Drawing your own lane with Obi Aris

This cartoonist has always been ‘drawn’ to his career

Video Transcript

OBI ARIS: Well, when it comes to social media, I was very fortunate. Because in a sense, I created my own lane, right? When it came to the comic strips especially, you know-- starring, you know, a person of color, a Black person. At that-- like there was really nothing out there yet when I started doing it, right? And then with the humor that I was able to put into it and the relevancy, like a pathway just opened for me.


I started drawing when I was three years old. When I was a toddler. And I just loved drawing ever since, you know, cartoons, especially like the Ninja Turtles, superheroes. I just always-- kept me in love with drawing and being an artist. When I was a kid, like I always wanted to be a cartoonist, but I felt like cartoonists don't make money. Social media has made it so available to be successful outside the norm that we grew up with. It's not just having a corporate job, a regular 9 to 5. Like, you can literally be your own boss.

And I think Instagram started popping. And I just started seeing all these artists continually like drop their work and show how good they are. And I was like, you know, I like to draw. And so I just started drawing and posting my work on social media just over the years. And I just really fell in love with it all over again, because I see art as something that can't be mastered. However that's the fun in it. It's trying to master, trying to get better.

My biggest thing that I want to do when it comes to bringing diversity, especially with my "Obi" cartoon, is that I want to show a world that we live in as Black people, right? We're more than just victims all the time, right? Now am I going to bring awareness to my cartoons from time to time? Absolutely. But I definitely want to show a different side to how we live. Whether you're Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. Anybody will be able to watch it and be able to relate to it for sure.