There is no way around it – Zombijana Bones is a household name. Especially if you’re from Serbia, Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her art isn’t just excellent in terms of talent – it is also bold.
The first time I ever encountered her was over a year ago, when I saw her series – “Neke đevojke” or, translated from Serbian, “Some Girls”. It was a “I don’t give a fuck” kind of series, where Zombijana reminded all of us that it’s okay – it’s okay if you love dressing up, and if you don’t care for make up, it’s alright to be a girl who drinks beer or a girl who doesn’t drink at all, and most importantly – it’s okay to be a girl, whichever way you want to be.
What followed was a string of other brilliant pieces of art, including series like “Some Guys“, “12 Signs that Your Cat Listens to Metal“, “Opinion” and so many more – including sketches of Twenty One Pilots songs and just rants about the everyday, to which all of us can relate.
In her art, Zombijana combines the everyday and the cool, the ranty and the deep, and that’s what makes it so relatable. No matter if she draws comics in Serbian, since she is from the capital of Serbia – Belgrade, or in English – she and her art kick ass, plain and simple.
And luckily, I got her to talk to me for this November’s “Artist of the Month” feature. So check it out!
Loud and Alive: Tell us a little about yourself. Who is Zombijana? What makes her tick?
Zombijana: Zombijana is straight edge vegan piece of shit (if I can swear).
If I must avoid swearing – Zombijana is straight edge vegan piece of pie, that likes cats, knives, foxes and pastel colors. She hates so many things, but mostly people.
I’m really motivated when I see how far I’ve come… and when I see cats and think about how precious they are and how we don’t deserve them.
Loud and Alive: How does your personal life influence your art? When you are bothered by something, is your first impulse to draw – rather than talk – about it?
Zombijana: Oh it really does. Yes – I’d rather draw before speaking about something that is bothering me and make a sarcastic comment on that, but also I love to draw my favorite conversations with my favorite people. And I love to draw music.
Loud and Alive: How/when did you start drawing?
Zombijana: I was drawing as a kid a lot, but never realized that I can make good money out of it (what a stupid kid). But then I grew up and everything changed. Now I do this job because I need to. These fast cars and big houses I have are not gonna maintain themselves.
Translation: First row –Some girls like beer; Some girls like peach juice – And that’s ok
Second row – Some girls like guys; Some girls like girls – And that’s all ok
The only thing that is not ok is to be a piece of shit
note: redacted for length
Loud and Alive: Your series “Neke đevojke“/”Some girls” was very well accepted; I see it popping up everywhere and I’m really happy you decided to do it. What motivated you to draw it?
Zombijana: Breathing. When you exist as a girl, you will always have people to tell you what’s right for a girl, and what’s not. You just need to ignore that and be your beautiful self. The same goes for the guys, that’s why I have similar post for them.
Loud and Alive: Who are your influences, when it comes to art?
Zombijana: My favorite bands.
Loud and Alive: You draw comics both in Serbian and English. How do you decide which language you’ll use for a comic?
Zombijana: That’s a great question! Some of the jokes are very local, and if I drew them in English, people that are not locals wouldn’t understand them and they would be less funny. Also, there is no word in English for ‘poyyy’.
Loud and Alive: You often go from commentary on annoying behavior to positive life advice, which makes for a unique style. For example, I loved your “Mišljenje“/”Opinion” where you made people reconsider giving their unsolicited opinion, and then you posted “How to go to shows alone“. How do people respond to that?
Zombijana: On opinions post we had two sides: side that got the message and other side that thinks this post is very very dark, because I told them the real truth. People need somebody to constantly remind them how special they are to be alive, and that post is the complete opposite.
How to go to shows alone is my favorite fanzine I’ve ever read and I decided to illustrate it. Unfortunately I’ve never found out who wrote it, but that is some really important literature for a young asocial lady / gentleman living alone.
Loud and Alive: What are the most challenging things when creating art, in your opinion?
Zombijana: The most challenging thing is to draw every day. It’s easy to stop, and if you stop, it’s hard to get back on track. Especially if you are lazy.
Loud and Alive: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Zombijana: Show your work. Use social media while it’s still free, and show your work. Get to know your audience and be friends with them. But the main thing – show your work and work every day.
Loud and Alive: Thank you so much, Zombijana! Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Zombijana: Booze is for losers!