Van Rensburg is giving people gentle reminders that life can sometimes be tough and that it's going to be okay.
Cover Image Credits: Instagram/swatercolour
Sometimes all of us need a 'pick-me-up' from a friend or a family member and the assurance things are going to be alright. But, the sad truth, is most people don't really have someone like that in their lives. Artist Hector Janse van Rensburg has seemingly taken over the mantle through his art collective Sh***y Watercolours to give people gentle reminders on life and love with touching four-panel comics. His illustrations are unique and feature a common element —a small grey feline delivering soothing nuggets of tiny messages to put a stressed mind at ease. This, the cat does by grounding us that we are all humans at the end of the day and we all do our best to live through the day.
Van Rensburg based the kitty on his own cat named Ona who, unfortunately, passed away a few years ago. The artist recently spoke to MyModernMet about his cat, the comics, and the art that is putting so many frayed minds at ease. "She was with me for most of my life and was a little grey dollop of positivity that followed me everywhere," he tells the outlet, recalling memories of his cat. "The comics are primarily about offering a new perspective on the negative mindsets that people find themselves in, and my cat was the perfect thing to articulate that new perspective." Despite the questionable name for the collective, the comic's Instagram account is relatable to everyone who's ever felt anxiety in their lives.
Since Van Rensburg’s comics launched, he has witnessed some profound changes. "Since starting the series, I have had so many messages from people about how they've helped them, or how they've sent the comics to people close to them and it has opened up a dialogue with them about things they struggle with, which is really great," he proudly shares. "There are some gratuitous ‘cats are great' comics thrown in the mix, but for the most part I try to make them such that the cat's voice could be the voice of a friend, or your own internal voice… just nice comforting words from someone who will stick by you." Usually, all of Van Rensburg's sketches are filled with the character feeling hopeless to the point that they struggle to get out of bed. When the character expresses their deep dissatisfaction with life, the grey purr-machine offers a jolt of refreshment with an alternative view of the situation.
Let's take a look at some of the best works released by the artist recently.