17 year old creator is taking Instagram by storm with his cartoons
17 Year old Harry Hambley created Ketnipz after he got bored with his former artistic style. Now, his cartoons have gained a following of over 22,000 fans (and growing!) on Instagram and Harry has even started his own clothing brand.
Aside from drumming, watching cartoons and drinking coffee with his friends, Harry spends a lot of time drawing, writing down ideas for his new cartoons and taking long walks. He says that “People often think that good ideas are rare and only come when you least expect it, but I find that my best ideas have come from simply doodling aimlessly, and by drawing nonsense until something stands out. It’s a fun process.”
When asked about where the idea of the ‘Bean’ character came from, Harry explained that he used to do commissioned portrait art and realistic illustrations but it eventually became underwhelming for him. After facing a few brick walls creatively Harry decided to distance himself from portrait art and the bean was born.
The name Ketnipz wasn’t really planned either and was the result of ‘Catnip’ being taken on Instagram. How many of you have spent hours upon hours trying to come up with a decent online name? Sometimes the best names just come without trying.
Harry currently uses a simple set up of a custom build PC, Asus Monitor and a Wacom Cintiq 13″ Pen Display, a fairly minimal set up compared to many artists, but it works well for him. When asked what advice he’d give to artists looking to begin their careers, he advised that artists “have drawing by hand down first before you start making, it’s the foundation that you build on, and don’t rush to get the best tech right off the bat if you can’t afford it.”
In terms of inspiration, Harry says that he is hugely influenced by the work of Pendleton Ward – the creator of Adventure Time and street artist KAWS. He likes their fun and colourful approach to art as well as their refined style. He later went on to explain that he wants to perfect his own style so that each piece has a level of continuity so it remains recognisable.
Posts on the Ketnipz Instagram page average between 3,000 – 5,000 likes and Harry is successfully engaging a large community of fans. However having such a huge online success can be tough, Harry has occasionally received angry emails after Instagram arguments – he says that the internet can sometimes scare him, but most people on it are kind.
After looking through Harry’s illustrations on Instagram I noticed that a lot of them carry important messages about society and humanity. Which was really quite nice to see. I personally believe that art (when done right) is a great way of engaging with an audience about real world issues, without being to forceful.
I asked him about his cartoons and if he feels like his art is a good outlet to connect with people about important issues, his response: “Definitely! I try my best to present a character that is very body confident and positive, whilst at the same time exploring themes around depression and social expectations. I’ve have had trouble with these issues myself – but by dumbing-down these complex emotions into cartoon form, and through channelling them through a light-hearted character, I was able to better understand these feelings. I hope that people can relate to the bean in the same way that I do, and can find comfort in its simplicity.”
We all know the power of modern technology and social media and it’s really quite amazing to see how Harry has taken Ketnipz to the level it’s at today. Harry plans to focus a lot more on clothing and having a fully fleshed out and respectable brand by Christmas this year.
Already selling out almost instantly on his clothing, I can only wish him the best of luck! The Ketnipz profile is really inspiring and if you want to enjoy some light-hearted fun cartoons you should go and give him a follow.