Plankton's Glow Up by TikTok User AudityDraws
If even in the darkest depths of your imagination, you can't begin to picture what Tinker Bell and Pennywise the Clown would look like mashed together as one character, don't worry, Audrey Hopkins has you covered. Audrey, aka @auditydraws on TikTok, is an LA-based artist from San Francisco who gets a laugh out of whipping up wild character mashups for her 12.9 million followers.
What started out as Audrey copying Garfield cartoons from the newspaper as a kid has quickly turned into a full-time art career. Armed with a hatred for Mondays and a love of lasagna, Audrey took traditional painting and figure drawing classes in high school, but it wasn't until going to college at CSU Long Beach that she uncovered her passion for cartoons and digital art. From there, she took her designs to TikTok, where followers quickly became obsessed with her talent and relatable sense of humor.
"I tried to be serious at first like, 'Look at this beautiful piece I made.' [But] I don't feel that way about my art," she told POPSUGAR. Between her many hilarious drawing series, Audrey's favorites include "What Does Your Name Look Like as a Person?" and character mashups created with the help of her character fusion app called WannaDraw, created by her husband, Rich Conley, who often provides endearing laughter and commentary on Audrey's designs.
"The hardest one for me was definitely Mrs. Incredible with SpongeBob, because they are the most opposite characters you could ever have."
"I like the fusion series even though it can be really frustrating when you get characters that do not match," she said. "So I'll spend hours just sitting there going, 'I don't know what to do.'" Even if the character mashups don't work initially, Audrey stays true to the fusion wheel and churns out a design that, while questionable at times, fits the theme perfectly. "The hardest one for me was definitely Mrs. Incredible with SpongeBob, because they are the most opposite characters you could ever have," she explained. "You have this really curvy lady with big thighs. You have a square with no legs. That was the worst one." (For anyone wondering, Audrey describes herself as a mix between Amethyst from Steven Universe and Jake the Dog from Adventure Time.)
Creative blocks aside, Audrey — who cited Kiki's Delivery Service and Avatar: The Last Airbender as some of her favorite animated works — is grateful to her TikTok followers for challenging her as an artist. "As artists, we're kind of always changing and always growing," Audrey said. "We always say our work is kind of never done and we never stop getting better . . . I try not to settle into one style. I have sort of a style on TikTok that I draw in, but when I draw for myself, I try to do as many different ways of drawing as I can because I feel like people worry a lot about finding their style. [Instead, you should] worry more about liking your own artwork."
Image Source: Audrey Hopkins
Aside from the odd negative commenter, Audrey is grateful for the community she's created on TikTok. "People were so supportive and so loving. It's such a great community for the most part," she said. "One person said I helped them with their depression, which was amazing. I have YouTubers and other people that I watch online when I'm sad and they make me feel better, but it never occurred to me that I could do that for somebody. I'm really glad I can help people and inspire people to create and get better and feel better."
While her ultimate dream is to work at Pixar and continue posting to her TikTok page, Audrey's current plans include updating her "If the 50 States Were People" series, creating video collabs with Ink Master's Ryan Ashley DiCristina, and inspiring a new generation of artists across the internet. A few of her personal favorite artists include Cas3yArt, TootyMcNooty, AbnormalChaos, Camtoonist, Missriahanimates, Okaykaren1, and Milkymichii. "Everything is art around us, and I hope that as many people that want to create art get to," she said.
If you're curious to see what Patrick Star and Edna Mode would look like mashed together or you want to see your zodiac sign personified, check out some of Audrey's most popular videos ahead.