Instagram: ugly_ink

Artist's stereotypical comic series perfectly describes kiwis

Must See 08/08/2018

A New Zealand artist's unique illustrations depicting stereotypical Kiwis has amassed a huge following on social media, with some calling for him to create a book. 

Sam Moore, an art director at Harvey Cameron Advertising Agency in Christchurch, has posted a 'People of New Zealand' series of wacky illustrations to his Instagram account @ugly_ink, some of which depict stereotypical Kiwi characters, such as "Helpful Beryl". 

"It doesn't matter whether she's your gran, mum, auntie or friend; everyone should treasure the Beryl in their lives. She makes a mean shepherd's pie and is always up for a natter over a cup of tea and a Cameo Crème," says the image's description on Instagram.  

Mr Moore told Newshub most of the illustration and personal artwork he does is "quite fantastical" and his Instagram audience - over 88,000 followers - is mainly US-based. So he decided to create something that was more "Kiwi-focused". 

"I wanted to show positive characters that are more than just a shallow 1960s, 70s stereotype. It doesn't matter whether you like their style or hobbies, there is something in every character that we can relate to," he said.  

Another illustration from Mr Moore's People of New Zealand series pokes fun at stereotypical Kiwi men. The character Drew, he describes on Instagram, can "usually be seen early on Saturday mornings, pulling out of the McDonald's Drive-Thru in his modified, 1989 Toyota Hilux Surf."

Drew "probably stayed at a friend's house last night and is now about to head out to the country for a day of outdoor activities," the caption adds. The image has lines of text pointing to specific characteristics of Drew, such as dried mud on his legs and deer blood on his sleeve. 

Then there's Shae, the first in Mr Moore's People of New Zealand series, who "enjoys energy drinks, cigarettes and doing burnouts in his 1998 Nissan Cefiro". The illustration was posted to Instagram with a selling price of US$55 (NZ$81). 

Mr Moore said his favourite illustration is Wedding Kane, the Kiwi guy who unknowingly ruins weddings. Kane shows up ignoring the dress code, dusts off his old three-piece suit from 2008, and "teams it up with hi best high-top sneakers and ever present Dirty Dog sunnies."

Mr Moore's work has been widely praised on social media, with some calling for him to create a book out of the series of Kiwi characters. One person wrote to the artist on Reddit saying they'd buy the book as a Christmas present for their whole family. 

Mr Moore said 99.9 percent of the feedback he's received has been positive, although it has been pointed out to him that all the characters he's created are white people. But Mr Moore says he's only done five in the series so far, and there's "plenty more to come". 

"So many people have emailed me saying that Beryl reminds me of their neighbour or that Kane was at their wedding," he said. 

You can check out his illustrations on Instagram here