Creating the cartoon series Cambridge Struggles

by Anna Svegborn on 24 April 2017

My name is Anna and I am a second year undergraduate at Lucy Cavendish studying Natural Sciences. I am the creator of a little series of cartoons called Cambridge Struggles that can be found on Instagram: @cambridgestruggles

I have always liked drawing and sketching, but I have never had the patience to make a real series before or to post anything I have done anywhere. 

Initially I started following a few different cartoonists on Instagram and was very inspired by some of their simplistic styles, which led me to try drawing some own my own. At first, I drew cartoons of myself doing something that had to do with my subject and used that as motivation for studying. Then I started drawing some in my diary, instead of writing about my day I would draw about it.

The first day was one full of procrastination and the second day I worked on an essay that I thought was going to take me maximum two hours, but took eight instead. I saw the irony in these since this often happens to me. My friends saw the cartoons and thought that they were funny because they could recognise themselves in those situations too. They were the ones who suggested that I should do more and post them somewhere. 

I get my inspiration from things that annoy me from day to day. This may sound sad, but the struggles are not real problems. They are things that happen to everyone and you can laugh about it because they are not too serious. They also remind me to be thankful for not having many bigger problems than the ones I write about. I write them down when they happen to me (or a friend) and then I draw them when I have time. Usually I exaggerate the situation a bit to emphasise the comedy or the irony of the situation. 

What motivates me is primarily the nice feedback I get from my friends and the good response from people on Instagram. Some people comment that they are happy to see that these struggles do not just happen to them, but to all of us, and some just say that they think the cartoons are funny. I am very happy at Lucy and had it not been for my friends here, I probably would not have continued drawing cartoons.

Although I really like making the cartoons, having a cartoonist career is not something I have really considered, it is more a hobby for me. I study Neuroscience and Physiology now and I would love to work with that too after I graduate.