BK designer Liana Finck on the launch of “The New Yorker”, “Finding Your Voice”


“I think they’re happy I’m gone,” laughs cartoonist Liana Finck, referring to her former neighbors at Park Slope.

After more than half a decade in the neighborhood, the 35-year-old professional observer ?? whose caricatures are often seen in The New Yorker ?? last week moved south to Prospect Park.

Over the past five years, Finck has often turned his sharp mind to his beloved Park Slope neighbors. From the propensity for giant strollers, to the spread of “no dog-pee” signs, to the fierce protection of one’s own interests.

“There’s a certain amount of scolding and complacency and people are very, very obsessed with very little minutiae that shouldn’t matter that much,” she says.

“Park Slope is so ripe for laughing… But I loved it. I wouldn’t have liked to laugh if I hadn’t liked it.

Photo: Mr. Cooper.

Over the past few years, Liana Finck’s dry humor and philosophical reflections have struck a chord with a growing audience online.

His observations ?? who often make fun of micro-aggressions and comical interactions between people (à la Larry David) ?? are the type to say that a millennial audience makes you feel “very seen”.

Today, Finck has more than half a million subscribers on Instagram. In 2019, SHE the magazine called him “Instagram’s favorite cartoonist. “She is the author of three books, and even once designed the cover of a Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande single.

On August 21, Finck will be showing his work at the Blue Gallery in Manhattan alongside Tommy Siegel and Cal Kearns, in an exhibition that aims to bring popular artists online into the gallery space.

Interacting online can be a difficult process for the self-describing introvert. Her Instagram drawings often garner hundreds of comments, which Finck says she tries not to read.

While Finck says she prefers to allow people to explain her work themselves ?? rather than posting revealing captions ?? As her Instagram audience grows, she explains herself more and more.

“There are only a number of like-minded people in the world and they’ve probably all followed me,” she says. “I have pretty thin skin and I’m afraid of being misinterpreted at times.”

In the past, people have mistakenly interpreted one cartoon as making fun of Canada and another as making fun of breastfeeding. “I’ve had a massive exodus of Instagram followers and worse,” says Finck.

Despite this, she is still prolific on the platform. Just six minutes before his interview with BK reader, she posted a new cartoon on her page, depicting a person standing in the shadow of a mountain of “imminent plans.” This idea sprouted as she gazed at the barrel of weekend socials.

Finck says inspiration often hits her really quickly, and that she sketched out an idea as soon as it popped up, posting it online on the spot. However, with the fear of misinterpretation, she is now just as likely to simmer an idea and publish it later.

While many of his cartoons document interactions spotted on streets, cafes, or subway trips, Finck’s work is mostly autobiographical.

More recently this has meant drawing on pregnancy ?? because Finck is currently pregnant.

A recent cartoon on Instagram with over 50,000 likes depicts a smiling baby inside a woman’s body with a scowl on her back, breasts and heels. Another shows a person asking a pregnant woman if she knows if she has a “Vista or a Minu”, referring to two different models of high-end UPPAbaby strollers.

In her caption, Finck tells her followers that she is making a joke on Park Slope. “A stroller is not a stroller. A stroller is a signifier of class, ”answers one follower correctly.

Class, equality and access are common themes in Finck’s work. Asked about the possibility of starting The New Yorker, she says she remembers going to a weekly call organized by the former editor of the cartoon magazine Bob Mankoff.

Liana Finck. Photo: Jorge Colombo

“They were mostly older men and they were all adorable and cranky friends with each other,” she recalls. “I was irrelevant, but very charmed.”

Nowadays, some things have changed. The pool of designers is younger, there are more women, and it is a little less white (“even if the whites were almost all Jews”, she specifies).

The New Yorker Now has many more options for a designer to submit their work, says Finck. Artists can submit to Daily screams, who is online, or even submit a breaking job reacting to the latest news.

Along with everyone, Finck still sends cartoons to an open call every Tuesday, hoping to sell work at the legendary New York publication.

“I think of it like a musician who practices his scales every day,” she says. “At first I was so sad every time I didn’t sell, but you get used to it. It is good practice for rejection.

His advice to young designers is inspired by composer Philip Glass, who once said that we often don’t find our “voice” until we are around 30 years old.

Photo: Mr. Cooper.

“People will post you before you find your voice,” she says, adding that you might even find your voice by getting published and seeing the high stakes you set for yourself drop.

For now, Finck is making sure her voice doesn’t become one that she might have been laughing at in recent years.

“I’m having a child and thought I might become what I’m parodying,” she says. “But I bought a fancy little stroller, instead of a big fancy stroller.”

You can see Finck’s work on display on August 21 at the Blue Gallery in Midtown East from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Finck will be at the gallery to meet participants from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with Tommy Siegel and Cal Kearns. For more information, Click here.

Image: Cal Kearns / Instagram: @calkearns

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