Interview: Bode Burnout

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Happy Thursday X Chromers! Give yourself a pat on the back, you've almost made it through the first month of 2018. 

Today's a big day for us as we are officially launching our X Chrome Chicago chapter! That means every third Thursday of the month, creative women from around the city will gather for (free!) breakfast to network, chat about that week's theme, and come together in a meaningful, alcohol-free environment. This month's theme: RESET.

And for those of you not in The Windy City, don't stress. LA and Santa Barbara chapters will be coming soon! In the meantime, check out our Chapters page and if you're interested in starting an X Chrome chapter in your city, email us at hello@xchromecollective.com. 

Today's interview comes to you from halfway across the world. Often times we look to social media as a crutch for our anxiety, boredom and filler, free moments. And while I don't need to repeat here the negative affects of too much screen time (talk about a RESET), sometimes in that scrolling we can find connection. Looking at Bode Burnout's feed, I can't help but laugh and relate. Clearly, even countries and oceans away, we're all dealing with the same shit. I hope you read it and enjoy as you continue to crush this week!

-Ellie

10 Questions With: Bode Burnout 
Dealing with life's shit one cartoon at a time.

Meet Bode Burnout, the Australian artist who's raising sarcasm to an art form. Literally. Within her hand-drawn sketches, freehand poetry, and sketched figures, she illustrates the thoughts and emotions we only wish we could so cleverly express. Feeling fat, feeling lonely, feeling like you want to shoot a lightning bolt out of your tit at some creepy onlooker–her posts are so just damn relatable. And not in that annoying, omg-i-love-brunch-TOO kind of way. In a way that makes you feel energized, less depressed about that Tinder missed connection, and not as steamrolled by your office bullshit. And while her subject work is by no means light and fluffy, the humor and wit has a way of lifting our jaded souls. We spoke with the Aussie artist through email to learn more about the babe behind the Bode. 

XCC:  How did Bode Burnout start and where did the name come from?

BB: It started as a way to rid myself of what was on my mind in a humorous way. I thought that if I could make someone else laugh and relate to what was happening to me, I might not feel so alone. It started during a pretty dark time of my life. Bode is a nickname my dad gave me as a child and Burnout whilst being part of my old myspace username, was the mental collapse I experienced constantly from anxiety that I couldn’t seem to get a hold of.

XCC:  Where do you pull inspiration for your drawing from? Often times your drawings feel like a visual representation of an internal conversation or even a shower thought, but still have a way of being universal.

BB: I get a lot of inspiration from meeting shitty human beings. Haha. A lot of what I draw and write about is what has embarrassed me in the past. I also have lengthy discussions with my friends about sex, work and how many poops we did that day. I’ll usually think to myself “Surely I can’t be the only one this happens to?”

XCC: The internet, pop-culture, social media and our relationship to each of them is something you play with a lot. With your art mainly featured on social media and in your online store, how do you feel about this constantly-connected, forever-updating, screens-focused society we’re all contributing to?

BB: I don’t really have feelings towards it to be perfectly honest. I think we are all capable to take a step away from it when we need to but we are constantly evolving and the screen focused society is becoming normal to us all. I’m just going with the flow and seeing what other technical junk gets created in the meantime.

XCC: Is drawing more of a hobby for you or a full time thing? What are your other interests/passions outside of Bode Burnout?

BB: It is a hobby that is slowly becoming full time. I love to draw people. I draw a lot of other realistic and caricature based works. I write songs and I also enjoy singing. Skateboarding is fun too. I’m passionate about ceiling fans and shower heads. When they’re good they are soo good you know? I also love cleaning with a high pressure hose. I feel like I will have my own business one day.

XCC: You’re from Brisbane, where do you find most of your followers are from?

BB: Brisbane I think. I send most of my work to Australia and USA.

XCC: So much of your work focuses on self love and the dark days when the self love isn’t there. Is this something you’ve struggled with in your own life?

BB: Yeah man. I have almost hit a point where I completely accept myself and it is a nice feeling. I have struggled with body image and anxiety my whole life. I get down every now and then but it’s life and I accept the good and the bad. It’s a constant battle until you realise the only person you are fighting for is yourself and your own happiness. I take medication for anxiety too and it works wonders.

XCC: Who makes up your circle of female friends and how have they impacted your work?

BB: I have a few different circles of friends and they are filled with a lot of hilarious women. Memories and stories we have swapped give me a lot of inspiration to create. The pure fact that they support what I am doing is a huge impact and I love them dearly for it.

XCC: I love your pieces where you personify moments, whether it’s “Friday” or “life” or “compassion”. How do you feel about the recent headlines that Millennials Ruin Everything and We Eat Too Much Avo Toast and do you think your work stands in contrast to those sentiments?

BB: It’s a bold statement that they ruin everything. Each generation has ruined something right? As for avocado, I don’t eat enough. My favourite meal is avocado on toast with goats cheese and roasted red grapes. I feel as though I am getting off topic.

XCC: What is the process like to create a drawing for you? Do you ever experience writer’s (drawer’s?) block and how do you move past it?

BB: Yes every day. On some days I’m like Pow Pow Pow and on others, i feel like I can’t remember anything that’s ever happened to me. To be honest, I don’t mind those days. Ha ha. Seriously, it takes a good cry to bring out some of the more interesting creations.

XCC: I love your pieces where you personify moments, whether it’s “Friday” or “life” or “compassion”. How do you feel about the recent headlines that Millennials Ruin Everything and We Eat Too Much Avo Toast and do you think your work stands in contrast to those sentiments?

BB: It’s a bold statement that they ruin everything. Each generation has ruined something right? As for avocado, I don’t eat enough. My favourite meal is avocado on toast with goats cheese and roasted red grapes. I feel as though I am getting off topic.

XCC: What is the process like to create a drawing for you? Do you ever experience writer’s (drawer’s?) block and how do you move past it?

BB: Yes every day. On some days I’m like Pow Pow Pow and on others, i feel like I can’t remember anything that’s ever happened to me. To be honest, I don’t mind those days. Ha ha. Seriously, it takes a good cry to bring out some of the more interesting creations.

XCC: With all the craziness in the world it seems Australia may be the only sane place left. Any tips for surviving this insane period of time?

BB: The Australian government is wasting money to make people vote on equality instead of being progressive and changing the law to better the future for the new generations to come. My seven-year-old nephew says yes and can’t vote. A ninety-year-old woman says no and can. I see no progression. Australia is insane in the moment if you ask me. My advice is to fight for what is right. Also have a beer with your friends more often.

All images courtesy of @bodeburnout!

Bode Burnout's X Chrome 7

1.    Current favorite album?

Lady Gaga’s Joanne. I listened to it briefly when it was released but after watching 5 foot 2 on Netflix I felt as though I needed to listen to it properly. She is brilliant!

2.    Last text message sent?

Hey can you proofread these interview questions for me so I don’t sound like a complete dick?

3.    If you were an Ice Cream flavor, what would you be called?

Luscious Lobster

4.    Must have guilty pleasure?

A ciggie when I’m drunk

5.    Biggest pet peeve?

When someone tells me to shhhhhhhhhhhhh.

6.    Tell us your current life mantra.

Thick lips, thick hips.

7.    Describe yourself in 3 words:

Sarcastic, loud and naked.

All images courtesy of @bodeburnout! If you like what you see, visit her online store
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