This spring Maya and Yehuda Devir, creators of the popular webcomics One of Those Days, released a new YouTube mini-series called The Heartists, made in collaboration with Wacom and Deviant Art. Over the years, Wacom has cultivated a strong friendship with the Devirs, who has hosted multiple online Q&A and keynote speech sessions as part of Wacom’s Comic Week and ConnectedInk events. Given their history, the collaboration between the two comes as no surprise.
In The Heartists: Episode One and Two we delve deep into the couple’s personal lives, uncovering the difficulties relating to their forthcoming illustration announcing that they are pregnant with their second child. As Maya and Yehuda take us on an emotional roller-coaster, we learn more about the successful couple and the intimate process involving the creation of One of Those Days.
The Heartists: Episode Three
Despite Maya and Yehuda’s enviable relationship, creative partnerships aren’t always as easy and idyllic as they look. In episode three, Yehuda invites us into his studio to catch a glimpse of his workspace and the various steps he takes before creating an illustration. As he turns on his Wacom Cintiq Pro 32, chooses a show to play in the background, puts on his headphones, and closes his blinds to avoid the gaze of snooping neighbors, one thing becomes very clear: in order to zone into his work he must shut out the outside world.
Yehuda’s solitary hyperfocus allows him to masterfully create the beautiful illustrations his audience loves, but it can also become an obstacle when met by Maya’s constructive feedback. This announcement illustration not only holds a lot of meaning but carries a part of the couple’s emotional history, so as Maya sits beside her husband, attentively examining his work, the stakes could not be higher. Even after hours of calculated work, something is still missing, but perhaps it has less to do with the illustration and more to do with the thing the couple is best known for: their partnership.
The Heartists: Episode Four
It is normal for artists to suffer some sort of creative block every now and then, and most times the best advice is to let your work go for a whileand come back to it after some time. Well, this advice does not apply to Yehuda, who instead of giving himself a break, is determined to face his obstacles head-first, working day and night until he is ready to show his sketch to Maya. Starting your work from scratch isn’t easy, but sometimes it is necessary, and often it just takes a little push from the right person for you to realize it.
You can’t have a true partnership without teamwork. In the same way, One of Those Days isn’t just the product of two very talented artists, but the result of the beautiful harmony that is created when Maya and Yehuda work together. Only after listening to each other and accepting that the first illustration was not truly translating their partnership could they create something that truthfully told their story. It is exactly their teamwork that finally brought their announcement alive, and Maya and Yehuda wouldn’t be as successful, or more importantly, as happy, without it.
The Heartists: Episode Five
After three long weeks of hard work, it was finally time to share the finished illustration with the world. What started as a familiar process had become an emotional journey, leading up to the big reveal to their audience. Despite all the time Maya and Yehuda spent working on the illustration announcing their second pregnancy, they really didn’t know what to expect. For the couple, launching their weekly illustration is a cherished ritual. Yet, it had become increasingly difficult for them to share with each other since their first child was born. This time, however, the couple got a babysitter and made sure to push the Publish button together.
The suspense grows as Maya and Yehuda get ready to post the big news to their audience, who are sharing their excitement in real time. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t an emotional moment to watch all the couple’s hard work finally play out in front of them as their followers’ comments flooded in. It can’t be easy to always wear your heart on your sleeve, but it all proves to be worth it when in return you receive the love and support of an audience who has become a second family. In this intimate moment we see all of Maya and Yehuda’s raw vulnerability, that same sincerity that we see consistently in all their artwork and which allows them to be truly relatable to so many.
Words can only express so much, so to watch the full series on YouTube and follow the full emotional journey click here.
If you feel inspired after watching Yehuda work in his studio and want to learn more about the type of setup he uses to illustrate, make sure to check out Wacom Cintiq Pro 32
Finally, if you can’t have enough of the Devir couple like us, grab yourself a copy of One of Those Days on Amazon.