These Illustrations Are a Funny Take on Life in Quarantine

Artist Dex Fernandez's comic-strip series features "garapata"-like creatures.

Like many in the country, artist Dex Fernandez has been spending his days indoors, keeping tabs on the latest COVID-19 news on the radio, Internet, and social media, and maybe going a little stir crazy.

"It's sad to hear and see how our country's status is getting worse every day," says Fernandez, "but it's very inspiring [to know] how our frontliners are doing their best to help save our fellow Pinoys [in] this health crisis."

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Moved by the heroes doing life-saving work, the artist wanted to help, as well, and the best way he knew how was through his many-legged friends. Fernandez, who's known for the alienesque garapata art you see on bags, stickers, and walls, took to social media and asked people to share their quarantine stories, which he promised to turn into a comic strip.

PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez
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"It's like saying, 'Come on, we're having a hard time now, but cheer up, people. Check out these humorous stories and see how really witty we can be in midst of this crisis,'" he adds.

And so there is the garapata cashier who has to deal with garapata hoarders in the supermarket, the garapata mom who peeled off the labels of canned goods so that family meals will be a surprise, and even a garapata pretending to be on the beach by watching the ocean on TV. 

PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez
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PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez

Fernandez uses his Microsoft Surface to bring the stories to life, enhancing the funny and weird anecdotes but making sure "not to ruin the essence," and then posts the finished works on his social media channels.

"It takes a while to think how the visual will look like, but when I have it, the visual art is super fast to draw," explains the artist, who also points out how he's keeping the sources of the stories a secret right now, but will eventually credit them at the end of the project.

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PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez
PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez
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When asked how he is faring during the quarantine, Fernandez shares that his story is not as funny as his lockdown art. The artist is currently alone in his apartment, trying to fill the long days with things to do, much like everyone else.

Aside from the comic-strip project, he paints on canvases while listening to podcasts. He also watches films and documentaries to clear his mind, works on becoming more healthy, and plans to organize his stuff in the apartment ("but so far I am still too lazy to start that clean-up project").

PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez
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PHOTO BY Dex Fernandez

"During this experience, I am trying to be helpful, considerate, and remain environmentally aware," Fernandez adds.

See more of his work on Instagram and Facebook

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