This week we’d like to put the spotlight on Instagram page tinymoron. Darya’s drawings relate to just about everyone, and we guarantee a few will resonate with you. If you’re struggling through a breakup, this London-based creator’s page should be your new go-to virtual spot.
Can you tell me a bit more about you and what led you to create tinymoron?
When my sisters and I were younger, we would always play this silly game: if we were in an American high school, which clique would we be in? My oldest sister was always the goth, my youngest was the jock, and for me, we always came to the conclusion that I would be the nice girl in quotation marks, the Lizzie McGuire type, the girl who’s on good terms with everyone and tries a lot of different stuff, she’s cool but a bit of a nerd. I think a lot of that was because I am very close to my sisters and my family, and I had friends whom I was really comfortable with, but on top of that, I have Crohn’s disease. I was diagnosed when I was 11. That always held me back from doing anything to any extreme, so I was never super into anything. That also feeds into how I started tinymoron because when I was 22 I had just finished university and my health got really bad. I was hospitalized for pretty much a year on and off, and during that time I was literally doing nothing and I was really inspired by some other comics on Instagram, and I thought I could make some too, so I just started just doodling. I bought some Sharpie pens and a notebook, started drawing, and my sisters convinced me to put them up on Instagram. So I did, and it just kind of went from there.
And how did you come up with the name?
A lot of crowdsourcing with my sisters. I wanted it to be short and snappy and I tried a few different combinations. Can’t remember what the top contenders were but tinymoron was my favorite and it was available. I am tiny and I am a bit of an idiot, so it works.
I think that’s what’s great about the name. We’re not all tiny, but I think we all have our moronic moments. That’s probably what attracts so many people to the page – your relatability. Can you tell me a bit about the features of tinymoron, like dating dilemmas, for example?
So many people right from the start would send me their problems. They would send me long messages, like “here’s what’s going on in my love life, what do I do?” The first couple of years I would just ignore these messages, because I was like, why are they asking me? Literally in the name is moron, I am very naive and I’m completely aware of how naive I am. I don’t think I’m in a position to give someone advice on their dating life. I think people assume that I’m very, well-experienced in the world of dating, but I’m not, I just have an overactive imagination. But I got so many messages that eventually I decided to make a feature out of it and I really enjoy it. I think it’s so interesting seeing the variety of issues that people can have or how niche different problems can be or how common different problems can be. So I kind of took this idea and ran with it.
Do you also get really positive feedback? What’s been really meaningful or memorable feedback that you get on your page?
I get really, really, really lovely messages and it honestly fills my heart with so much love. I think I’ve been getting even more kind messages since I’ve started posting stories, being more personable on the page, being more interactive, and actually putting a face to the name. I get a lot of DMs from people saying that they consider me a friend, which is so sweet and my absolute favorite ones are when they say that me living my life and just making light of being single and doing whatever I want while being single really inspires them and makes them realize that being single isn’t a huge hindrance on life. You can still do so much. It’s actually pretty wonderful. I don’t think not having a partner has ever stopped me from doing anything that I want to do. I think my life is pretty great, and if anyone were to join me on it, that would be fun too, but it’s not a necessity. I guess I’m subconsciously expressing that in my stories and people seem to appreciate it.
You’re so right. What would be your best piece of advice for someone who’s experiencing heartbreak? When people say, “I’m dealing with this breakup, I don’t know what to do,” what do you tell them?
I do get a lot of messages like this. There’s no cure for heartbreak. There’s no fast-track ticket to get through it quicker. You just have to ride it out. I have a playlist that I made during a breakup that I once had that was very sad. I was sad, but I was also relieved, and a little bit annoyed and confused. I had a whole range of emotions and I have a playlist that reflects that range of emotions. I like to send the link to people when they’re going through heartbreak because I think that’s a good way to demonstrate that you’re going to feel so many different things right now, and all you can do is allow yourself to feel them. You can’t get angry at yourself for having these emotions because that’s just your body and your mind’s way of telling you that you are grieving something or you are processing something in whatever way, shape or form. Do whatever you need to do to mourn, to process, and don’t get mad at yourself for it.
That’s really good advice. What is your creative process like and how do you see tinymoron moving forward?
A lot of my posts are based on personal experiences, but I would say more of them are completely based on my own imagination. I guess I take personal experiences, as minor as they were, and I just run with them. I also hear stories from friends, siblings, cousins, and I’ll be inspired by them and turn them into posts. When I think of something I just write it down on my phone as a note and then later I’ll just draw it up. I did have a merchandise store, which I put on hold and I really need to bring it back. That’s a step that I need to take. I’m also really enjoying making this podcast “Sorry, love you, bye” which is a spin-off of dating dilemmas as well as a chance to talk to creators and share some of my experiences. I have conversations with a guest and we talk a bit about dating, and then the first segment is called “brilliant or baloney” where we talk about a piece of advice that someone’s told me over the years because I get so much unsolicited advice. People love telling you why I’m single. So I basically recount a piece of advice to the guests and then we can discuss it. Is it brilliant? Is it baloney? And then the final segment is dating dilemmas. I pick three dilemmas for each episode and we offer long-form advice since on a podcast we can dive a bit deeper and talk a bit more about the nuances of dating. I think that’s a lot more interesting in many ways than just yes or no on an Instagram poll.
Absolutely. I’m definitely subscribing. Darya, thank you so much for chatting!