‘I’m not busy, just slow. I’ve got too much love for relaxing’
That’s the first thing Kot Bonkers says to us, and it’s a mantra that every victim and sufferer of The Quarter Life Crisis should swear by.
Following suit from its parent, Mid-Life, The Quarter Life Crisis has become a phenomena with today’s 20 something year olds as the pressures to succeed emotionally, physically and financially in a ridiculously short span of time are outweighing the real root of ‘happiness.’
Fortunately, it’s a phenomena that Kot Bonkers happily rugby tackles to the ground.
At 23 years old, Kot epitomizes the crisis perfectly – getting kicked out of your parents’ house, trying to navigate through the education system and basically not knowing which direction anything is going, let alone yourself.
Yet, Kot finds the silver lining in everything. She’s the witty voice of reason (and madness) we’ve all been waiting for.
With 18.5k followers, her Instagram account has gained an almost religious following, and it’s obvious why when her priorities include (in no particular order): her cats, masturbation and ‘dodging small talk and awkward social events’.
Her hilariously sincere drawings expose every single elephant-in-the-room/office/ pop-up bar. Our first world woes are answered simply and quickly – put yourself first and say ‘no, non, não, nein, het’ to the societal pressures of growing up.
Kot Bonkers yells a big fat multi-coloured NO to definition. To being defined by your 9-5 job, your parents or the current Insta trend. We are ‘complex beings’ and should all live vicariously through ourselves – and no-one or any-thing else.
For Kot, no teacher, self-help book or boss should tell us what to do or where to go next – it’s up to us to accept our pace of life and work around it. Ultimately it’s our own ‘self-empowerment that leads to self-acceptance’.
First of all, who is Kot Bonkers?
Constantly changing. Searching for purpose.
What do you currently do?
Draw & take care of my cats. Spend time with my grandparents, watch movies & documentaries. Sometimes I go out and get totally drunk from 2 glasses of wine.
So, what inspired you to start drawing?
I can’t remember. There was a natural inner push. I think every human being needs a way to speak, to shine. Drawing is just one way to do it, and it felt the closest to my heart. I am sure that I might start using other tools of self-expression with time.
Thinking about the Quarter Life Crisis – what do you think are the biggest pressures in our current society for those in their twenties?
Well, for starters to enrol into a university.
I think there’s enormous pressure to study something right after school, and so many teenagers/young adults end up going into a huge debt & wasting their time on a subject they do not enjoy, instead of listening to their own pace of life. In school we’re told we can’t make our own decisions. We have to ask whether we can go to the damn toilet. You finish school, and bam, pick a subject for the next 4-5 years of your life, and pay enormous amounts of cash for it. Cycle of brainwashing.
There are all types of pressures. Not sure I can pick out one that is particularly strong while you’re in your twenties. I guess, to fit in. To define yourself, while you could just simply be exploring. To live up to your parents’ expectations. To be cool. All of those & many more.
So, how have you struggled from the dreaded Quarter Life crisis?
I’m not sure whether I have. 🙂 I was always too stubborn to do things in any other way but my own.
Do you feel that you face any specific difficulties/pressures being a woman?
Sure, just like men face certain pressures being a man. Gender stereotypes are wack. We are expected to act in a certain way depending on what’s between our legs. It puts us into these defined roles that can be limiting.
What’s been the shittiest moment in your twenties and how did you cope?
Getting kicked out of my parents’ house. I wasn’t 20 yet, but approaching that. I think the shittiest moment of my life turned out to be the greatest one in the long run though. Learning to live alone, learning to love it.
What’s been the most wicked moment?
Not a moment, rather a process of learning to be vocal, to feel strong and independent.
What gets you up each morning?
Humans have excellent colour vision, although visual acuity in low light is limited, therefore we tend to naturally function better in the daylight, rising with the sun, and going to sleep once the darkness takes over. lol
What do you do to wind down?
I draw, let it all out creatively. I think it’s very important to find constructive ways to let out negative emotions. Without damaging oneself, therefore not involving drugs or any other addictive substances, not involving abuse of other living beings. Once you find a way to turn negative feelings into something positive you’re good.
If you had to, which one drawing would you choose to sum up your feelings about society?
Impossible to pick one. I don’t have a single defined ”feeling” about this society. It’s too complex and there’s too much duality in each one of us to sum it down to one drawing.
Your ‘talking heads’ are wicked – What inspired you with you that series?
I would write down phrases/reminders to my own self when I would catch myself slipping. Then one day I decided to visualize that & share it online. Came about naturally & effortlessly.
What would you say are your biggest accomplishment/s to date?
*shrugs* I don’t know…growing as a person, learning more about myself and others. Learning to appreciate the company of my grandparents. Understanding that the superficial things aren’t important. Hopefully I’ve become more patient and accepting.
Your work is unconventional and frank – What do you hope people will take away from your work?
No expectations. Take what you see in it, and make it yours. I always say it’s a free form of interpretation.
How has the art world accepted your work- has it been difficult navigating the art scene?
I’m not really concerned about that. What is the ”art world” anyway? I’ve met a few gallerists who seemed a lot more like business men than artists to me. I care about everyday people I can reach via social media, and genuine connection. I draw for myself; ultimately, it’s a form of therapy. It’s a visual diary that I share with others. It’s very simple.
Your work has had an amazing reception so far. Your Instagram could be hailed as a some-what self-help bible, with your fans religiously following your posts.
Did you ever intend to have such a following?
What advice would you give to some-one struggling to cope with the Quarter Life Crisis?
Take time to think, to understand yourself. Stop trying to be cool, or important – humble yourself, stop trying to live up to someone’s expectations. Find purpose in your own existence.
To be honest I think struggle is good. Even bad things that come your way are great in the long run. So don’t worry too much.
So, what’s in store for Kot Bonkers in the next year, personal and creative life?
Hopefully all the best. I’ve been wanting to do more social work, more volunteering or participate in charity projects around the world. Only art is not enough, if I have a voice in the social media I have to use it with best intentions.
Finally, what’s your motto in life?
I don’t have one.
Printed in Girls Club Magazine Issue 3 – http://www.girlsclubzine.com/