HomeArtComic Relief The Charming Doodles that Poke Fun at those Everyday Quirks Lingvistov started out life as an English school via Skype for Russians who wanted to brush up on their language. Co-founder Landysh’s quirky illustrations, designed to make the learning process easier and more fun, were one of the things that really set it apart. But pretty soon, they began to take on a life of their own. Now the illustrations, inspired by a quintessentially English humour, have their own shop with books, prints, cards and stationary. “Lingvistov is a creative wonderland that has the power both to entertain, connect people and even educate,” enthuses Landysh. “Our Mission is to spread doodlemania to the farthest reaches of the Earth!” Whilst many of the doodles feature witticisms and clever puns, others are funny owing to their quotidian subject matter such as cats, food and sleep. Although Landysh’s doodles have no doubt brought a smile to countless faces, with her uniquely cute style and clever observations, she seems to get as much joy from them as anyone: “Drawing is what relaxes me. There are no limits, you can be as weird as you want to be. That’s what I love about art: this is the only place where you can feel true freedom.” We managed to drag Landysh from the comfort of her bed and the demands of her cat long enough to speak some more: The Plus: How did you go from online English lessons to making funny gifts featuring illustrations? Landysh: It has always been going hand in hand with The Doodles. We have a blog but instead of writing about boring grammar rules, we write about things like 15 most frightening stories in English, different ways to say “shut up” or the best pick-up lines, we record audio stories, podcasts and make funny videos! It was our students who started demanding merchandize with our doodles. So that’s how we decided to open our online store! TP: You’re Russian, but you say you love English humour. Why is that? L: My thesis at university was about English humour: I spent several months reading English limericks and watching Monty Python. It is very different from Russian humour and there are lots of jokes that can’t be translated because they are based on puns or cultural things particular to a specific English-speaking country. But there are things that all of us can relate to. Like cats for example. TP: Do you have one product/illustration/joke you are particularly proud of? L: I am very proud of everything we do, but especially of our very first book 21 Benefits of Having a Cat (http://shop.lingvistov.com/store/cat-books/21-benefits-of-having-a-cat/). It’s my dream to make books and it’s coming true. TP: Besides, cats, food and sleep what are the other most important things in your life? L: I think that travelling is one of the most important things in my life. Constant change, seeing new people and new places, it just makes me feel alive. But Lingvistov is still at the very top of things I love. Someone’s recently asked me what my biggest dream is and I had to admit that I am living my dream right now: doing what I love and doing it professionally. TP: How many cats to do you own? L: I have one cat and his name is Augustus. But I do not own him. He owns me. I’m a human slave to that furry monster. My life and work revolves around him! There would be no Lingvistov without him definitely! He’s my muse – I draw so many things about my everyday life with him.