Parenting Win of the Week: Reading the Comics
Mom, doctor, and artist Grace Farris creates comics about the funniest shared experiences in motherhood.
Like every mom, I sometimes scroll myself into oblivion looking for someone who can add a little levity to parenthood. It’s cheaper than online shopping (ha!). I can’t remember when or how, but at some point in this scrolling I came across Grace Farris, the woman behind the handle @coupdegracefarris.
Grace is a hospitalist by day in Austin, Texas and a cartoonist in her free time — all while momming and managing her own kids, so that free time is sparse!
Grace loves what she does in the hospital and has even done medical comics to explain more complex topics in an easy-to-understand way.
But it is her relatable comics about motherhood that have sparked an online community with over 60,000 followers on Instagram and books of motherhood musings in comic form called "Mom Milestones" and "Mom’s Family Calendar" with similar themes (and stickers!). I chatted with Grace to learn a bit more about her and her process.
How did you get into comics?
I’ve always been drawing comics and cartoons. In college, I even had a daily comic strip. When I started med school I wasn’t doing a ton of comics, instead I did more painting to unwind.
After residency, I got into graphic medicine and then I got back into comics through that.
When my husband got a job in New York City, I didn’t anticipate how huge of a change that would be, so I started doing motherhood comics on Instagram — had been thinking about it for a few years and thought it would be fun.
How have things changed since you started?
Since then, it’s snowballed which has been very fabulous and neat to have this way of connecting with people all over the world.
When you start off as a mom, it feels like everything is very unique to you and then you realize it’s all really common.
No matter how random and specific it is to me and my kids, it’s actually happening all over the world. These experiences are happening everywhere. Finding that out makes me feel more a part of a community.
I always had pen pals growing up and this feels like an extension of pen pals. People will leave comments in other languages or translate the comics.
I find it really gratifying and interesting. These things that feel really basic seem to resonate.
How long does it take you to create the comics?
Less time than you would think. It usually takes about 30 min to an hour. I usually draw them then I color them in. I like dressing all of the moms and putting in little things like unmatched socks (because there are always unmatched socks!), I tend to put things like Magnatiles on the floor plus little details like snacks or juice boxes, and when my kids were younger, pouches.
How do you decide what to draw?
I keep notes on conversations or words I want to play with.
The da Vinci one, I was looking at nautical maps and went down a rabbit hole. Any time I can play with more science things, it is good too.
Sometimes, I feel like I want to do inspiration notes once a month or so. My form is so established, so I try to figure out new orientations or ways to present it. I don’t want to get stuck in one specific pattern.
I’m always trying to decide what direction to go in next. I’ve gotten a lot of messages from moms that have read "Mom Milestones" with their kids (but spoiler alert on the tooth fairy!)
I thought about doing something more for a kid audience. Something for kids and their parents to read together.
The other thing would be to go more in the medical direction and cover parenting topics.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: