draw all the time growing up.”
What was the very first cartoon you ever drew?
“My high school chemistry book is littered with these drawings of bored kids sitting at their desks completely passed out, early character studies if you will. Not sure if I captioned those though. My first black and white New Yorker-style watercolor cartoon that got published was in college for this literary magazine and it was around the time after Facebook had been introduced – back when it was called thefacebook and it wasn’t lame. The cartoon was set at the types of outdoor keg parties we used to have all the time during freshman week, and it was two girls both laughing and one of them pointing off frame and going ‘Ohmigod, I like totally know that guy from thefacebook.’ Early things.”
What do you feel was the “moment” when your single-panel cartoons Instagram account took off?
“I think once some of the prominent members of the Instagram meme community started following me and I began collaborating with them regularly I realized that the best way to grow brooklyncartoons would be through embracing the social connectivity of Instagram and join forces with these other accounts to create original content. I started the account in February 2015, so this would have been like 3 months in when I had about 2000 followers.”
How does it feel now to be a social media star?
“Ha! I definitely do not consider myself a social media star, but I appreciate the compliment! On the scale of Instagram (much less the internet) an audience of 33.5k is really small, but that being said it does feel super rewarding to have the account growing and to receive a lot of positive engagement.”
Who was your role model growing up and why?
“I grew up completely obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes. I love Bill Watterson’s drawing style, sense of humor, creative genius, his philosophy on refusing to license his work, and above all his insistence that he had something new to offer to the regimental and highly structured world of syndicated newspaper comic strips.”
What’s next for you as an artist? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“In the 14 months that brooklyncartoons has been a thing so much crazy stuff has gone down so one thing I’ve realized is this has the potential to go in so many directions. For now I’m going to keep observing, coming up with content that doesn’t repeat itself, collaborating with my people, and growing the account. Sometime this month or next I will be opening a website where people will be able to buy posters and framed prints, so I’m super excited to see where that leads.”
You are originally from New York… how has the move to Los Angeles been?
“I’m originally from a tiny town in Connecticut called Westbrook, which is about two hours away from New York; growing up we came into the city frequently to see my grandparents who l ive in Queens. After college I basically lived in various parts of Brooklyn on and off between 2006 and late 2014 – with a hiatus for grad school. The move to Los Angeles has been good; my wife Clementina and I have been out here for about a year and a half. I’m not going to lie, being from the east coast and coming from Brooklyn, the move here was a total shock – culture, climate, lifestyle, etc – and it was a little rough for the first year (which is par for the course for all the people I’ve met out here who have done the same). I’m more or less over that now, and am fully embracing being out here in L.A. because it’s allowing me to do things I never would have been able to had we stayed in New York – i.e. brooklyncartoons.”
What do you miss most about NYC?
“I get back to NYC frequently – like once every month/month and a half. I mainly miss my sister and my friends, but also the density, the serendipitous kind of living that you have when you experience a city on foot, the quality of the interior spaces, the noise, the food, the culture, the bars, the late nights, the conversations, all that.”
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?
“As the guy who made them lololololol and tag all their friends “this is so us” and “I’m dying.”