We were delighted to interview Prudence Geerts, the artist behind the quirky, funny, and touching illustrations on @planetprudence and in her book, ‘Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism.’ Read the interview to get Prudence’s insights on art, what she loves about her job and how she gets out of self-doubt and creative ruts.
What was your life goal when you were 10?
I always wanted to be an artist. I wanted to work from home since I’m an introverted person and I love working and drawing alone. My dream was also to help others, speak for others if possible; I always knew that was what I was supposed to do.
What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?
I think all the choices I made in life have guided me to where I am today. I can’t think of a particular choice I made in life that got me here. We make dozens of choices per day, without us even realizing it; all of them build up to get you to become this more evolved person at the end of the day.
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
I’m so happy with how my life is at this point. I love my days. I get up, I’m grateful for being able to wake up in this wonderful life, I receive so much love daily and I’m able to give back to the people who are supporting my work; I’m loving what I’m working on and I go back to bed at the end of the day being grateful for the love I’ve received.
This book is for basically everyone who has to go through adulthood, who is going through it or the ones who went through it. Well…That’s about everyone! I made the book in the first place to show people they are not alone in their thoughts, struggles or doubts. I covered all these hard subjects in light-hearted comics that are suitable for about every person on this planet.
What’s your definition of feminism? How does one become a true feminist?
Feminism is a word that is being misused and violated so much these days; it just means standing for equality in humanity. It means wanting equal rights for everyone. To think feminism is about women having everything is a misconception; it’s about wanting every human to be treated equally and have equal rights. I think there are many more feminists than the number of people who actually admit being so, right?
In the moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you reconnect with your purpose?
I try to focus on feeling grateful for everything I have. I read a book, take care of myself, go back to my inner self, and treat her with kindness. Only by doing this, I find back my purpose, my motivation, and inspiration.
Where is your favourite place in the world and what makes it so special?
I’m turning 27 soon, and I haven’t seen much of the world yet. I have to admit that I’ve seen some wonderful places and ever since I went to Berlin last year, I keep thinking about going back there. I just loved the city a lot. But to be entirely honest, I haven’t found a place that I would be able to truly call home yet, where I can be at peace with myself and 100% calm. Even in my current home, some noise always ruins the peace, with few exceptions. I think the perfect place would be somewhere in the countryside, in utter silence.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
I would LOVE to sell postcards and bookmarks. I haven’t done it before, probably because I’ve been scared and I thought I didn’t deserve it. Or because I never felt good enough. I’ve made new products now: 25 postcard and 2 bookmark designs. I’m going to see which shops would want to sell them. I look forward to seeing my postcards in shops someday!
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
So far, I think it was taking the step to become an artist even though teachers and other people never believed I could.
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
One thing that helps me finding back some inspiration is going out in nature. Taking a hike, going to a forest, walking on the beach, just going outside. Another thing that helps is laughing. Watching a series that makes me laugh helps me out a lot. Also, treating yourself well. Taking a bath, a hot shower, face masks, or your favorite hot beverage can help you find back some balance and self-love so you can be open for inspiration again.
What lightens you up/excites you? (a project to work on, booking a plane ticket, meeting new people, etc.)
Of course, working on projects and anything art related. I love art so much, it makes me truly happy. Another thing that excites me is seeing people loving my work, sending out items to them. It always gives me so much joy, I always take so much care of each item, and I love when people send me a picture when they’ve received it. It truly warms my heart.
Another thing that makes me feel excited is finishing a book and starting a new one. Reading is the second thing I love after art.
What does the world need more of? Less of?
This may sound cliché but unfortunately, the world is what it is… If we could change it, though, it would need more love and tolerance and less hate.
If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?
There are so many inspirational people in the world, but I think I would love to have a talk with Elizabeth Gilbert or Oprah. They’re both women who have gone through a lot but ended up doing more than fine. They’ve influenced a lot of other people as businesswomen, artists and enlightened people in general.
A book or a film that transformed your life?
The book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I can’t really say how… but I know it changed my life and my perspective on it so much. I used to be so depressed and unhappy at that point, I wasn’t taking risks and I had a feeling that I wasn’t going anywhere. Once I read the book, it all became so clear to me: I wanted to take risks, and in doing so, I grew into the person I am today. I wanted to take the chance and all it would take to be an artist even though so many people didn’t believe in me.
It was time to make myself happy. Elizabeth Gilbert opened my eyes and told me it was okay to search for peace, be loved and love in return, to find the true meaning of my life and to just BE.