I come from a big family. Not really by Eastern European standards, we were about normal-sized, especially considering that my grandma and grandpa from my dad's side lived with us. I almost always had to wait to use a bathroom, there was almost always someone talking or some kind of activity going on in the house while I was attempting to do my homework or play video games or quickly take a shower to not "waste" the hot water for whoever came in after me.
Which means that when I finally lived on my own for a little bit, I almost lost my mind. Even now, being married with two kids, I find myself creeped out when I'm by myself in the apartment. Most people would like to be away from a crying baby or have some "alone" time. I personally can't take more than few minutes of it.
Which is why I'm fascinated with the art of Yaoyao Ma Van As.
She has a series of drawings dedicated to living and working by your lonesome.
And her artwork is absolutely stunning.
From waking up when you want with only the sun and your pets to greet you.
To getting stuck on something when you're working from home and no coworkers to vent to.
She captures a lot of amazing moments of what it's like to be home alone.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Yaoyao says that when she started putting her drawings up online, she wasn't using "loneliness" as a guiding theme.
"The 'solitude' part wasn't my goal. However, once in a while I would get some comments on my painting like, 'Why is she always alone?'"
"And I started thinking, 'Just because someone is alone doesn't mean they're lonely.'"
Yaoyao uses her drawings to tell stories, specifically ones that include her pupper.
"I started doing these because I wanted to tell stories with my drawings, especially stories about my dog Parker."
She's interested in capturing the "ups and downs" of life, and hopes that the vignettes she captures resonate with other people.
"Life has its ups and downs, and I hope people can see from the stories I tell in my illustrations that they're not alone in going through certain experiences in life."
A scroll through her Instagram account shows just how much she's progressed as an artist over the years.
"I do go through different emotions, but I'm also not crying in the staircase every time I draw something sad or biking through nature when I'm happy. I mainly just want to improve my skills and become more well-rounded as an artist."
Her "daily sketches" are filled with beautiful life moments, as only she sees them.
If Yaoyao's work speaks to you, you can check out more of her artwork on her site, here.
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