"Human absurdity is very inspiring"
Noemí is the “chavvy illustrator” (as defined by her) behind La Mandanga. Without even realising, you’ve probably clicked on her Instagram profile and spent more than 40 minutes laughing non-stop. That’s what her illustrations do. It’s also happened to us. Her jokes, seemingly silly, are accompanied by simple drawings and caricatures of celebrities of all time. It’s all you need to get over a shitty Monday.
She exceptionally combines silly jokes with puns and signs to the pop, hipster and cocky cultures. We’ve been in love for a long time. When we thought about doing a more thuggery St. Valentine’s, her name came up immediately.
You’ve prepared quite loutish, even hater, St. Valentine’s postcards. But, tell us: What would be your ideal St. Valentine’s date?
It’s not about the plan, but about the person. I couldn’t stop laughing sitting on a bus with elderly people playing “who would you fuck in this bus”? and I was bored to death dancing in a club.
You state that your name has nothing to do with el Fary, but he is a big representative of the pop culture that you constantly play with. Where does this interest in the traditional culture come from?
It comes from being raised in a working-class neighbourhood, from going to school with chavs and from belonging to a generation that has grown up with Leticia Sabater.
Your imagination doesn’t have any filters: from an apricot to Donald Trump, ¿what else inspires you?
Human absurdity is very inspiring. In fact, a couple of days ago I was stuck on a train for one hour and a half because an elastic trampoline was trapped in the train rails.
Instagram can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it made me freer than ever, kind of ending the office prison and allowing me to work in something that I’ve created and that I like. But you can’t surrender to the “likes” and “followers” pressure. I don’t create thinking of what would work better on Instagram, but of what connects more with myself. And being true to yourself is what matters.
You are full of humour, we can’t help but see your illustrations and have a guilty laugh. What kind of humour do you find enjoyable? Who would you say are your references?
I really laugh with films, comic strips, monologues, and memes, but I think I’ve never had a laughing orgasm with something “distant”. The most hilarious moments in my life were interacting with someone. I think that spontaneity is magic.
You don’t have limits when it comes to creating: you make pottery, design clothes… and recently you’ve launched your second book. What’s the coolest thing about your job? Any new projects in mind?
That’s because I get itchy feet and I feel some job insecurity in the creative sector. Sometimes I feel like a millionaire sheikh, and some others, like Barragán. In the end, this pushes you to have a lot of projects and different curiosities.
We must confess that every Monday you make us question our existence with the Mandanga Mondays that you publish with Yorokobu. Tell us how they were born.
I was kind of bored one day and I started posing random questions in my stories just for fun: fucking well or shitting well? It was a bit of a fuss, the editors from Yorokobu saw it, and they offered me the best job of my life: thinking what questions I would ask my friends when I’m drunk. That’s also how my book was born. It has some Mandanga Mondays questions, but also a lot of unpublished poisoned content.
To wrap up, what would you eat if today were your last day on earth?
A fideuà in front of the sea with my loved ones. Accompanied by several wines, the best ones, until they numbed us.