These Daily Sketches Bring Life To The Characters Who Lurk In The Background

When you’re an art director and freelance illustrator, finding time to sit down each day and turn a person from a photo into a satirical character sketch is difficult. Yet, Ruslan Suleimanov, has managed to find the time in his busy day to do so.

His sketches are the result of his love of people watching, his dedication to scrolling through photos to find someone of interest in the background and make their perceived character the focus of his sketching. They are not posing for pictures or aware of being on show, they are jus going about their lives, and this candidness breathes a sense of the unfiltered into Ruslan’s work.


Residing in Kazakhstan with his wife and pug, Hannibal, Ruslan is passionate about continually improving himself and designing the life he wants – the ability to illustrate full time. His sketches are relatable, humorous, thoughtful and full of character – their attention to detail is astounding and their likeness to people we all know is uncanny. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself amongst the images one day?


Miraculously, Ruslan managed to find some spare time in his day to speak to us about his sketches and what inspires them.

The Plus: Why did you decide to begin this everyday project?
Ruslan Suleimanov:
At the end of 2015, I noticed that I was drawing less so I decided to make one sketch every day. I chose Instagram for posting because it’s easy to post different pictures every day and is a very popular platform for this kind of project.


TP: What are the difficulties with a daily project like this?
First of all it’s a lack of free time. Sometimes I come home very late and just want to sleep not to draw but I tell myself “You MUST” and it’s really helps me. I have only ever missed two drawings but it was for a very important reason.


TP: What have you most enjoyed about doing a sketch a day?
 It’s fun – I can’t believe that I’ve managed to do so many. If somebody would have told me how many I would end up doing, I wouldn’t have believed them.


TP: Where does your character inspiration from?
I draw sketches from photographs of real people and their everyday lives. People I see on the streets, in shops, at parties. I look through a lot of photos from my trip to Europe and photos on the Internet, I also look for people who are behind back the main characters – I never use the central people. I like those engaged in their own affairs ad then I take these people through my prism – vision and draw funny characters.


TP: How long does each sketch take you to do?
30 – 35 minutes.

TP: How have you evolved throughout the project?
I think it is obvious when you compare the sketches – the first characters were really difficult and I think this shows. I find it easy now – I work with a smile on my face – and if you really look at my sketches you can see that I am much more at ease – they are much more comfortable.