An Interview with Disparity, Creator of my Bo/BoJack Art
Hi, everyone! Welcome back to #FanartFebruary!
My first foray into the world of Bo Burnham fanart was courtesy of today's artist who posted this amazing combo of Bo, Socko, and BoJack Horseman on Reddit in 2021.
I remember I felt compelled to let the user named cookiecoasters who created it know how much it meant to me as a huge fan of both Bos (lol), and we eventually traded the commissioned Bo^2 painting below for my extra Promising Young Woman Blu-ray.
Fast forward to today, and I knew I would have to reach out to them for #FanartFebruary since they introduced me to the world of Bo art.
Luckily, Disparity is easy to talk to and was more than willing to answer all of my burning questions!
Here is my interview with Disparity, which has been edited and condensed for clarity purposes.
Bo Burnham Historian: Hey, Disparity! Thanks for chatting with me about your art.
Disparity: Hey! No problem.
BBH: Great! First, please provide some details about yourself.
Disparity: Hey, hi, hello! My name’s Disparity, and I’m a casual fanartist, doodling all away from Singapore.
I’m in my early twenties and learning about graphic facilitation in my new intern job, which has been really fascinating so far :]
Apart from that, you can always see me online rambling about my latest fixation or doodling what’s on my mind!
BBH: Glad to hear you're enjoying your job, but I sure hope you're getting paid for it! haha.
So how did you get started with your art? Are you formally trained?
Disparity: I have had some close moments in my life where formal training was in my reach. However, for the most part, I’ve been self-taught since 2013! I'm mainly just winging it, at this point.
Started with doodles on paper, then I begged my family for a Wacom tablet and it's been history since.
BBH: That's cool...I certainly adore your doodles!
Do you have any art influences or particular artists who inspire you?
Disparity: Hmm, tough question…I wouldn’t say there’s any particular artists at the moment. I feel like my art style’s an amalgamation of every cool artwork I’ve seen growing up.
Shoutout to taffybuns on Twitter however, for they were the artist that inspired me enough to pick up digital art when I was younger! (Don’t tell them that though shh 🤭🤫)
Glass Onion art by taffybuns
BBH: Nice—I can see the similarity!
So when did you become a fan of Bo? Have you known about him for a long time, or did you discover him through Inside?
Disparity: Funnily enough, I became a fan of Bo Burnham partially through a rapper (and his friend) named Watsky! It was in 2016 when I discovered both of them through Watsky’s Whoa Whoa Whoa music video.
It’s a pretty funny way to find out about Bo now that I look back on it.
However, I was mainly more of an enthusiastic casual fan until Inside came out, so I suppose there’s still a sense of new fan syndrome when that special dropped. Been a huge fan since!
BBH: That's great that Watsky led you to Bo. There's also a behind-the-scenes video that shows how it was made where you can see more of Bo running and the cast goofing around!
What inspired you to make art about Bo? And what is your general process from concept to the final product?
Disparity: This doesn’t just apply to my Bo art but, in general, I’m heavily inspired by music, so the ideas usually come to me depending on what I’m listening to.
It just so happens that Bo's music has always been very expressive and fun to draw to. It only felt natural to be inspired by both his tunes and visuals into trying to (at least) replicate the vibes.
I usually start with what colours and poses I imagine for each piece, and then I go from there!
Bonus if there's fun references and poses (in this case, by Bo) that are just itching for a redraw.
BBH: I imagine White Woman's Instagram was pretty inspiring in that case...so many poses!
What's your favorite piece of Bo fanart that you've made? Least favorite?
Disparity: A while ago, I attempted (keyword: attempted) making a fanart piece for all of the Bo Burnham Inside songs. Sadly, I stopped at Sexting (despite that being the one I looked most forward to drawing), but I was mostly proud of how my Comedy piece turned out!
Not a fan of how Facetime With My Mom came out though :')
Maybe one day I'll finish the series! One day...
Another shoutout to the @a.white.womans.instagram project on Instagram, though! It was a project that I hosted with my friend Raine (@ratlimited1) where we gathered a group of Bo fans to redraw screenshots of the White Woman's Instagram music video and even Bo in all 20 of the original Inside song versions afterwards.
Of course, I had to draw Sexting, and alas that's also one of the best Bos I've drawn </3
BBH: Oh, I remember that initial series of drawings on the subreddit. I was always excited to see a new one appear—they are all so fun to look at! And those Instagram projects are INCREDIBLE!
The How the World Works piece in particular is one I adore—I hope you do finish the entire series eventually!
Speaking of Bo in that famous sweater, my favorite of all of your works is obviously the stunning BoJack/Bo and Socko piece (with a Mr. Peanutbutter cameo) you made for me in exchange for a PYW Blu-ray.
How did you come up with the idea to combine the two Bos? Are you a big fan of BoJack Horseman? I know I am haha!
The start of a beautiful friendship :)
Disparity: I'm glad you like the piece, I had such a fun time with that!
And well, BoJack Horseman is one of my favourite shows ever, so I'll say I'm a fan! I was almost instantly reminded of BoJack on my first Inside watch, mainly from the vibes alone.
It didn't help that both shows a moon shot at the end respectively, and there was that one screenshot of BoJack and Bo's Netflix thumbnail cards next to each other.
I should've figured that there's a huge overlap between BoJack and Bo fans, though :P
I'm glad to see more people talk about the two now, both of them really portray similar themes so well. Both Bos would be great friends! (Debatably).
BBH: Absolutely! I was watching the show since it premiered on Netflix in 2014, solely because I love Will Arnett (I was an Arrested Development ADdict long before Bo lol).
You can even read a review I wrote for a local online newspaper of the first season—and how much I adored the show despite the initial negative reviews from critics who only watched the first few episodes—here!
Disparity: Oh wow, thank you for the feature!
I was really proud with how that turned out.
Sadly, as much as I'd like to say animation, it's a tough medium, especially with the softwares I'm working on. Static drawings all the way!
It helps to get my ideas out more quickly in a shorter span of time, though I hope to work more on animation someday in the future when I have more time.
BBH: That's cool. I'm always impressed by animation because it seems so challenging!
Please tell me one fun fact about yourself. Do you have any specific hobbies or interests people don't know about?
Disparity: It’s not a hidden fact I'll say, but I’m a vinyl and CD collector!
As of writing this, I’m waiting for my signed deluxe Inside boxset to add to my small collection. I already had the original Inside album's yellow variant [Ed. note: the Target version], but it didn't hurt to upgrade ~ I'm always up to ramble about vinyl with anyone :]
I'm also slowly learning how to play Dungeons and Dungeons, so wish me luck!
BBH: That's awesome! I've started collecting vinyl as well because of Bo, and it's been so satisfying to own physical media again. The streaming services can't take it away like they did with half of his discography in late 2021!
Also if you're playing Dungeons & Dragons, you should definitely check out Bo's first DND game with Elsie Fisher, Jerrod Carmichael, and Gillian Jacobs...it's hysterical!
So what's your favorite Bo song/special? You can definitely name more than one.
Disparity: A huge tie between Inside and Make Happy! Song-wise, I'm always a defender of the following songs: Sexting, The Future, Video Game, Are You Happy? and Nerds. But to be real, I have too many favourites.
It was already hard trying to pick the 5 I've mentioned :')
Left Brain, Right Brain deserves a mention as well as that's one of my first ever introductions to Bo, too!
BBH: All excellent choices, and I agree that it's a tossup between those two specials. Make Happy is the funniest, but Inside is my personal favorite.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Disparity: Not at the moment, sadly! There's some plans for some animations, both Bo and non-Bo related, but that is if there's time. We'll see :P
How can fans best support you? Are any of your pieces for sale? And do you have any social media that you'd like to plug?
Disparity: No pieces up for sale as well, but I'd like to start up a small shop in the far future! (Once I figure things out. Online businesses are tough </3)
All I have now is my art Instagram @cookiecoasters.png, but all my Bo works are only available on my Reddit at u/cookiecoasters due to a previous account migration. Enjoy ~
Nowadays, I draw random stuff that I get hooked to, but I hope to draw more Bo soon!
BBH: Good luck with setting up your shop! I'd love to own another one of your works.
Thanks again for doing this, Disparity, and let me know if you receive a special doodle on your signed Inside Deluxe...I'm keeping track of them here!
Disparity: It's been my pleasure!