Before he went viral on social media, artist Subway Doodle just wanted a place to archive his work. “Instagram seemed like the perfect medium to post and organize my drawings,” he says. It started as a self-imposed daily challenge to see if he could start and finish a doodle during his commute to work.
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That commute inspired the world of blue monsters that live through his drawings. “The characters I create are manifestations of things I experience as a New Yorker,” he says. The creatures, reminiscent of the monsters from Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, take on all shapes and sizes, “interacting” with the man-spreaders and sleepy straphangers he comes across on the NYC subway.
His process is simple—everything is done on an iPad. He takes a photo of something he sees, uploads it to the Procreate app, and starts drawing. “I don’t know what I’m going to create until I start,” he adds. The more complex the doodles became, the more time he would give himself to finish the piece.
Going viral was never expected, but he’s happy with the response he’s gotten from fans. “The messages and comments that I love the most are the ones where people simply say, ‘Your work makes me smile,'” he says.